Geoffrey Beene

Geoffrey Beene

Beene was born in Haynesville, Louisiana. He studied medicine at Tulane University, but dropped out at age 19 after 3 years. Beene believed that he could best express himself through design so he moved to New York in 1947 to attend the Traphagen School of Fashion and L'Academie Julian in Paris. He then worked at a number of fashion houses, both in Paris and New York, including Harmay and Teal Traina.

In 1963 Geoffrey Beene started his own company, Geoffrey Beene, Inc., quickly becoming noted for his unconventional designs, he opened a showroom on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. Beene 's clients included such notables as Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Nancy Reagan, Faye Dunaway and Glenn Close. 

Geoffrey Beene is a fashion pioneer who excels at elevating the everyday. In 1970 he created eveningwear out of materials such as sweatshirt fabric and denim. Much of Geoffrey Beene's success as a designer is based on the support of Beene's intensely devoted clients who care little about looking like someone else. 

In 1964 and 1965 Geoffrey Beene won the Neiman Marcus Award. Beene also has received eight Coty Awards for his high quality ready-to-wear clothing. During the past three decades, he has been presented with four Council of Fashion Designers of America awards. Beene's work has been exhibited in museums around the world. April 27th is "Geoffrey Beene Day" in the designer's home state of Louisiana. 

His career in fashion design spanned over 40 years, and the company bearing his name is still operating today. It licenses the brand name to Phillips-Van Heusen. 

Beene died on September 28, 2004, at the age of 80 due to complications from pneumonia.