“Gary Graham’s many washed and frayed skirts and boned dresses displayed more inventiveness—one might say even more rebel courage. He used fabrics like pale silk organza and plain old Oxford cloth, army twill for close-fitting jackets, and as romantic as everything was, you never had the feeling that it was drowning in Southern syrup.” Cathy Horyn from the New York Times
Gary Graham is a designer with the visionary eye of a fine artist and a passion for process and traditional craft. Inspired by a deep sense of history that goes beyond fashion, Graham references and reinterprets idiosyncratic elements from period influences, eclectic art and outsider cultures. Juxtaposition is key: tone and tactility, raw and refined, dark and light, innocence and seduction, fantasy and utility. Signature elements—washed and dyed fabrics, intricate detailing, fluid silhouettes—contrast and coalesce to lend an ethereal air of romance and discreet drama. The result: a renegade glamour without artifice that endures from season to season as each collection evolves from the last, imbued with a rich sense of the serendipitous journey entailed.
Today Graham’s atelier is based in New York City where he shows his womens’ ready-to-wear collection twice-yearly during Fashion Week. His clientele continues to grow, attracting independent, creative women who seek originality and individual style. His loyal following includes well-known actresses and other major innovators in the arts: Meredith Monk, Julia Roberts, Taylor Swift, Mary Steenburgen, Marisa Tomei, Gina Gershon, Parker Posey, Helena Bonham Carter, Karen O and Sunrise Ruffalo, among others.
Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, Graham studied painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art and subsequently graduated with a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The designer launched his first collection in 1999 which was sold at Soho’s iconic If Boutique. In 2006, Graham opened the first designer clothing boutique at ABC Carpet & Home in New York.
Graham established his own boutique in 2009. Located on a side street in Tribeca, the store is both spare and elegant yet warm and tactile—and embodies a rogue spirit not unlike the spirit captured by his enduring collections. The boutique achieved an instant cult following and the same year, Graham was honored as a CFDA/Vogue finalist. In 2010, Graham received the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Legend of Fashion Award. The Gary Graham collection is available in select specialty stores worldwide and has developed a discerning global clientele. His designs have been featured in Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Japan, Elle, Glamour, InStyle, New York Magazine, Interview Magazine and more.
The arts have figured prominently in Gary Graham’s trajectory as a designer. With a background in costume design, Graham has been active in many theatrical projects. In 1997, he designed textiles and assisted Julie Taymor on the costumes for the much acclaimed The Lion King. Graham also worked with costume designer Jacqueline West on the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The prominent composer Meredith Monk wears Graham exclusively and continues to collaborate with him. In 2008, his quilted coat was included in the Phoenix Art Museum's 2009 Medialism: Fashion’s Romance with the Middle Ages. In 2009, RISD museum acquired a jacquard coat from the designer’s fall collection inspired by a 1774 Spanish-Flemish engraving. In 2014, Graham participated in the American Folk Art Museum’s “Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art.” His custom-made jacquard ensemble was featured on Vogue.com