Fashion Designers Who Were Sorority Girls

Fashion Designers Who Were Sorority Girls

Kate Spade

Kate Spade is an essential in sorority girl accessories. We have wandered the stores since we were little girls when the only thing on our Christmas list was a new purple Kate Spade Wallet, and we didn’t even have credit cards yet. But of course Kate Spade is a sorority girl dream, she was one herself. Kate Spade was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma the Omega Chapter at the University of Kansas, then graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Journalism.

Kate Spade started her work in the accessories department of Mademoiselle, this is how she met her husband, Andy Spade. She worked her way up to the title of Senior Fashion Editor/Head of Accessories when she left to launch her own accessories line with her husband.

Kate launched “Kate Spade New York” in 1993 and soon after opened her first ever boutique in the Soho district of New York City.

She expanded her line to offer jewelry, accessories, gifts, and shoes.

Kate sold Kate Spade to Neiman Marcus in 1999, then Neiman Marcus sold the line to Fifth& Specific which we sorority gals know as Liz Clairborne. Ya know, the brand that’s basically Kate Spade for your mom!

Kate Spade New York has 140 shops in the United States and 175 internationally. They are sold in such a variety of retail outlets from Bloomingdale’s to Saks Fifth Avenue.

Kate Spade has revolutionized the world of accessories. She basically created the whole “Ooh I love your bracelet, is that (enter name brand here)?”

Kate was obviously a sorority girl because nobody just plasters their letters all over an everyday item, unless they formerly put greek letters there. I guess that goes to show, if you graduate and it’s no longer socially acceptable to wear your letters, have a fashion line with your name.

Tory Burch

Tory Burch is one of the leading designers in the world. With her classy and preppy designs she has truly dominated higher-end handbags, shoes, and clothing. Tory Burch is that designer that from age 14 when you get your first babysitting job, to 21 when you’re struggling to pay for your tab, no matter what you will always be saving for your next Tory Burch riding boots/purse/wallet.

Tory graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Art History in 1988. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, Beta Eta chapter.

After graduation Tory moved to New York City where she worked in different areas of fashion, for a broad range of designers, including Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, and even fashion editorial Harper’s Bazaar.

Tory created her own fashion line in 2004 when she opened her first retail store in Manhattan. She originally called it “TRB by Tory Burch,” featuring all of her own designs. Her line quickly became an overnight sensation even being endorsed by The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Since then 180 stores have been opened worldwide, and is carried in over 3,000 department stores.

She is most notable for her unique T-logo medallion. It’s on every single item of clothing or jewelry she sells. One can spot the notable trademark from miles away, and it doesn’t hurt how timeless the pieces are.

Her line became most popular with younger girls when it was featured time after time in Gossip Girl. A show that let’s face it, started our obsession with being a socialite. Being a socialite of the Upper East Side and frat row are basically the same thing right?

Once Tory entered the fashion world and created a label that others would die to wear, possible stemming from her roots as a sorority member. Maybe not. Who knows, maybe she created her notable T because she was reminiscent from her notable Theta letter. Let’s hope not, she’s got herself an entire powerhouse to run. After all she has consistently been on Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful Women.

Betsey Johnson

Betsey is probably the most eccentric yet. Her designs are fun, girly, and make you think twice. You just know she was the best t shirt chair ever. Always the one with a new idea, beating out all the other sororities with her ideas that first you skeptically rolled your eyes at, but with the possibility of the outcome being refreshing and new, you happily obliged.  

Betsey studied at the Pratt Institute and then graduated from Syracuse University, where she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta.

Betsey started her career being an intern with Mademoiselle , and then transitioned to designing working for a New York boutique, Paraphernalia. She then opener her own boutique in New York City’s Upper East Side called Betsey Bunki Nini, releasing a line called Alley Cat. She had her own triumphants and trials but it helped her designs to blossom.

Betsey’s designs are most notable with her bright colors and aesthetics. She creates a variety of jewelry, dresses, and shoes. All very whimsical but she kills it every time.

She has been inducted into the Fashion Walk of Fame in 2002, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Fashion in 2009.

We all know we were once a Betsey fan, throwback to the 6th grade dance when we told our moms that it was Betsey or die for our dress. Betsey was probably the girl in the chapter that brought life to all the events, the one that had a little sparkle in her eye during recruitment.