Picture by So Min Kang

Barbara de Vries - Bio


                               "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do" - Rumi

Barbara de Vries was born in Amsterdam, where she entered fashion by making clothes for herself, satin pants for friends in bands, and carved and sold leather belts and hippy-ish jewelry.

At age 17 she became a model and lived in Paris, where she did the couture shows and fashion ads for ELLE and Marie Claire, she then moved to Australia where she became a Cosmo cover girl as well as the infamous Razzamataaz girl. She settled in London, where she modeled for Vogue, Bazaar, and Zandra Rhodes before giving up modeling and attending St. Martins, Harrow and the Royal College of Art, to study fashion.

She briefly worked as a designer for Stirling Cooper before creating a collection for the movie star Faye Dunaway's boutique in Santa Monica, which was the start of her own (punkish) collection in London called Giraf.

After ten years in London, she moved to New York to launch CK for Calvin Klein.  

After meeting her husband to be, she became freelance and designed a collection under own name in Japan as well as the USA and after the birth of her first daughter she added children's wear to her brand. 

As a freelance designer and creative director she worked on projects for Ralph Lauren, Dim, Petit Bateau, Go Silk and Pantone, all from her studio in Milford, Pennsylvania. 

She first spotted plastic on the beaches of in Eleuthera in 2006, became passionate about the ocean plastic pollution cause, and started Plastic is Forever.

She moved to Miami in 2009 and began producing, designing and publishing books together with her husband, the writer and critic, Alastair Gordon.  

In 2015, missing the texture of beautiful fabrics in her life, she returned to the studio and started designing and making clothes again.

"Some of my favorite moments are when we are all in our rooms, creating. The girls are working on their designs for DASH - art, fashion or graphics - Alastair is writing or painting in his studio and I am cutting fabric or sewing a silk slip in my atelier. Our home is filled with our work, it is designed to be our studio, making life into art."

In 2018, with her daughters away at college most of the time, Barbara moved back to her home near New York City, where most of her clients in design and publishing are located.

Recent opinion piece by Barbara on women in fashion: Did Calvin Klein Empower Women or was he just Another Sexist?