Los Angeles fashion director Cameron Silver will talk at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at Whittenberger Auditorium about his best-selling book “Decades: A Century of Fashion” and will cover the history of 20th century fashion.
“I can’t wait to see the local style of Bloomington and meet the students that are getting educated in fashion design and merchandising,” Silver said.
Silver was named one of Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Names and Faces in Fashion” in 2002. He also served as the fashion director for the brand H by Halston and starred in the Bravo TV show “The Dukes of Melrose.” His talk is a part of the Bill Blass Fashion Design Seminar Series.
“It’s not often that we get to have someone who is such a creative business professional impart their years of experience with such a varied background,” said Deborah Christiansen, IU fashion design area coordinator. “He brings a variety of experiences to our merchandising and design areas.”
Before Silver published his book in 2012, he opened the renowned vintage boutique Decades in Los Angeles without any previous experience in 1997. The store went on to become a world leader in vintage and modern designer clothing.
“I was a novelty, I was 27 years old, L.A. Native,” Silver said. “I found a great building on a sort of underdeveloped part of Melrose Avenue and with not so much capital, opened a store that fairly quickly became a major, global destination.”
When he started out, Silver said he became fascinated with finding vintage pieces that appeared modern, and he used this passion as inspiration for the store.
“I loved the idea that vintage provided a one-of-a-kind moment,” Silver said. “I didn’t do basic and I didn’t do boring.”
Many celebrities such as Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez came into Decades when the store first opened. Since then, Silver has worked with celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna and some of the Kardashians.
On top of this, Silver said he considers himself a fashion philanthropist. He is involved in curating fashion in museums and is a big believer in fashion-based charities. He also said he loves working with students to encourage them to pursue fashion.
Silver said he enjoys being a mentor to younger people and having the responsibility of being a positive role model for students. Likewise, he said he hopes to learn just as much from IU students as they do from him during the visit.
“I get inspired,” Silver said. “I want to know what young people are thinking, what young people are wearing. It keeps me relevant.”
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