Roy Halston Frowick, or Halston was an iconic clothing designer of the 1970s & 1980s & a friend to Jackie O, Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, Anjelica Huston, Lauren Bacall & Elizabeth Taylor, but he always ignored me at Studio 54.
Halston on far left... at Studio 54 with some of our friends
A Midwesterner, he began his career as a milliner, designing the pillbox hat Jacqueline Kennedy to the1961 Presidential inauguration. Halston then moved to designing women's wear. Newsweek named Halston “the premier fashion designer of the USA”. Halston was the first international fashion superstar & possibly the best designer America has ever had.
He was the first American designer to perceive the potential of licensing himself. His influence went beyond style to reshape the business of fashion. Through his licensing agreement with USA retailer JC Penney, his designs were accessible to women at a variety of income levels. Although this practice is common today, it was a controversial move at the time & cost him couture customers.
Although he enjoyed enormous success, his drug use deepened, & a failure to meet deadline undermined his progress & profit. In 1984 he was fired from his own company & lost the right to design & sell clothes under his own name.
Halston was diagnosed with HIV in 1988. He died of AIDS-related lung cancer in San Francisco, California on March 26, 1990.
In the Sister Sledge disco hit- He's The Greatest Dancer, Halston is memorably mentioned in a description of a well-dressed man: “Halston, Gucci, Fiorucci - he looks like a still, the man is dressed to kill'. Halston has been mentioned in other songs, films & TV shows - usually as the criterion for a certain kind of cultured, cosmopolitan style.