Liz Claiborne Dead at 78
Designer was first woman to found Fortune 500 company
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2007 5:03 AM CDT
This undated photo of fashion designer Liz Claiborne was released in New York by Liz Claiborne, Inc. Claiborne, whose styles became a cornerstone of career women's wardrobes in the 1970s and 1980s,died...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Designer Liz Claiborne, whose styles aimed at career women revolutionized everyday fashion sense in America and brought feminine new looks to the workplace, is dead at 78. She was the first woman founder of a Fortune 500 company. Claiborne died Tuesday in New York, after a lengthy battle with bone cancer.

Claiborne's career began when she won a trip to Paris in a fashion design contest. She launched her brand in 1976, at a time when large numbers of women were entering the workforce. Her colorful and stylish separates are credited with launching the women's sportswear category and changing the way department stores market clothing to working women.