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Tiel, Vicky

Born in Washington, DC in 1943, Tiel grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Upon graduating from New York's Parsons School of Design in 1964, Tiel and her best friend Mia Fonssagrives, daughter of legendary Swedish fashion model Lisa Fonssagrives, moved to France and proceeded to take Paris by storm with their lace bustiers, hot pants, and a little something new called the miniskirt. Amidst considerable press for their sexy designs, the two opened their own shop, Mia and Vicky, later renamed Vicky Tiel when Fonssagrives dropped out. Within just months of graduating Parsons, they were designing costumes for Woody Allen's first film What's New, Pussycat?, and mingling with Hollywood royalty. Over the decades, Tiel's designs evolved from youthful minis to sophisticated wrap dresses, to her Liza caftan (named after Elizabeth Taylor's daughter), to the oh-so flattering Torrid strapless dress made famous by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. A 1986 feature in People magazine catapulted her career as she set up private boutiques in Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, Tiel placed an increased emphasis on evening wear. Her designs, constructed to show off the feminine figure and give women confidence, are still worn by leading ladies today. Today, Tiel is the longest surviving female designer in Paris. Her couture dresses are still available in Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, and her perfumes are available in Perfumania. Tiel has been married for the past sixteen years to her second husband and splits time between living in Paris, New York, and her Florida farm.