Designers at Symphony
Born October 24, 1980 in New York City to parents Stephen Posen, a painter, and Susan Posen, a corporate lawyer, Zac Posen was raised in Manhattan’s trendy Soho neighborhood, immersed in what one New York Times account called “the art-and-money scenes of the 80s and 90s.” Posen was a fashion fanatic from an early age, cutting up scraps of fabric as soon as he could wield scissors. “I was not a young fashion victim,” Posen said of his early experiences. “I really had an idea of what I liked in fashion and how I dressed.” His childhood friends were also highly creative, and included neighbours such as actress Claire Danes and the daughters of artist Julian Schnabel. Zac Posen launched his namesake label at the tender age of 21. His first show—in 2002, in a former synagogue on the Lower East Side—received mixed reviews, but generated major buzz among young socials (including Barbara Bush) and industry insiders. Posen’s work has gained respect for its increasingly streamlined aesthetic of forties-inflected tailoring, mermaid-esque gowns, and itty-bitty cocktail frocks. He enlisted his mother Susan as CEO (she has since stepped down, and serves as Chairman) and his sister Alexandra as creative director, and in 2004, Sean Combs became a much-publicized backer. That same year, the CFDA gave Posen Swarovski’s Perry Ellis Award for Womenswear.