Jessica McClintock was a fashion designer who owned Gunne Sax, creating popular prom and wedding dresses for a generation of women.
- Died: February 16, 2021 (Who else died on February 16?)
- Details of death: Died in her sleep of natural causes at her home in San Francisco at the age of 90.
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Designing romantic fashions
McClintock began designing for Gunne Sax in 1969, and by 1970, she had taken over the brand. The dresses she created often drew on elements from a romantically-imagined past, including corset bodices and puffed sleeves, as well as fabrics like lace, brocade, and dotted swiss. Gunne Sax quickly gained in popularity, and by the ‘80s, it was one of the most dominant formalwear brands for women, popularly chosen for weddings, proms, and other special occasions. Her fans included Hillary Clinton, who wore a Jessica McClintock dress for her 1975 wedding to President Bill Clinton. In 1987, McClintock renamed Gunne Sax to Jessica McClintock, and she opened dozens of self-named boutiques across the U.S. She also introduced categories including perfumes and accessories.
“I’m constantly changing, and my greatest joy is when I do something different the next day. Even driving to work, I try to take a new path. Now, that’s silly, but it’s true. I’m always trying to develop new ways of going to new places, new things, thinking that way and this way. As long as I can challenge myself that way, I still think I’m a little bit younger than – all that.” —from a 2001 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle
Tributes to Jessica McClintock
Full obituary: San Francisco Chronicle