Arthur “Art” Ortenberg, 87-year-old co-founder of Liz Claiborne Inc., has died, according to WWD.
The time, place nor circumstances of his death are yet known. No other outlets have yet confirmed his death (that we’ve seen), nor have we been able to confirm it ourselves.
Ortenberg founded Liz Claiborne Inc. in 1976 with his former wife Liz Claiborne, who died in 1997. It was an early success, offering wearable separates for the working woman: The company amassed $2 million in sales in its first year alone, going public in 1981 and joining the Fortune 500 in 1985. Claiborne and Ortenberg retired in 1989. In 2012, Liz Claiborne Inc. became Fifth & Pacific Company (and later, Kate Spade & Company), following the sale of the Liz Claiborne label to J.C. Penney in Oct. 2011.
The report of Ortenberg’s death comes less than a week after his partner Cathy Horyn, The New York Times‘ chief fashion critic, announced that she was leaving the paper to take care of Ortenberg, who was ill. Horyn has planned to write a book during her time away from the paper. It was not clear if she had plans to ever return. (In its story on the announcement, the Times said that Horyn planned to “retire.”
Our thoughts are with Horyn at this time.