I have been caught in a recent whirlwind of work and, unfortunately, my blog was neglected. Apologies for keeping you all waiting, so picking up where I left off…
My new endeavor with Al and Felice Lippert was such an exciting time for me. I was fortunate and blessed to have been cosmically, by the grace of God, placed in their presence. This is what you would call being in the right place at the right time. Al turned out to be a true visionary and this partnership was and still is something that I will always cherish. With Al and Felice's encouragement and support - sky was the limit. These two beautiful souls backed up my ideas one hundred percent and before I knew it I found myself in every major store in America. From Sake's Fifth Ave., to Neiman Marcus, to Bergdorf Goodman, to Lord & Taylor, plus the inclusion of eight hundred specialty stores all through the U.S.A. My garments were even represented in some very fine London boutique stores. You could say that I finally arrived…with a BANG! The Lippert's were so generous and made me feel like I was a part of there family. I was invited often to their lavish homes in Long Island and Manhattan. They took me to the racetrack to cheer on their purebred race horse. I remember how they exuded class and elegance without even trying, and how I aspired to be in their shoes one day.
Before I could say couture, I found myself being consumed by this vortex of recognition. I was being sought after by every major fashion magazine and paper, including The New York Times, all of whom wanted to know "George Simonton". I was privileged to dress stars and celebrities from both the small and big screen. News Anchors from New York, Los Angeles, Detroit and Dallas. Even the prestigious CFDA (Council Of Fashion Designers Of America) asked me to join their illustrious group of fashion colleagues. The eighties and nineties proved to be a dream come true and I never felt better. I paid my dues and found myself rising up the fashion ladder.
Now, the dawn of the 21st Century proved to be anything but radiant. My business would take an unexpected turn for the worse when my dear friends, Al and Felice, both passed away in a short period of time. They both acted as my rock, my support system and all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye, I found myself vulnerable and without a compass. My business was slowly drifting out to sea and needed an anchor. Against my better judgement I found myself in partnership with Cruella Deville and her henchman. They turned out to be bullies and took advantage of my kindness. They were trying to push me out of my business, and even steal my name. To add insult to injury my mother was very ill. She didn't have much time, but when I confided in her - she reinforced the one thing that was etched in my mind from when I was a young man and that was, "HAVE FAITH IN THE DEAR LORD!" Through much prayer and faith my dear friend, Ernie, proved to be my life raft and helped to reel me back to shore. He found me a superb lawyer and through this hardship was able to score my business and my career a win and a new beginning.
Putting all of that negativity behind me, I was approached by a couple of Chinese conglomerate's who recognized my talent and backed me up without the blink of an eye. My career was now on the upswing and I would never look back. Fast forward a couple years later and life as I knew it would change forever. Being approached by QVC to design a women's sport-wear line would catapult me in a totally different direction and I relished in the opportunity.
I feel so fortunate to have come so far. The good and the bad have made me who I am today. It has brought me to this point: a tenured professorship at The Fashion Institute Of Technology (where I've earned the highest student evaluation in my department), and have come full circle in the sense that I now get to be a positive influence in thousands of aspiring designers' lives like my teachers were for me. F.I.T has also given me the opportunity to form a life long friendship with the president, Dr. Joyce Brown. She is such an exquisite person and I am blessed to have her in my inner circle of valued friendships. I now find myself with QVC for eleven years and coming up in 2015 I will be celebrating a major milestone - 50 years on Seventh Avenue (Fashion Avenue).
I find myself reflecting on my life and career, and boy do I feel like I'm just getting started! Social media has helped to propel me and my designs in some really cool mediums. My creative spark has been rejuvenated by all my fans and friends on Facebook and Instagram. The support and interaction is phenomenal, and I plan on designing for as long as you will all continue to have me. Let me conclude with this: I worked hard to get where I am now, but don't think for one bit that all you out there can't achieve your wildest dreams. I'm living proof that with tenacity, perseverance and determination you will "Make Your Own Luck" and obtain YOUR true destiny. There is a wonderful quote that says, "IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT".
God Bless you all!