The National Arts Club Honors William Calvert

This Thursday night, The National Arts Club Fashion Committee will honorWilliam Calvert of  Callulalillibelle with the 2011 Innovator Award. The award was established in 2006 to provide a platform for artists in the fashion industry who are revolutionary and fearless in their approach to fashion. From first time launches to reinventions, The National Arts Club Fashion Committee salutes artists who they believe have a balance of courage, ambition and the potential to become a legend in years to come. Past Innovator Award recipients include Richy Rich & Traver Rains of Heatherette, Sam Shipley & Jeff Halmos of Shipley and Halmos, and Bibhu Mohapatra.

William is no stranger to, He was our choice for best new young designer of 1997: See our article.  Born & raised in Baltimore, MD, William Calvert obtained his fashion design degree from Philadelphia University and went on to study at Accademia Italiana della Moda in Florence, Italy. After graduation Calvert worked for the legendary design houses of Balenciaga, Balmain, and Rochas.

Upon his return to the United States Calvert was presented with the opportunity to design and develop several collections for American label Diane Von Furstenberg. Calvert launched William Calvert, his couture collection, in 1998. Calvert worked in cashmere, crepes wool and silk jerseys. He was known for his sophisticated one seam narrow columns of fitted construction that spiral around the body. The dresses’ were clean, low-key silhouettes that evolve out of complex wrap techniques.

Within the first few years of business, Calvert received the first – ever Moet & Chandon Designer Debut award, as well as Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award. An ensuing documentary on the Metro Channel Runway featured his work and Calvert was also courted by Perry Ellis Woman and J.Mendel to creative consult.

In 2009, Calvert’s great sense of design combined with Melanie Fraser Hart’s encompassing vision spurred the creation of Callula Lillibelle. The collection incorporates the shifting needs and ever-fluctuating landscape of the modern woman’s lifestyle, diffusing Calvert’s tradition of couture into contemporary “Desk to Dinner” silhouettes at an affordable price. For Calvert, this latest installment of sartorial sensations reflects his unique aesthetic perspective and his commitment to elaborating on women’s fashion options.

Featured in WWD, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, O the Oprah Magazine, Redbook, Essence, Real Simple and with retailers including Cusp by Neiman Marcus & Saks Fifth Avenue Dubai, Callula Lillibelle has received the fashion industry’s attention in just a short amount of time. In addition, the brand recently presented its Fall 2011 collection in ‘The Box’ at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week in February of this year.

The National Arts Club is located at 15 Gramercy Park South. For more information please contact Dana Bethune at Deborah Hughes Inc: or 212-727-2220.

-Ernest Schmatolla



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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