LOS ANGELES, Aug 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Reputable Los Angeles designer of women’s clothing Mona Thalheimer will unveil a commemorative scarf on August 22 dedicated to the famous 1960s designer Rudi Gernreich. Gernreich, whose revolutionary avant-garde clothing and swimsuit designs still resonate today, was born on August 8, 1922. He passed away in 1985.
“Rudi Gernreich had such a great 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 100.e birthday in a way that I hope would make him proud.”
Thalheimer, the first and only deaf American fashion designer to own and manufacture her own eponymous clothing company, cites her earliest interactions with Gernreich that helped her become a fashion pioneer. “Rudy taught me to believe who I want to be – and that a deaf person can design regardless of their disability.”
Thalheimer’s design for the commemorative scarf is based on Gernreich’s commitment to protecting human rights and freedoms, a message that resonates more than ever after recent Supreme Court rulings. In addition to his numerous fashion awards, Gernreich was one of the founders of the Mattachine Society in 1950.
The Gernreich estate is managed by ACLU of Southern Californiawho will benefit from the sale of the scarf.
The scarf will be unveiled during a ceremony on August 22at The Gemini GEL Gallery in West Hollywood. The ceremony will be featured Mona Thalheimer and Minouche KandelSenior Staff Attorney, LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project, ACLU of Southern California
Q&A with Mona Thalheimer
Q: When did you first meet Rudi? How was that meeting?
A: I first met Rudi when I was 11 years old
Q As a deaf design student, what did Rudi tell you to keep your dream coming true?
A: Rudi told me that I could become a designer and that my visual sense, enhanced by my hearing loss, was an asset.
He also told me that if I were a designer I should design for myself and what my opinion is, 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 can see his influence: the bathing suits, the thong and the bold fearless colors.
Q: Are your designs influenced by Rudi?
A: Although my aesthetic is different from Rudi’s, it’s what Rudi would want because he always told me to be what I wanted and what I dreamed to be. I am here today because of mentors like Rudi.
Question: “You are what you decide to be” is an important theme of the scarf. What do you mean?
People want to pigeonhole you. When they ask me who I am if I don’t first say I’m deaf, they are amazed. I am the only one who can say how I define myself.
A: Rudi always believed in everyone’s human potential. When I was a kid, he valued my opinion about fashion and valued all people in fashion and in life.”
Q: How does that resonate in 2022?
A: Rudi always believed that everyone was someone and that their worth as a person was determined by their energy, enthusiasm and above all love.
Q: If you could say one thing to Rudi today, what would it be?
A: Rudi, your designs, your values are in season because of your heart and love for people.
SOURCE Mona Thalheimer Designs