It seems all too often that with the highs in the fashion industry comes devastating lows. On Sunday January 30, 2011 the fashion world experienced this kind of tragedy. Renowned designer and political supporter, Charles Nolan passed away in his Manhattan home from cancer of the neck and brain. He was 53.
Throughout is long and brilliant career, Charles Nolan became best known for his work with women in the politics. With a long list of successful runs with high-end labels such as Bill Blass, Ellen Tracy, Christian Dior and Anne Klein, Nolan had earned a reputation as an innovator and a miracle worker. After resurrecting the Anne Klein label from possible bankruptcy and turning it into a company with a price tag of 163 million dollars, Nolan left the Anne Klein label to volunteer for Howard Dean’s Presidential campaign in 2003. Since then, he has led extensive fundraising talent and support throughout many Presidential campaigns including the campaign for Barack Obama.
In 2004 Charles Nolan established his own line and opened up a boutique on 30 Gansevoort Street in New York. The label, which gives a true polished and sophisticated look, is highly sought after in the professional world. He also designed an exclusive line for Saks Fifth Avenue and was said to be one of the first American designers to offer a wide price range, making his clothes accessible to a larger demographic.
Some of Nolan’s private clients included Tipper Gordon who put Nolan in the spotlight by wearing the Charles Nolan label to the 2000 Democratic Convention. Nolan has also famously publicized the ‘wearable’ nature of his clothes and even recruited individuals such as John Kerry’s sister, Peggy Kerry, John F. Kennedy’s daughter Kerry Kennedy, and Olympic swimmer, Darra Torres to walk the runway in his shows. He defined what it meant to design for the everyday man and woman.
Whether he was dressing the leaders of our world, or putting on amazing, chic runway shows, Charles Nolan did so with the utmost grace and poise. He left us leaving a legacy of courage and magic and for that we thank you Charles Nolan.
From all of us at the Marquis of Fashion: Fashion Collections, our thoughts and prayers are with the Nolan family.
Charles Nolan is survived by his partner of 16 years Andrew Tobias, and his immediate family including four brothers and four sisters.