Liz Claiborne – An Iconic American Fashion Brand

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Liz Claiborne

Asha Pabla earned a degree in interior design from Parsons School of Design after completing the undergraduate program in the same field at Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science (now Philadelphia University). In her studies, Asha Pabla concentrated on the history and use of textiles. Her formal education and interest in fashion proved instrumental in finding work as a fashion designer with Liz Claiborne in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

More than just a label on stylish, affordable women’s clothing, Liz Claiborne was the first female entrepreneur whose company achieved a ranking on the Forbes 500. From its founding in 1976 through the 1990s, the company enjoyed widespread popularity among professional women and demonstrated resilience during tough economic cycles.

Born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1929, Anne Elisabeth Jane Claiborne started her company in New York to meet demand for an alternative to the often starched and fussy business suits of the 1970s. In partnership with her husband, she created and marketed a wide range of well-designed yet easy-care, mix-and-match sportswear in vibrant color palettes.

The company hit its peak in the mid-1980s. As it entered the Forbes list, its sales easily surpassed the $5 million mark.

SAYA’s Leadership and Identity Development Programs


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Accomplished fashion designer Asha Pabla collaborated on unique designs for Liz Claiborne for several years. She was responsible for each design’s quality control and oversaw the quality of garments’ shaping, fit, and stitching. Now focusing on her philanthropic work, Asha Pabla serves on the board of directors for the South Asian Youth Association.

As part of its mission to help youth thrive personally, professionally, and academically, the South Asian Youth Association (SAYA) maintains several comprehensive programs, including its leadership and identity development programs. These programs designed for young men and women in high school helps these individuals develop their social and personal identities. They also improve critical-thinking skills and foster a sense of peer support and trust.

SAYA offers various activities, discussions, and reflections within its leadership and identity programs. All programs maintain a culturally affirmative environment and help youth handle challenges relating to such topics as race and gender. Participants challenge the existing stereotypes through group discussions and complete various projects focused on getting them out of their comfort zone.

Meanwhile, they explore potential career interests through guest speakers and regular workplace trips. SAYA also hosts an annual career exploration day that gives youth the opportunity to learn about different professional and educational options.