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March 25, 1989 - Image 89

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE MOSES
OF SEVENTH AVENUE

Rebecca Moses
designs clothes that
are comfortable
and travel well.

BY CARLA JEAN SCHWARTZ

Rebecca Moses considers color a
major tool in designing. For this
spring, (left) Moses likes the fluidity of
a boat-neck blouse, long hip-stitched
skirt and matching scarf. White is a
high on Moses' list this spring (far
left), in a safari jacket and long skirt.
Accessories — earrings, belt and shoes
are in the same color. Available at
Roz & Sherm.

he name Moses is
legendary. In biblical
times, Moses parted
the Red Sea. Today,
fashion designer Re-
becca Moses almost
parted Seventh Ave-
nue in a legal dispute
with her ex-partner, Victor
Coopersmith, over the use of her
name. Coopersmith continued to use
the Rebecca Moses label when she
was no longer associated with the
company. The two-year-long battle
ended this past February with
Rebecca Moses victorious in
retaining the exclusive rights to her
name.
But litigation can't keep the
feisty, 30-year-old Moses from
designing. With the determination of
her biblical namesake, she created a
new label — The Moses Collection,
which debuted in fall 1988.
According to retail experts,
name is not an issue. "A name cannot
make or break a product or a
company" state Leonard Berry,
Edwin Lefkowith and Terry Clark in
a recent article in the Harvard
Business Review. The critical
ingredient, they write, is how well
a company's goods or services meet
the consumer's needs.
Rebecca Moses knows her
clients' needs. She designs
comfortable clothes that look
sophisticated and travel well. Her
$2.5 million business, sold in major
department stores and upscale
boutiques, offers women knit
clothes that can be worn year long.
"When I design, I think about
myself. I want clothes that transcend
the seasons — clothes that have a 10-
month life," says Moses, whose
clothes range in price from $150 to
$650.
Spring 1989 epitomizes her

design philosophy of relaxed
dressing with many options. Her knit
and matte jersey styles have a sense
of ease. To the knits that are the basis
of the collection, she adds Irish linen
and silk for crisp detailing. For
speical sporty pieces, she uses suede.
The fabrics are a backdrop for
the brilliant colors Moses mixes and
matches colors like an artist. "I think
color is a major tool in designing. I
am trying to break the rules in color
by putting colors together in a new
way" she says. Moses even considers
one palette a tribute to the artist
Georgia O'Keefe. She mixes neutrals
and soft pastels, then electrifies the
collection with shots of fuchsia,
chartreuse, plum and amber.

Moses and her husband
lead a traditional Jewish
life. She maintains kosher
homes in Manhattan and
Sag Harbor.

Moses has been experimenting
with design since she was 14. "I used
to sketch all the time," she says
recalling her childhood in New
Jersey in a family-oriented Jewish
home. Today, her mother and sister
work for her in the New York
showroom.
Eager to begin her fashion
career, she took extra classes in order
to graduate from high school early.
At age 16, she entered the Fashion
Institute of Technology in New York
City. After graduating with a degree
in fashion, her first job was designing
coats for Gala International, a firm
that handled the Pierre Cardin
account. In 1981, she started her first
namesake company, but had to
change financial backers to Victor
Coopersmith. After that business

SPRING '89 89

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