Barnes bags Marymount Varsity 'Designer of Year' award

12 Sep '13
3 min read

Jhane Barnes has been selected to receive Marymount University's 2014 Designer of the Year Award at Portfolio in Motion, the annual student fashion show. The show and award presentation will be held on the evening of Thursday, May 1, in the University's Rose Benté Lee Center, located on Marymount's Main Campus.

Marymount's Designer of the Year Award is presented each year to a fashion designer who has achieved excellence in the field and has captured the imagination of both the fashion industry and the public. Jhane Barnes joins an illustrious list of honorees that includes Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Isabel Toledo, Oscar de la Renta, Eileen Fisher, and Tadashi Shoji.

Jhane Barnes first became known for her creative menswear, which features unusual details and silhouettes, as well as unique fabrics. In 1980, at the age of 25, she was the youngest person and the first woman to win the prestigious Coty American Fashion Critics Award for Menswear. Among her earliest customers were John Lennon, Paul Simon, Elton John, Robin Williams, John Travolta, Jack Nicholson, and Danny Glover.

Over the years, Ms. Barnes has expanded her design work -- using math, especially fractals, to create textiles and patterns for fashion, eyewear, furniture, and flooring. She designed textiles for Knoll for 14 years and, in her role designing flooring for Tandus since 1996, she has used her math and technology-driven approach to change the way modular floor tiles are installed – making it easier, less wasteful, and more cost-effective.

Ms. Barnes is known for her exclusive, signature textile techniques developed with mills around the world, in some cases using top-secret technologies. Her textiles and their application for menswear and contract interior markets are innovative. As a result, Ms. Barnes' textiles have garnered numerous awards, including the Chicago Athenaeum Museum's Good Design Award, "Best of Neocon Awards," and several from the International Interior Design Association.

Today, Jhane Barnes' newest collections of interior textiles can be found at She is also launching new products, including EnviroLeather upholstery for LDI, and vibrant signage for Takeform.

Ms. Barnes is excited to refocus her energies on contract interiors projects, as she moves on from the fashion world after more than 35 successful years. Since the announcement of her exit from fashion following fall 2013, Ms. Barnes has received an onslaught of emails from her fans, many of whom have closets full of her clothing dating back to the 1980s. In many men's eyes, Ms. Barnes' signature look – artistic, colorful, innovative, and highly textured – is irreplaceable. 

Portfolio in Motion is the culminating academic project for Marymount University's fashion design and fashion merchandising students, and every aspect – from the jury-selected student designs to all elements of the show's production – reflects their academic and creative efforts. After seeing the show, Jhane Barnes will review the senior fashion design students' portfolios – sharing her expertise and giving invaluable advice as these students begin their fashion careers.

Marymount University

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