Fairfield fashion designer dies at 84, shortly after launching new collection

FAIRFIELD — Renowned fashion designer Bern Conrad died late previous month, in accordance to his obituary.

Conrad, 84, died in his Fairfield home on Nov. 20. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he analyzed vogue at the Fashion Institute of Technologies after serving in the U.S. Military.

Conrad then went on to get started a career in the manner business, which guide to the creation of his own women’s outfits brand name.

He made a sizeable amount of silk clothing, sportswear and knitwear about the program of his job, in accordance to U.S. Information and Entire world Report, and once mentioned a special standpoint and a distinct identity are essential for a occupation as a designer.

“Design is all about finding to know who you are, because you have to specific who you are, and you have to be able to convey that to your ultimate client and shopper,” he claimed, later on introducing, “Just do who you are – what you want to be, who you want to be or are getting.”

Jonathon Walford, the curator of the Vogue Record Museum in Ontario, Canada, said in his web site in 2019 that Conrad turned the designer of a new sportswear organization termed Irka in 1975, which was launched and financed by Peter Seng, an importer of Chinese silk.

“It was listed here that he also met his upcoming spouse, Ilonka Frias, who labored as his design assistant,” Walford said.

Conrad was portion of a new wave of American designers at the time, Walford claimed, and he turned known for his simplicity in style and great in good shape, specifically when operating with silk and other purely natural elements as well as knitwear. In the late 70s and early 80s, he stated, Conrad began planning beneath his very own identify.

Soon after closing his label in 1988, Walford explained, Conrad took a 4 yr hiatus but returned to the trend business in 1993, creating knitwear and sportswear beneath distinctive labels, such as producing a line of outfits in Hong Kong for Ann Taylor.

Conrad’s obituary stated he in no way truly retired, as he put in his afterwards yrs creating and developing higher-close residential residences.

“His thirst and passion for creative imagination under no circumstances faded. He was generally complete of new strategies and designs, eternally considering about what is following,” it reported.

In early November, Conrad returned from a sabbatical and unveiled a new Bern Conrad selection. A release at the time pointed out it “embodies beautiful flowy and playful traces that embrace motion and comfort.”

As a well known determine from the interior sanctum of New York City’s garment district, the launch explained his like of design and style and comfort and ease has never remaining him. The new selection featured maxi dresses, muscle T-shirts, brief-sleeved, T-shirts, ponchos and hoodies match for any occasion.

“I have a significant definition of purpose,” Conrad stated in the launch. “Of course, it consists of convenience and wearability but I feel a garment is truly purposeful when it can also stand the test of time, the passing of tendencies and has the versatility to complement a person’s current wardrobe and life style.”

In his young many years, in accordance to his obituary, Bern liked to ski and perform tennis and even designed his individual courtroom on his house. It famous he was a excellent lover of music, and would crack out in track if he heard anyone say element of a lyric.

“Always upbeat and pleasant, there had been couple of individuals in and all-around the Fairfield spot that did not know Bern,” it explained. “He beloved to carry folks collectively.”

Conrad is survived by his wife, Ilonka Conrad, son, Cole Conrad, as properly as a grandaughter and his siblings.

Expert services ended up held at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield, on Dec. 1 with navy funeral honors. In lieu of flowers, the spouse and children requests donations be produced to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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