Our first speaker for the year 2019/2020 will be Ben de Lisi. The meeting will be at Great Fosters hotel
Born with an innate sense of style, Ben has made his mark on the world of fashion and interiors. With a focus on beautiful fabrics and innovative design, Ben’s distinctive look is sexy, vibrant and modern – for home or the wardrobe. Growing up on Long Island by the sea, Ben showed an artistic flair from an early age, going on to major in Sculpture and Painting at the Pratt Institute of Art. He began working in the fashion industry soon after this, painting fabric by the metre for a young unknown designer, and later began creating clothes in the very fabric he painted.
In 1979, Ben launched his first menswear collaboration in New York. The capsule range of sportswear comprising knits, jackets, trousers and shirts was sold throughout America in iconic stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's and Macy’s. A few years later, in 1982, Ben moved to London to pursue his dream of becoming a fashion designer and it was here that he produced his first capsule collection. He developed a signature style epitomised by modern elegance, with his beautiful long dresses becoming his trademark.
In 1992 Ben joined Debenhams with his hugely successful BDL by Ben de Lisi collection which has become one of the largest selling ranges within the Womenswear ‘Designers at Debenhams’ portfolio.
Over the years Ben has received a host of accolades for his work including winning the highly coveted British Glamour Designer of the Year award twice in a row (1994 and 1995), 1995 also being the year he began showcasing his collections at London Fashion Week. Further down the line in 2007 Ben was awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to fashion by the University of Northamptonshire, before receiving a second honorary doctorate by the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.