Eileen Fisher

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Eileen Fisher chose to support the Westport Farmers Market as part of her campaign to partner with local community organization’s that support practices which will enrich environmental conservation, organic farming and sustainable agriculture.

In 1984, I started EILEEN FISHER for a very personal reason: I was having 
trouble getting dressed. At the time I was working as an interior and graphic 
designer. In my mind I kept seeing these simple shapes for clothes. I knew 
they had to be beautiful colors, great fabrics and have certain shapes and 
proportions that worked together. This was my “aha” moment: a system of 
dressing that I’d been looking for ever since I abandoned my Catholic school 
uniform back in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Although I couldn’t sew and only had $350 in the bank, I believed in these 
simple shapes. I had four shapes made up and took them to The Boutique 
Show in New York. Encouraged by $3000 in orders, I expanded my “line” 
to eight pieces. The second show brought in $40,000 in orders. Suddenly I 
wasn’t just Eileen Fisher. I was EILEEN FISHER, INC.

Today we are 1100 people strong with more than sixty stores in the United 
States, Canada and the United Kingdom. At our loft-like corporate offices, 
we’ve exchanged cubicles for open work areas that let us be encouraged,
inspired and informed by the people surrounding us. We are a company of 
passionate, engaged people who value our collaborative culture and are 
committed to connecting with one another as well as with our customers.

Design is what drives us and our business. We find that good design is a result 
of paying attention to what women want and need. The women who wear our 
clothes want to experience the magic that happens when you put on a piece 
of clothing that has been pared to its simple, pure essence. It comes alive on 
your body. It makes you move differently. It changes the way you think and 
feel about yourself. 

From the beginning, I’ve wanted EILEEN FISHER to be known for clothes you don’t 
have to think too much about. You put them on and know that they will give you 
the comfort, ease and elegance to move with confidence through your day.

I’ve always looked at clothing through the lens of confidence and empowerment. 
I focus that lens in many other aspects of life. My latest passion was inspired 
by the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Lab, a project of Dr. C. Otto Scharmer’s 
Presencing Institute. Instead of framing prosperity in terms of the GDP, the GNH 
Lab looks at such things as health, education, ecological resilience and 
psychological well-being. To me, this kind of holistic vision is a huge and 
vital shift. It is about rethinking what it means to live in a world with 
finite resources, as individuals and as businesses. 

I feel there’s a role for EILEEN FISHER to play in this shift by sharing the 
collaboration skills we practice and helping to create the kind of change that 
wouldn’t be possible if each of us acted alone. When I give talks, I often say 
that business can, indeed, change the world. EILEEN FISHER has done a lot by 
committing to organic and sustainable fibers, manufacturing clothing in the USA 
and recycling our clothes with GREEN EILEEN. There’s much more to do. And I 
believe we can do it. I believe we can make a difference. Business can be a 
movement.