Stuart has been dressing uptown girls who go downtown to shop for two decades.
Stuart's parents owned a popular '60s Manhattan clothing store called Mister Pants, which dressed celebs of the day like Natalie Wood and Lucille Ball. Stuart leveraged those connections to jump-start her own career: after studying at RISD, Stuart opened her first boutique on the Upper East Side in 1988. Just a few years later, her accessories line had made it on to the shelves of Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf's. Her label picked up a lot more steam in 1996 after she cut a licensing deal with Japanese company Itochu and opened over two dozen stores in Asia, which soon earned her rock star status in the Far East. In 1998, she opened a massive SoHo store on Greene Street, and today her frilly, girly dresses and skirts are sold in more than 200 stores worldwide.
Stuart remains a bit more popular in Japan than the U.S. But she's recently been busy trying to boost her company on both sides of the Pacific. Unfortunately, one of her major publicity campaigns in 2007 nearly backfired when she booked trainwreck Lindsay Lohan to appear in a series of ads. Some of Stuart's Japanese investors thought Lohan's image was a little unbecoming following her arrest, and counseled Stuart to scrap the campaign. But she pressed ahead and the ads ran as planned, druggy starlet and all.
Stuart and her husband, Ron Curtis, have a daughter, Sophie. [Image via Getty]