The precocious and exceedingly ambitious Posen has been a fashion star since the tender age of 21. The son of a painter (dad) and a mergers and acquisitions attorney (mom), Posen grew up in New York as an early-blossoming socialite amid a heady art and finance crowd. He attended the prestigious Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, and, at 16, landed an internship with the legendary Richard Martin of the Met's Costume Institute. After attending Parsons for a while, Posen dropped out and enrolled at London's Central Saint Martins College, later abandoning the program to return to New York and start his label in 2001. While there's little question that Posen's enormously talented (a 2004 CFDA Swarovski-Perry Ellis award for emerging talent confirmed this), a good deal of his star status is due to his relentless networking skills, which hasn't always endeared him to critics. Regardless, his dresses make perpetual appearances on high-profile red carpets, worn by stars such as Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Beyoncé, Angelina Jolie, and Naomi Campbell. While a student at NYU, Ashley Olsen was an intern at Posen's company. In 2008, Posen launched a collaboration with Target, bridging his celebrity designs to a new audience. Posen now lives in SoHo, his childhood neighborhood, with his boyfriend, stylist Christopher Niquet.

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