Liz Claiborne, whose styles became an important influence for career women in the 1970s and 1980s, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. She was 78.
Claiborne leaves behind a multi-billion dollar enterprise after a long and successful career in the fashion business.
The company's website lizclairborneinc.com says, "A working woman herself, Liz understood how liberating it would be to mix and match separates rather than have to rely on the traditional dress or gray flannel suit. Thus, out of a small office on 40th street in Manhattan, Liz Claiborne the brand was born, transforming the way women dressed and ultimately, how they shopped."
Liz came to the United States from Belgium, where she worked to make her company the first founded by a woman to be listed in the Fortune 500.
Bill McComb, CEO of Liz Claiborne Inc., said in a statement on Wednesday: "In losing Liz Claiborne, we have not only lost the founder of our company, but an inspirational woman who revolutionized the fashion industry 30 years ago.
Her commitment to style and design is ever present in our thinking and the way we work. We will remember Liz for her vision, her entrepreneurial spirit and her enduring compassion and generosity."