Connie Fails, of Litchfield, Illinois, attended Southern Missouri State University where she was introduced to weaving which lead to an interest in vintage fabric and ultimately fashion design.
1n 1976, she left her job at a Little Rock stock brokerage firm and opened a small clothing boutique. Her original designs and finely crafted garments attracted a wide and loyal following both in Little Rock and posh boutiques as far away as New York City. In 1978 she met a new client, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Fails made Clinton’s first Gubernatorial inaugural gown that is now on permanent display in Arkansas' historic Old State House. Twelve years later, Bill Clinton was elected president and Fails designed Mrs. Clinton’s inaugural pants suit. Mrs. Clinton also wore several other Connie Fails designs for the inaugural ball and other festivities that week.
In 2004, Fails accepted the position of Manager of the Clinton Museum Store. She has developed and managed several student mentoring projects including Curbside Couture— an annual program of creatively recycled fashions designed by high school students that culminates in a gala runway show at the Clinton Presidential Center and now provides scholarships. Connie Fails has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Vanity Fair, People, Today Show, Good Morning America.
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