Fashion designer Stephen Burrows started making clothes as a child under the guidance of his grandmother. Upon graduation from the Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey, Mr. Burrows was hired as a fashion designer for Weber Originals. In 1968 he co-founded O Boutique in New York City and launched a ready-to-wear collection for the upscale department store Bonwit Teller with his friend Roz Rubenstein. The following year, Mr. Burrows was introduced to Geraldine Stutz, President of Henri Bendel, and was offered his own boutique called Stephen Burrows World. The success of the boutique allowed him to cater to celebrity clientele, such as Diana Ross, Cher, and Barbra Streisand. He eventually left Bendel’s to start Burrows Inc. and began working on Seventh Avenue. That same year, Mr. Burrows was one of five American designers invited to show his clothes on the runway of Versailles, where he received rave reviews and became the first African American designer to gain international fame. In 2010 he designed a collection for Target and opened a showroom and design studio in New York City’s Garment District. He became Designer and President of Stephen Burrows Ltd. in 2013.
Mr. Burrows has been honored with three Coty American Fashion Critics’ Awards, the Council of American Fashion Critics Award, and the Knitted Association Crystal Ball Award. He was named to the Fashion Walk of Fame and received the CFDA’s board of directors’ Special Tribute Award. In addition, he has been honored with lifetime achievement awards from the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Pratt Institute.
Mr. Burrows attended the Philadelphia Museum College of Art and later graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology.