Perry Ellis Net Worth and Biography (American Entrepreneur and Fashion Designer)

Perry Ellis Net worth and Biography

Popular Name: Perry Ellis
Real Name: Perry Edwin Ellis
Birth Date: 3 March 1940
Birth Place: Portsmouth, Virginia, USA
Age: Died at 46
Gender: Male
Nationality: American
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Sexuality: Straight
Marital Status: Single
Spouse(name):
N/A
Children: 1   (Tyler Alexandra Gallagher Ellis)
Profession: Entrepreneur
Years active: 1963 – 1986
Net Worth: $100 million
Last Updated: 2020

Perry Ellis was an American entrepreneur and fashion designer. In the mid 1970s, he founded the eponymous sportswear house and is known for introducing new patterns and proportions around the same period. Perry Ellis net worth at the time of his death in 1986 was estimated at $100 million.

Perry Ellis Early Life

He was born on March 3, 1940 in Portsmouth, Virginia to Edwin and Winifred Rountree Ellis. He was an only child and his father owned a coal and home heating oil company. His was a middle class family which lived comfortably. Ellis attended Woodrow Wilson High School in 1957 and College of William and Mary in Virginia where he graduated in 1961 with a degree in Business Administration. He also studied for a masters degree in retailing at New York University and graduated in 1963.

Perry Ellis Career

Ellis began his career at Miller & Rhoads department store in Richmond, Virginia and here he gained experience in the fashion industry as a buyer and merchandiser. He co founded the Richmond Retail shop, A Sunny Day, while still in Virginia and later left to join a sportswear firm, John Meyer of Norwich in New York. Ellis was commissioned in the 1970s by his employer, The Vera Companies, to design a fashion collection for them and in November 1976, he presented them with his first women’s sportswear line, called Portfolio. Ellis though could not sketch was knowledgeable about the industry and proved to be a master of innovative ideas. He created new classic wears that American women longed during this time.

In 1978, Ellis eventually founded his own fashion house, Perry Ellis International, in partnership with The Vera Companies. Ellis created the Perry Ellis Menswear Collection which was a non- traditional modern classics and included shoes, accessories, furs and perfume.

The company continued to expand throughout the 1980s and by 1986 wholesale revenues had risen to about $260 million.

Ellis received lots of praise professionally and personally and believed that  “fashion dies when you take it too seriously.” He also served from 1984 – 1986 as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

Personal Life

Perry Ellis was never married but had a daughter in 1984, with his long time friend, television producer and writer Barbara Gallagher. The child, Tyler Alexander Gallagher Ellis was conceived through artificial insemination.

He also had a relationship with attorney Laughlin Barker which began in 1981 and remained until her death in January 1986.

Perry Ellis Net Worth

Perry Ellis Net Worth

Legacy and Awards

The annual Perry Ellis Awards now known as the Swarovski Emerging Talent Award was created in 1986 to honor emerging talents in the men’s and women’s fashion designing world.

Though Perry Ellis worked as a designer for a short period, less than a decade,  his work is still seen as incredibly influential over 25 years after his death.

Perry Ellis International is today traded on the NASDAQ under PERY.  It also owns and licenses other notable fashion brands, such as  Rafaella, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Ben Hogan, Original Penguin by Munsingwear, Cubavera, C&C California, Jantzen, Nike Swim and Callaway, among others.

  • He was a recipient of eight Coty Awards between 1979 and 1984, the last year that they were given
  • Ellis in 1981 received the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Fashion Award.
  • Ellis was posthumously awarded a Special Tribute, at the CFDA awards at New York‘s Lincoln Center in 1986,
  • He was honored with a commemorative white bronze plaque embedded into the sidewalk on Seventh Avenue in New York in the so-called Fashion Walk of Fame in 1982.

Perry Ellis Net Worth

Perry Ellis net worth at the time of his death in 1986 was estimated at $100 million. This is equivalent to about $260 million today. Ellis was best known for his eponymous sportswear house and his work is still seen as being very influential 25 years after his death.

Perry Ellis International is today traded on the NASDAQ under PERY.  It also owns and licenses other notable fashion brands, such as  Rafaella, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Ben Hogan, Original Penguin by Munsingwear, Cubavera, C&C California, Jantzen, Nike Swim and Callaway, among others.

Death

Perry Ellis died on May 30 1986 from viral encephalitis. He death was also believed to be AIDS related.

In October 1985, when Ellis appeared on his Fall fashion show, he had lost considerable weight and looked much older. Rumors began to fly that he had contracted AIDS as his partner Laughlin Barker at this time was undergoing chemotherapy for an AIDS related cancer.

Ellis continued to deny that he was sick but after Barker died of lung cancer in January 1986, his health declined rapidly.

 

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