LOS ANGELES, August 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Acknowledged Los Angeles women’s clothing designer Mona Thalheimer unveil a commemorative scarf on August 22 dedicated to the famous designer of the 60s Rudi Gernreich. Gernreich, whose groundbreaking designs of avant-garde clothing and swimwear still resonate today, was born on August 8, 1922. He died in 1985.
“Rudi Gernreich had an incredible influence on my career,” Thalheimer said. “Rudi was my inspiration when I started my career in the early 1970s and I feel compelled to celebrate his 100e birthday in a way that I hope will make him proud.”
Thalheimer, the first and only Deaf American fashion designer to own and manufacture her own eponymous clothing company, cites her early interactions with Gernreich as helping her become a fashion trailblazer. “Rudy taught me to believe who I want to be – and that a deaf person can conceive regardless of their disability.”
Thalheimer’s design for the memorial sash is based on Gernreich’s dedication to protecting human rights and freedoms, a message that resonates more than ever following recent Supreme Court rulings. In addition to his numerous fashion awards, Gernreich was a founding member of the Mattachine Society in 1950.
The Gernreich estate is managed by the ACLU of Southern Californiawho will benefit from the sale of the scarf.
The scarf will be unveiled at a ceremony on August 22at the Gemini GEL gallery in West Hollywood. The ceremony will include Mona Thalheimer and minouche kandelSenior Counsel, LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project, ACLU of Southern California
Q&A with Mona Thalheimer
Q: When did you first meet Rudi? How was this meeting?
A: I first met Rudi when I was 11
Q As a deaf design student, what did Rudi tell you to continue to achieve your dream?
A: Rudi told me that I could be a designer and that my visual sense enhanced by my hearing impairment was an asset.
Moreover, he told me that if I was going to be a designer, I had to design for me and from my point of view, not just the latest trend.
Q: Rudi died in 1985. Why is he still relevant today?
A: Rudi is relevant because everywhere you look you see his influence – swimwear, thongs, bold colors suck less.
Q: Are your designs influenced by Rudi?
A: Although my aesthetic is different from Rudi’s, that’s what Rudi would want because he always told me to be what I wanted and dreamed of being. I am here today thanks to mentors like Rudi.
Q: “You are what you decide you want to be” is a major theme of the scarf. What do you mean?
People want to put you in a box. When they ask me who I am if I don’t first say I’m deaf, they’re confused. I am the only person who can say how I define myself.
A: Rudi has always believed in the human potential of everyone. When I was a kid, he valued my opinion on fashion and appreciated everyone in fashion and in life.”
Q: How does that sound in 2022?
A: Rudi has always believed that everyone is someone and that their value as a person is defined by their energy, their enthusiasm and above all their love.
Q: If you could say one thing to Rudi today, what would it be?
A: Rudi, your creations, your values are in season thanks to your heart and your love of people.
SOURCEMona Thalheimer Designs