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Gloria Sachs Dead at 85

Saying Goodbye to Designer Gloria Sachs

>> Gloria Sachs, the 85-year-old fashion designer credited with inventing capri pants, died Monday night in her sleep.

WWD reported that Sachs's death was unexpected — she'd planned to spend a month in Shanghai this Fall to help set up an exchange program between fashion design students in New York and China. Her involvement in the fashion industry was truly international. After college she apprenticed with painter Fernand Leger in Paris, then worked for architects Gio Ponti and Franco Albini while she modeled for Balmain and Balenciaga. She also worked for Bloomingdale's and Saks and for decades ran an eponymous label known for its luxurious sportswear. All the while, she exhibited her own painting and sculptures everywhere from New York's Museum of Modern Art to the Art Alliance of Philadelphia.

Her critics regarded her work as inspired — and she drew from a wide variety of sources for that inspiration. Per WWD:

"According to her daughter, Sachs was the first to bring capri pants back to the U.S. While on her honeymoon in 1953 with her husband, Irwin, in Capri, she saw the shorter pants and brought them back to the U.S. and named them 'capris.'"

To be sure, capri pants are an important addition to the fashion lexicon, but it would have been lovely to see her finish her mission of bridging the gap between the American and Chinese fashion industries. Here's hoping someone will pick up where Sachs, unfortunately and unexpectedly, left off.

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