Save the Date: Tory Burch and Oscar de la Renta to Speak at French Institute Alliance Française’s 2011 Fashion Talks

Tory Burch (c) Charles Thompson

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York City’s foremost French cultural center, will once again welcome top créateurs de mode for its annual Fashion Talks series. Pamela Golbin, chief curator of the Musée de la Mode et du Textile at the Louvre Palace, will host the discussions, which will feature Tory Burch on March 16, Lorenz Bäumer (the Place Vendôme jeweler sensation) on March 30, and the legendary Oscar de la Renta on April 4.

The talks serve as a rare opportunity to engage in intimate dialogue with reputable fashion industry leaders and gain insight on their experiences and wisdom.

Tory Burch, designer and CEO of Tory Burch LLC, grew up in a prominent Pennsylvania family and went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in art history. Shortly after graduating, she relocated to New York to take on fashion, landing gigs at Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, and Narciso Rodriguez. In 2004, she launched Tory Burch bags, shoes, jewelry, and accessories; quickly expanding to ready-to-wear. In just seven years, Tory Burch has swelled to 45 boutiques worldwide, with a 500 boutique-strong stock-list. She is the recipient of the 2008 CFDA for Accessory Designer of the Year and this past year, was named one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women in the World. Not one to shy away from philanthropy, Burch established the Tory Burch Foundation in 2009, to support women entrepreneurs in the US through microfinance and mentoring.

Lorenz Bäumer originally hails from Washington D.C., where his father served as a diplomat. After graduating from France’s Centrale engineering school, he founded his costume jewelry business, Lorenz, in 1989. By 1995, he had landed his first boutique in the exclusive Place Vendôme, enabling him to further introduce his fanciful designs to Paris’ crème de la crème. Often influenced by his family’s world travels, architecture, the natural world, and poetry, Bäumer creates masterpieces that exemplify utmost technique and refreshing ingenuity. He now serves as art director for Louis Vuitton’s haute joaillerie.

Lorenz Bäumer (c) Fred Marigaux

The concluding talk of the series, brings renowned couturier, Oscar de la Renta, uptown to the Florence Guild Hall. At the age of 18, de la Renta left The Dominican Republic to study painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. He quickly developed a passion for design and began sketching for leading Spanish fashion houses. He then apprenticed with master, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and eventually assisted Antonio Castillo at Lanvin in Paris. In 1963, de la Renta headed to New York to design the couture collection for Elizabeth Arden. Two years later he opened his signature ready-to-wear label. Today Oscar de la Renta has blossomed into one of the most respected design houses in the US; producing a bridal collection, a line of fragrances, a home collection, and a complete range of accessories.

Oscar de la Renta (c) Peter Bregg

Oscar de la Renta’s critical success and influence on American fashion has garnered him the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year award in 2000 and 2007, the French Legion d’Honneur as a Commandeur, in addition to Parsons’ and CFDA Lifetime Achievement Awards. From 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988, he also served as president of the CFDA. When he designed the haute couture collections for la maison Pierre Balmain, from 1993 to 2002, he became the first American to helm a French couture house.

Oscar de la Renta presently serves as a board member of The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, New Yorkers for Children, and is presently chairman of the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute.

FIAF’s Fashion Talks, lead by Golbin, will take place at Florence Gould Hall; 55 East 59th Street , NYC at 7pm. The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, March 16 • Tory Burch

Wednesday, March 30 • Lorenz Bäumer

Monday, April 4 • Oscar de la Renta

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