Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Designer Catherine Malandrino Named Recipient of the 2010 Pratt Institute Fashion Icon Award

Pratt Institute will present the 2010 Pratt Institute Fashion Icon Award to New York-based French designer Catherine Malandrino at its annual fashion runway show at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at The Altman Building at 135 West 18th Street in Manhattan. Malandrino is renowned for her runway and contemporary designs under the labels Malandrino and Catherine Malandrino, respectively.

Malandrino, whose designs have been worn by celebrities worldwide including Julia Roberts, Madonna, Halle Barry, and Sarah Jessica Parker, will be the fifth Fashion Icon to receive this honor from Pratt, following Ralph Rucci in 2009, Carmen Marc Valvo in 2008, Narciso Rodriguez in 2007, and Diane von Furstenberg in 2006.

"Pratt Institute embodies creativity and excellence in all its forms," said Malandrino. "I am so honored to be recognized by such a prestigious leader in the world of design," she added.

The 2010 Pratt Fashion Show will feature the work of select graduating seniors from the program. The designs to be shown on the runway will be pre-selected by a panel of fashion industry critics and will span several categories of apparel including women's, men's, evening, bridal, sportswear, and costume design. One of the most prestigious colleges for art, design and architecture in the world, Pratt Institute is home to the first fashion design program in the United States.

"Catherine Malandrino's European sense of style and the way she expresses her individual voice through her designs is greatly admired by the students in this year's graduating class," said Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, acting chair of the Pratt Fashion Design Department. "We are thrilled that she will be Pratt's 2010 Fashion Icon."

Malandrino was born in the French Alps and educated at ESMOD, Paris. Following graduation, she worked at the Paris couture houses of Dorothée Bis, Louis Féraud, Emanuel Ungaro, and in the 1990s was the creative force at the French label ‘Et Vous.' She moved to New York City with Bernard Aidan, her partner in love and life, in 1998. That same year she presented her first collection in New York titled "Collage."

Malandrino received acclaim for the patriotic, audacious, and feminine designs that were presented as part of her now-iconic "Flag" collection at New York Fashion Week in 2001. The collection included the silk "Flag" dress, which has since been exhibited at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London and has become a best-seller. That same year, she presented her "Hallelujah" collection at New York's renowned Apollo Theater in Harlem and in 2002 her SoHo boutique was featured in the hit cable television series Sex and the City.

Malandrino currently designs two collections: her contemporary Catherine Malandrino line and her runway line Malandrino that features shoes and accessories including jewelry, handbags, and belts.

The company operates 11 boutiques in cities including Paris, Moscow, Istanbul, and Las Vegas, with collections represented in more than 400 stores worldwide. Malandrino opened a concept store Catherine Malandrino Maison in Los Angeles in 2008 that features a traditional retail space with a café, library, and outdoor terrace. Her first UK outlet, a shop-in-shop located at renowned shopping institution Harrods of London, opened in 2009. According to Aidan, the company plans to open 25 stores in Asia over the next five years and five stores in the Middle East over the next three years, in addition to beginning an expansion of the brand within the United States.

Malandrino was a guest judge on the full second season of cable network BRAVO's Make Me a Supermodel television program, which follows a group of men and women who compete for $100,000 and a contract with New York Model Management. She was also featured in a four-page print ad campaign for the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo automobile that was inspired by her nomadic lifestyle in the United States and in her native France.

Malandrino recently presented her "Khan" collection as part of the 2010 New York City Fashion week. The collection was inspired by Central Asia and the nomadic lifestyle and included body-conscious and layered garments of wool, goat coats and trims, and leather. Also included the more feminine, signature looks of velvet and chiffon.

Malandrino supports local and national charities from both a personal and corporate perspective. Most recently, Malandrino teamed with musical artist Mary J. Blige on a collaborative tee-shirt line titled "FFAWN+Catherine Malandrino," which sold out of all 700 tee-shirts at the line's launch at Bloomingdale's on February 17. A portion of the proceeds from the line will benefit FFAW: Foundation for the Achievement of Women Now! - a charity founded by Blige in 2008 to empower women to gain the confidence and skills they need for success.

Members of the press should contact Amy Aronoff at 718.636.3554 or aarono29@pratt.edu to attend the 2010 Pratt Fashion Show. Credentials will be required.