Loan from the Elizabeth Sage Historic Costume Collection, Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, Indiana University
Exhibitions

Bill Blass: Fort Wayne’s Fashion Designer

June 22, 2022 - September 18, 2022

In honor of his 100th birthday, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art is proud to present Bill Blass: Fort Wayne’s Fashion Designer 

Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Blass’ signature simple yet striking designs are not only distinctly American—they are clearly tied to his upbringing in the relaxed and conservative Midwest. The son of a dressmaker, Blass grew up sketching in his modest home on Calhoun Street and taking classes at the Fort Wayne Art School. Although his journey from small-town army trooper to leading designer was not quick nor easy, his impressive 50-year career in the fashion industry exemplifies in many ways the American Dream.  

This first ever exhibition of Blass’ designs in Fort Wayne takes viewers on a journey of his career from the 1950s to the 2000s. The selections displayed not only demonstrate the shift and craft of fashion throughout these decades, but also the development of Blass’ no-fuss Midwest-American style.  

Be sure to view the other segment of this two-part exhibition, located at the History Center, which focuses on Blass’ youth in Fort Wayne, his military achievements in the Ghost Army, and his contributions to marketing and branding. More information on this city-wide celebration can be found at HERE.

This exhibition is curated by Jenna Gilley, Associate Curator of Exhibitions, and made possible by loans from the Elizabeth Sage Historic Costume Collection, Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, Indiana University.  

This exhibition is sponsored by