About Louis Dell'Olio
Louis Dell’Olio never had any doubt what his life’s work would be. At an early age he instinctively started to develop his skills. “I was always visual”, says Mr. Dell’Olio. “Designers are like sponges; we absorb everything we see. I truly believe we look at things differently than other people”.
At 17, he took a summer job at the design house of Norman Norell, then America’s most famous designer. “Working in his salon was the epitome of what I thought fashion was all about….beautiful models, women of style and sophistication and magnificent clothes presented at black tie only fashion shows. It was pure glamour”.
Louis graduated from Parsons School of Design. While attending Parsons he won a number of awards, including the prestigious Norman Norell Scholarship.
In 1973 Anne Klein called him to join her company, accompanying his former classmate and friend, Donna Karan. In 1974, Ms Klein tragically died, leaving two very young aspirants at the helm. Together, Dell’Olio and Karan saw the business explode. During the ten years that they designed together, Dell’Olio and Karan won three Coty Awards, fashions “Oscars”, and were inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame. Ms. Karan decided to leave Anne Klein and Mr. Dell’Olio was appointed Vice President of Design. For the next 10 years, Mr. Dell’Olio was solely responsible for designing the Anne Klein Collection and for serving as creative director and overseeing the design of Anne Klein ll, A-Line and Anne Klein Dresses. In addition, Mr. Dell’Olio was responsible for the design and product development of all Anne Klein licensed products, including, jewelry, footwear, handbags, belts, coats, eyewear, furs, eyewear, scarves, swimwear, watches and men’s accessories. Mr. Dell’Olio continued to win numerous awards including those from important retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord and Taylor and Marshall Fields. While Mr. Dell’Olio was at the helm of Anne Klein, the volume of the company and its licensees reached $600 million a year.
Mr. Dell’Olio’s decision to leave Anne Klein in order to pursue his own interests was difficult, but created new opportunities. He continued to devote his efforts and energy to the Council of Fashion Designers of America, of which he was an officer and a director. Along with Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta and Donna Karan, he spearheaded the Councils campaign for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. During his many years as an active member of the CFDA, Mr. Dell’Olio has chaired and been a member of many various committees. Mr. Dell’Olio has worked in Italy as a consultant for the Marzotto Company. In a venture unprecedented in the fashion industry, Mr. Dell’Olio was engaged by a joint venture for Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Holt Renfrew as design director for a unique collection of women’s apparel.
Mr. Dell’Olio designed a line of furs and shearling coats under his own label, which retailed in luxury stores and boutiques across the country. He also designs men’s and boy’s clothing and accessories for a well known retailer. In 2000 he entered into an agreement with QVC to design an exclusive line of sportswear under the label Linea by Louis Dell’Olio.
Mr. Dell’Olio is also a devoted participant in the fight against AIDS in children.
As for the future, “The opportunities are limitless,” says Louis Dell’Olio. “Anne Klein used to say, ‘A good designer can design anything,’ and as I have realized this maxim in her name, I now look forward to achieving it with new challenges.”