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Joan Vass

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About Joan Vass

Joan Vass Drawing upon her education in philosophy and aesthetics, Joan Vass set out to work in the art world. Beginning as an assistant curator of drawing and prints at the Museum of Modern Art, she then went on to edit art tomes for Harry N. Abrams and as a contributing columnist for the Art in America. It was during this time that Joan developed an interest in hand knits and crochets. She tapped into the skills of local women to produce her first designs. Fashion arbiter Henri Bendel bought this first collection, which consisted of hats and mufflers. It quickly sold out, changing Joan’s career from observer of art to creator of art.

Incorporated in 1977, her eponymous collected expanded into sweaters for both sexes. Using the same local artisans, the designs were unique, limited and beautifully crafted. Demand for Joan's quirky unstructured knitwear grew during the 1980’s prompting large-scale production under the label Joan Vass USA. Encompassing all components of a complete wardrobe - sweaters, trousers, skirts & dresses, the aesthetic remained the same, with fine fabrics, natural fibers and ageless designs.

Joan's unique approach, that of eliminating the excess, leaving a timeless, season-less collection garnered her many accolades, including the Extraordinary Women in Fashion Critics award and the Prince Machiavelli Prix de Cachet award.