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, the first in the contemporary marketplace to be sold 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 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.
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.
Shoshanna has continued to speak to women’s fashion needs and aspirations in the 15 years since its genesis. A Shoshanna creation is always feminine and distinctive in its use of bold color and unique details. With the arrival of her first child in 2005, Gruss introduced a line of swimwear that allows mother and daughter to embrace the same fresh, youthful aesthetic. Shoshanna Baby Girl is available at fine retailers everywhere and provides an opportunity for Gruss to design creations for her daughters, Sienna and Angelica, as well as for her son, Johseph Colby. 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.
After 15 years of dedication and innovation, the Shoshanna collection has developed a legion of fans including Eva Longoria, Taylor Swift and Emma Stone. The collection can be found in luxury retailers like Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales as well as over 500 specialty stores in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. The entirety of the collection can also be seen at www.shoshanna.com.
In Fall 2013, Elizabeth Arden named Gruss the brand’s first-ever Style Director. The designer’s entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to innovation and unique femininity complement Ms. Arden’s founding principle that “To be beautiful is the birthright of every woman.” In this new role, Gruss serves as a spokesperson, content curator and style ambassador collaborating closely with the iconic beauty brand on everything from trend forecasting and design to innovation.
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. Foremost among her philanthropic commitments is her chairmanship of the Associates Committee of The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering. The Associates Committee was established almost thirty years ago to introduce a younger generation to service to Memorial Sloan Kettering and they continue this service today by hosting three major fundraising events, the Bunny Hop, a Fall Party and The Associates Council Luncheon. Gruss is extremely proud to chair an organization that raises considerable funds for the world’s preeminent cancer hospital.
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.