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Derek Lam was born in San Francisco, California and has been privy to clothing since a young age. His parents made a living by importing clothes from Asia, and his grandparents ran a successful garment factory in San Francisco, which specialized in bridal and wedding dresses.

Taking a look into his background, it’s clear why Lam decided to pursue a career in fashion. Currently, Derek Lam is a leading New York fashion designer known for his modern approach of combining simple designs with feminine attraction.

The road to his success started once he graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1990. Shortly after, Lam began working as an assistant for Michael Kors for four years. Lam then moved to Hong Kong, where his Chinese-American decent was put to good use, and worked for a large retail brand. After his fulfilling international Hong experience, Derek returned to New York and was appointed vice President of Design for Michael Kors’ Kors line.

Lam’s notable experiences served him well, and allowed him to grow his own name into a fashion forward company with wearable, clean fabrics and designs. In 2011, the company launched the more accessible Derek Lam 10 Crosby line which quickly became a success in the contemporary market.

Noticed for his simplicity and keen eye for detail Lam’s inspiration stems from contemporary culture, including art, architecture and product design. “I am interested in what it means to live a contemporary life,” says Lam. “I always consider what will work for women at this moment, and to me this moment is about luxury without formality. Even at their most feminine, my clothes are not precious or staid” (Derek Lam).