American socialite, fashion designer, actor, author, and businesswoman Gloria Vanderbilt. Gloria Vanderbilt was born into a wealthy and influential family, but instead of spending her time lounging around, she pursued a successful career as a fashion designer and artist.
Gloria Vanderbilt Net Worth
At a young age, Gloria lost her father. In 1925, he gave his whole $5 million estate to his daughter, making her the only heir to the Vanderbilt fortune. That is equivalent to almost $70 million in today’s dollars after adjusting for inflation.
Gloria’s mother and aunt reportedly had a custody and trust money dispute over their daughter. The Whitney Museum’s namesake aunt eventually gained custody.
Vanderbilt became famous after lending her name to a line of designer jeans and fragrances sold in exclusive boutiques across the world. Inflation-adjusted, her 1980s earnings of $10 million in royalties from her jeans represent almost $30 million now. Her fashion career peaked during this time.
Gloria once granted power of attorney to her psychiatrist, Dr. Christ Zois, and her attorney, Thomas Andrews. She filed a lawsuit against them in 1993, claiming that they had stolen millions of dollars and sold her business holdings without her permission. By the time the court found in Vanderbilt’s favor, Andrews had already died.
She lost $1.79 million in court and never saw a dime of it. The New York Bar Association’s Victims of Fraud fund later gave her $300,000. Andrews had also neglected to pay Gloria’s taxes for several years, resulting in a $2.5 million arrears to the Internal Revenue Service. The debt was so great that she reportedly had to sell several of her properties.
How Gloria Vanderbilt Builted a Denim Empire?
As Vanderbilt’s fame grew in the 1960s and 1970s as a model, artist, and actress, she also dabbled in the fashion industry by releasing a line of high-end denim pants.
During the 1980s, when her fashion empire was at its height, she made as much as $200 million in sales. The New York Times and Forbes reported significantly different annual revenue figures.
According to an interview she gave to People, her denim empire began when she began working for a brand called Murjani, but she had previously worked as a clothing designer.
She explained, “I transitioned from running my own dress design business to running my own blouse design business for Murjani. Warren Hersch was a marketing mastermind. He mentioned to me once that Murjani had a lot of denim fabric stashed away in Hong Kong. So I suggested, “Hey, why don’t we make jeans? Like, a pair of jeans that actually fit?”
Dark, comfortable denim pants with the white Vanderbilt swan insignia were a wardrobe must-have of the ’80s. “I’m not knocking inherited money,” Vanderbilt told The New York Times, “but the money I’ve made has a reality to me that inherited money doesn’t have.”
Later, she branched out into other areas, selling accessories like shoes and scarves in addition to things like table linens and fine china for the home.
In the 1980s, she reportedly sold Gitano the rights to use the name “Gloria Vanderbilt” for an undisclosed sum, as reported by the Associated Press. Jones Apparel Group Inc., which paid $138 million to acquire Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel Corp. in 2002, was named as the licensee of her stretch jeans, it was reported.
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