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Peggy Moffitt (b. 1939) was the famous model, muse, and collaborator of 1960s LA designer Rudi Gernreich. In 1958 she fell in love with a photographer named William Claxton and they married in 1960. William had been photographing fashion designs by Rudi Gernreich since 1956 and two years after her marriage Peggy started working for Rudi as a model.

Fame came in 1964 when Peggy wore Gernreich’s infamous topless bathing suit, the “monokini”, and the two continued to work together for many years. She was not only his model and inspiration but also his collaborator, working with him as an equal on designs and shows.

When he died aged 63 in 1985 Peggy held the trademark on Gernreich’s name and in 1999 she allowed an exhibition of Rudi Gernreich’s designs to be held, even modeling them herself. Peggy had decided that “Rudi absolutely changed the vocabulary of fashion… The world has picked at his bones for years and I want him to be acknowledged for what he did” and decided that releasing his designs back into the market was the best way to do this.

She signed a deal to recreate his designs with avant-garde Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo who was the designer of the Comme des Garcons label. Working together with full access to Gernreich’s archives, they prepared a collection of items which were launched 2003. In July the line was introduced when Comme Des Garcons began selling a series of T-shirts displaying Peggy’s image and the Peggy Moffitt range of pop art shirts and trousers went on sale that September.

Written by PremierLudwig

from a 2003 tee shirt - Courtesy of premierludwig

from a 2003 tee shirt

Courtesy of premierludwig