Fashion & Beauty

Perry Ellis: An American Original

In the late ’70s, spirited young designer, Perry Ellis introduced a fresh, witty and relaxed new sensibility to American sportswear, initially for women and a few years later, for men. The clothes were easy, oversized, slouchy, but classic at heart and they caused a sensation. Ellis, who once told the New York Times that he "always made a determined effort to do something different," did just that, creating a series of signature looks such as his “dimple” sleeves and single-cabled sweaters that set his clothes apart from everyone else’s. Nearly three decades after his untimely death, the legacy of the designer Ellis is still very much felt : PERRY ELLIS: An American Original is the first complete monograph to celebrate his exceptional career. 
The beautifully illustrated book showcases Ellis’s designs through a combination of photography and sketches, providing an insightful look at each season of his career, from 1976 to 1986, offering readers unique access to editorial and ad campaign photographs from the archives of brilliant photographer Erica Lennard, with whom Ellis worked  almost exclusively.  Included here are ephemera, a treasure trove of drawings, and never-before-published photos from the personal collections of the designer’s friends and family, adding insight to Ellis’s unique aesthetic while solidifying his place as one of the key contemporary designers of American fashion.

About The Author

Jeffrey Banks is a Coty Award–winning fashion designer of men’s and women’s apparel.  He is the co-author of Tartan: Romancing the Plaid and Preppy: Cultivating Ivy StyleErica Lennard is an internationally renowned photographer whose books include Secret Gardens of Hollywood and American Writers at HomeDoria de La Chapelle is a freelance writer who is co-author of Tartan: Romancing the Plaid and Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style. She has written on fashion, beauty, and style for Mademoiselle and other publications.  Marc Jacobs is the designer for his eponymous fashion label, and his diffusion line Marc by Marc Jacobs; and he has been Louis Vuitton’s creative director since 1997.

  • Publish Date: October 22, 2013
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Design - Fashion & Accessories
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9 x 12
  • Pages: 288
  • US Price: $75.00
  • CDN Price: $75.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4070-0


“Rare photos and interviews with Ellis’ close friends and family paint a portrait of a man who not only defined an aesthetic, but changed the landscape of fashion forever.” ~Out Magazine

“Perry Ellis tome traces storied career. The designer's influential career is detailed in a sweeping new monograph....illustrated with a trove of photographs...Surprisingly, this is the first comprehensive examination of Perry Ellis’ life and work, apart from a biography penned in 1988 immediately following the designer’s death. The tome has an in-depth biography of Ellis woven into the pictorial history…” ~Women’s Wear Daily
“…you are reminded that this was a blip on the radar as the man, Perry Ellis, had an extremely brief career, and that he has influenced fashion more than you realize in the decades following his untimely death. This lovingly told tale is remembered by those who were there and those who participated in his life…This is not a sappy chronicle or diary but an insightful, warmly related dialogue about a designer who was light years ahead of his time and would be considered an exception in today’s world rather than the rule.

As a veteran of the fashion trenches, this book can be viewed and appreciated on multiple levels and by many categories of readers. It can be viewed as cautionary, fairy tale like, instructive, sentimental, and commemorative, but it will jar your memories and enlarge and refresh your perspectives on the topic of American fashion. Perry Ellis: An American Original is a gift to all who love fashion and the creative process. Consider this a genuine and heartfelt eulogy for one of the great designers of the 20th century.” ~New York Journal of Books

Author Bookshelf: Jeffrey Banks

Author Bookshelf: Marc Jacobs