“Our philosophy is, ‘one zip and you’re glamorous’ when you get dressed for the evening, you shouldn’t have to work hard at it”
Over the past decade the name Badgley Mischka has been synonymous with red carpet and wedding attire. It all started back in 1982 when Mark Badgley and James Mischka enrolled at the Parsons School of Design in New York. The two men felt an instant kinship thanks to their similar views on fashion and a philosophy to design youthful, modern, and couture dresses made for women of any age to wear and be glamorous. After graduating, Badgley and Mischka started working for well known fashion houses. A few years later, in 1988, they both quit their jobs and with financial help from their families launched the label, Badgley Mischka. Their line of elegant, sophisticated, and detailed eveningwear reminiscent of 1940s Hollywood, with hand beading, sequins and even Swarovski crystals, enthralled both fashion editors and press. Not to mention that the buyers from Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Ave, have been purchasing their designs since 1989.
With much excitement the German company, Escada, bought out Badgley Mischka in 1992. Within a year, the duo established their successful bridal wear label, Badgley Mischka Bridal, along with lines for footwear and evening bags. From the beginning their designs caught the attention of female celebrities but it wasn’t until 1996 that their popularity exploded, when Winona Ryder and Teri Hatcher famously showed up to the Oscars in Badgley Mischka gowns. Since then celebrities like Kate Winslet, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Halle Barry, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Jennifer Garner, have graced the red carpet wearing their eveningwear. By 2000, the men opened a boutique on Rodeo Drive, in Beverly Hills California.
In 2004 the label went through yet another ownership change and was bought out by the company Iconix, who owns labels like Candies, Joe Boxer, and Rampage. The founder and CEO of Iconix, Neil Cole (brother of Kenneth) saw potential in the two designers. Over the past four years Badgley Mischka has branched out by establishing the labels Badgley Mischka Couture, Platinum Eyewear, and Platinum Sportswear. To allow a wider audience to purchase their creations, they signed license agreements to produce fragrances, jewelry, swimwear, watches, and bridesmaids clothing all under the Badgley Mischka umbrella.
In 2003, Carmen Electra wore a Badgley Mischka wedding gown, which was featured on the MTV reality show, “Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave”. A couple years later, Badgley and Mischka were asked by former first daughters, Jenna and Barbara Bush, to design their evening gowns for the 2005 Inaugural balls.