Former creative director of Tod's, Derek Lam is a fashion designer with an eponymous clothing line, and a bevvy of Hollywood beauties including Sarah Jessica Parker and Katie Holmes sporting his creations.
Lam was born and raised in San Francisco, the youngest of three children to Chinese American parents. He graduated from Parsons in 1990, and worked for four years as an assistant at Michael Kors. Lam left the brand and moved to Hong Kong, but returned home again to work as the Vice President of Design for Michael Kors' Kors clothing line. In 2002, he partnered with Jan-Hendrik Schlottman to found Derek Lam LLC, and debuted the line at 2003 at New York Fashion Week—it was a huge success. A darling of the fashion world, he won the CFDA Perry Ellis Swarovski Award for New Talent in Womenswear in 2005, and was a winner of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund Prize in 2005. In 2007, he won Accessory Designer of the Year at the 2007 CFDA Awards. Lam's line has not only been successful with clothes—including a flagship store at 10 Crosby in NYC, but he has also done the familiar designer branch-out into shoes and accessories, culminating in a 2010 e-commerce website selling a pared down collection of ready-to-wear and accessories. In 2008 the controlling stake of Derek Lam was purchased by the multi-brand luxury goods company LABELUX, allowing Lam creative control and possibilty to expand. In addition to his own clothing line, Lam also started work as as Creative Director for ready-to-wear at luxury fashion brand, Tod's, in 2006 but announced his departure from the line in March 2012.
Lam lives on Greene Street in Soho, blocks away from his store at 10 Crosby.
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