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James Galanos
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    (September 20, 1924-October 28, 2016)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Founded Galanos Originals (1952)
    Designed Nancy Reagan’s inaugural gown (1981)
    Other clients included Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lady Bird Johnson, Princess Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Rosalind Russell, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Loretta Young, Diana Ross, Ali MacGraw, Betsy Bloomingdale and Ivana Trump
    Two-time winner of the Coty Fashion Award (1952,1954)
    His designs were priced out of the range of everyone except the incredibly rich.
    He liked to use the royal ‘we’ when talking about himself.
    He said, ‘I’m interested in creating only for a certain type of woman’ and ‘This is a snob operation, and that is what we want.’
    He ate almost all his meals out, so the only thing in his refrigerator was a bottle of champagne.
    After his 1998 retirement, he complained ‘Today you go into a fancy restaurant and everyone looks boring.’
    While looking at the lining of a Galanos garment, Hubert de Givenchy exclaimed, ‘We don’t make them this well in Paris!’
    His designs have a timeless elegance, as Nancy Reagan demonstrated when she wore a fourteen-year-old Galanos dress to a White House state dinner.
    He was part of the first batch of designers honored when New York City created a designer walk of fame on Seventh Avenue (2000).
    After retiring from designing, he took up abstract photography and had his first gallery show at age 82.
    He asked a reporter from Women’s Wear Daily, ‘Aren’t you embarrassed when you see a young girl walking down the street practically naked? … I’m not squeamish. God knows I made sexy clothes in my day. But there’s a point where you have to say, ‘Enough, already.’’

Credit: C. Fishel

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