Original Halston logo
|Born||Roy Halston Frowick
April 23, 1932
Des Moines, Iowa, USA
|Died||March 26, 1990 (aged 57)
San Francisco, California, USA
Roy Halston Frowick, also known as Halston (April 23, 1932 – March 26, 1990) was a clothing designer of the 1970s. His long dresses or copies of his style were popular fashion wear in mid-1970s discotheques.
Roy Halston Frowick was born on April 23, 1932 in Des Moines, Iowa, the second son of a Norwegian-American accountant. Roy developed an interest in sewing from his mother, and he began creating hats and altering clothes for his mother and sister as a child. Roy graduated Bosse High School in Evansville, Indiana in 1950, then attended Indiana University for one semester. In 1952, the family moved to Chicago, where Roy enrolled in a night course at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and worked as a window dresser from the age of 18.
Frowick's first big break came when the Chicago Daily News ran a brief story on his fashionable hats. In 1957, he opened his first shop, the Boulevard Salon, on North Michigan Avenue. It was at this point that he began to use his middle name as his professional moniker.
Halston moved to New York City in late 1957, first working for milliner Lilly Daché. Within a year, he had been named co-designer at Daché, became acquainted with several fashion editors and publishers, and left Daché's studio to become head milliner for department store Bergdorf Goodman.
Halston achieved great fame after designing the pillbox hat Jacqueline Kennedy wore to her husband's 1961 presidential inauguration, and when he moved to designing women's wear, Newsweek dubbed him "the premier fashion designer of all America." His designs were worn by Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, Anjelica Huston, Lauren Bacall, Babe Paley, and Elizabeth Taylor, setting a style that would be closely associated with the international jet set of the era.
As "the first designer to realize the potential of licensing himself," his influence went beyond style to reshape the business of fashion. Through his licensing agreement with JC Penney, his designs were accessible to women at a variety of income levels. Although this practice is not uncommon today, it was a controversial move at the time Halston, his perfume, was sold in a bottle designed by Elsa Peretti and was the second biggest selling perfume of all time.
Halston was very influential in airline uniform designs. His designs were featured on the now-defunct carrier Braniff. His designs were more muted than the airline's past uniform designs by Emilio Pucci. He made interchangeable separates in shades of bone, tan, taupe, and brown. He also designed the seat covers that were added on the aircraft and known as the "Ultra look".
Halston was a homosexual, and was never married.
Despite his achievements, his increasing drug use and failure to meet deadlines (he was reluctant to hire junior designers to design licensed products) undermined his success. In October 1984, he was fired from his own company and lost the right to design and sell clothes under his own name.