Shoshanna Gruss is the founder and creative director of Shoshanna, her eponymous collection which debuted in stores in November 1998. Gruss revolutionized dress departments nationwide with the launch of her first collection. Her dedication to fitting and flattering the female body while indulging in whimsical details were a refreshing change from the contemporary offerings of the moment. Gruss continued to make waves in the marketplace with the launch of her swimwear collection in the Spring of 2001. She was the first to pioneer a change in the swimwear industry by selling tops and bottoms as separates with lingerie inspired sizing.
Gruss was born and raised in Manhattan where she honed her personal aesthetic and developed her eye for the distinctive details that have come to epitomize her collection. After graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles with degrees in History and Art History, Gruss eschewed from the prescribed career path and chose to explore her interests in fashion at the ground level, working at a lingerie factory. This experience provided an invaluable education in design, fabric sourcing and garment construction. Armed with her newly acquired knowledge, Gruss was able to create a collection of dresses that spoke to her personal fashion frustrations.
Shoshanna continues to speak to women’s fashion needs and aspirations. The Shoshanna aesthetic has always been feminine and distinctive, utilizing bold colors and unique details. With the arrival of her first child in 2005, Gruss introduced a line of children’s swimwear, Shoshanna Baby Girl, featuring matching mother-daughter swimsuits. The collection expanded into boy’s swimwear shortly after her son was born. In 2015, Gruss felt there was a void in the eveningwear market and launched Shoshanna Midnight, a separate evening line with all pieces retailing under $800.
In Fall 2013, Elizabeth Arden named Gruss the brand’s first-ever Style Director. In this role, Gruss served as a spokesperson, content curator and style ambassador collaborating closely with the iconic beauty brand on everything from trend forecasting and design to innovation. As a New York City native and business owner, Gruss is passionate about producing clothes locally and supporting the Garment District. In 2016, Shoshanna received the Made in NY mark of distinction. Over 75% of her ready-to-wear, evening, and swimwear designs are created and produced just a few blocks from her headquarters.
In celebration of her 20th anniversary, Gruss partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue to design an anniversary capsule collection for the retailer. The collection, exclusive to Saks, featured six pieces in both ready-to-wear and swimwear categories. In 2018, Shoshanna collaborated with New York based accessory company, Hat Attack, to create a vacation collection featuring accessories. The pieces incorporated prints from the Shoshanna Swim 2019 collection and were sold on Anthropologie, ShopBop, and Zappos. In 2019, Gruss partnered with Gwynnie Bee to launch an exclusive line, C’est Nous, featuring extended sizing. Gruss’ continued success is a testament to her passion for both women and the fashion industry.
After 20 years of dedication and innovation, the Shoshanna collection has developed a legion of fans including Mindy Kaling, Isla Fisher, Kelly Ripa, and The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. The collection can be found in luxury retailers like Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, ShopBop, and Anthropologie as well as over 500 specialty stores in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. The collection can also be found on www.shoshanna.com.
In addition to running a successful business and raising her three beautiful children, Gruss is also very involved in philanthropic endeavors. Gruss considers service to the community in which she was raised to be a privilege and a responsibility. Her philanthropic commitments include The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering where she has served as a chairwoman, The Blue Card, and several other New York City organizations.
Gruss is also actively involved in the board of Nightingale-Bamford, an all girls school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that provided her with an excellent primary and secondary education and where her daughter Sienna is currently matriculated. Giving back to Manhattan and providing positive role models for young women everywhere are two goals which Gruss has continued to achieve since starting her business in 1998.