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The Prince of Fashion


From Park Avenue to Del Mar, designer Douglas Hannant designs “modern classics” for the chic, well-heeled woman who, he insists, is virtually the same in any city. “She travels the world, she collects, she’s very philanthropic,” says Hannant of his clients. They include Sheryl White, who wore a hand-painted sequin gown from Hannant’s “graffiti collection,” inspired by the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, when she co-chaired the 2010 “Monte Carlo Does Bond” gala. “That’s the biggest consideration when I design clothing,” says Hannant. “Who’s this for, and where is she going to wear it?”


Called the “Prince of Park Avenue” because of his A-list clients, Hannant has a namesake boutique in the Shops at The Plaza (Hotel) on New York’s Fifth Avenue, but also sells at trunk shows around the world. Born in the Midwest, he dreamed of moving to New York, where eventually, Bergdorf’s showcased his designs, and where the legendary Geoffrey Beene became his mentor. But Hannant never forgot his practical roots: “In the Midwest, we’re very genuine,” he says, “I think you see that in the clothes. That’s something that I think is a key ingredient.”


Hannant’s fall 2013 collection, shown recently at White’s Del Mar home, features impeccably tailored separates, smart dresses that go from day to night, and dramatic evening gowns. “Good design should last forever,” he says, “but not classics the way you’ve always seen them.” He believes in always adding “an element of surprise, something unexpected” to his designs. “It has to be chic, but it has to be a little sexy at the same time. It’s a balance of the two.” (www.douglashannant.com)


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