Stephen Burrows (designer)

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Stephen Burrows (born in Newark, New Jersey on May 15, 1943) is an American fashion designer based in New York City.[1]

Fashion career[edit]

In May 2006 the CFDA honored Burrows with "The Board of Directors Special Tribute". Around the same time, Burrows was invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Mode to return to Paris to present his Spring/Summer 2007 Collection in the Carousel de Louvre. In addition to "Stephen Burrows World", Burrows expanded his company to include a number of labels drawn from various points of inspiration. "S by Burrows" was created for a venture with Home Shopping Europe (HSN) in Munich, Germany, while "Everyday Girl" was inspired by Anna Cleveland, daughter to muse and model Pat Cleveland, and "SB73," a cut and sew knit line that was developed based on Burrows' hallmark, color-blocked creations of the seventies. In 1978 Farrah Fawcett wore his gold chainmail dress to the Academy Awards where she was a presenter. Fashion critics have said the dress is one of the most classic "Oscar" dresses of all time. In February 1981 Brooke Shields, at age 15, graced the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine wearing Stephen Burrows. She is the magazines youngest cover model.

First Lady Michelle Obama wore a Burrows Jersey pantsuit to a Washington DC event. Remarking on the significance, Vogue Magazine wrote, "It was a wonderful acknowledgement of Burrows, one of the great African-American designers and a Harlem resident known for his inventive cuts and bias technique."

Also in 2010, Burrows opened his new showroom and design studio in New York City’s Garment Center.


  • Coty American Fashion Critics special award (lingerie), 1974
  • "Winnie," 1977
  • Council of American Fashion Critics award, 1975
  • Knitted Textile Association Crystal Ball award, 1975


Burrows’ work as a fashion designer has been the subject of a series of retrospectives: in "1940-1970's Cut and Style" at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology; "The 1970s" at The Tribute Gallery in New York, and in "Back to Black: Art, Cinema, and the Racial Imaginary" at Whitechapel Gallery in London in June 2005. That same year he was the subject of a documentary by filmmaker Jenny Grenville and is the subject of another documentary under development by Patrick di Santo.


Further readings[edit]

  • NYT article
  • Morris, Bernadine, and Barbara Walz, The Fashion Makers, New York, 1978.
  • Milbank, Caroline Rennolds, New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style, New York, 1989.
  • Stegemeyer, Anne, Who's Who in Fashion, Third Edition, New York, 1996.

External links[edit]