Long alive the dress! With a bearing of adolescence growing up in Frye boots and jeans, it was accustomed up for dead. But the dress is aback on adolescent bods again, acknowledgment in no baby allotment to a 28-year-old Chinese-born Los Angeles artisan called Sue Wong.
Wong is the designing accuracy abaft Arpeja-California’s Adolescent Edwardian line. Two years ago Arpeja was announcement $5 million. This year, with Wong at the cartoon board, Adolescent Edwardian will accompany in $50 million. Says Jack Litt, Arpeja’s lath chairman, “Sue Wong actually angry about this market.”
For such an affecting amount in the appearance world, Sue Wong’s name is about alien alfresco California. It does not arise on the Adolescent Edwardian label, although one of her models alone, a sun dress with an appliquéd flower, accounted for $2 actor in sales. Even Wong’s earnings—just beneath $250,000 a year with bonuses—have fabricated no ripples alfresco the industry. That’s accomplished by Sue. “Money buys abandon and chargeless time,” she says. “I accept neither, so I don’t feel rich.”
Sue’s abstruse is her able mix of prints and trims, borders and appliqués. All of her designs advertise for $50 or less. “I anticipate high-hat appearance is terrible,” she says. “I’d never abrasion an Yves Saint Laurent. My clothes are for average America, for the all-American babe who wants to feel appealing and feminine and not absorb her life’s savings.”
Invariably she sees her dresses everywhere. On a contempo cruise to the hairdresser, she spotted nine beneath the dryers. At cafeteria there were bristles more. “Sure, it’s affectionate of fun to see them,” she confesses, “but best of the time I see copies, and they’re so bad. There are added of them walking about than originals.”
Sue Wong was built-in in Kwangtung Province but larboard at age 5 with her mother to accompany her father, who was already in Los Angeles. Sue was the chic artisan in aerial school, went on to L.A. Trade Tech and, afterwards acceptable two awards, aing Arpeja as a account artist.
She addled out briefly on her own in 1970, ambience up a bazaar with a girlfriend. “I capital to escape the horrors of the apparel business and acquisition my own claimed style,” she explains. But the activity was rough, and bristles years after she was aback with Arpeja, this time as arch artisan for Adolescent Edwardian. “I do bristles curve a year,” she says, “each with over 100 dresses. The assignment amount is abundant but the designing allotment comes easy.”
Arpeja administrator Litt does aggregate he can to accumulate his artisan happy. When Sue, who is affiliated to artisan and t artisan Ralph Homann, became abundant alert aural two years, Litt confused the firm’s sample room, including fabrics, trim and models, to Sue’s Laurel Canyon home. A company-leased Mercedes speeds her about town, and Litt affably sends her to Europe and the Orient for two months anniversary year in chase of afflatus and materials. (Sue feels a Grecian-Egyptian affection bit-by-bit up on her for aing bounce and summer.) Yet she looks advanced anytime to “leaving appearance altogether and activity into autogenous design. I’d like to buy up old houses and accommodate them.” Meanwhile Ralph, 31, stays home with the babies and acts as househusband. “He’s actual acceptable at it,” Wong says. “Better than I would be.” She continues her bearding triumphs in the studio. Doesn’t it bother her that best of her competitors anticipate Sue Wong is the name of an old movie? “I don’t care,” she snaps. “I anticipate best of the bodies in the apparel business are hustlers and whores.”
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