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Peter Som

American fashion boasts a long-standing tradition of designer sportswear, and Peter Som has cast himself as his generation's torchbearer, following in the footsteps of notables like Bill Blass and Michael Kors. A graduate of the Parsons School of Design, the San Francisco native in fact worked in both of their ateliers before launching his namesake collection during New York's Spring 2001 fashion week.

Som adheres to a pretty and proper aesthetic, turning out refined, feminine looks with luxurious touches. A black astrakhan coat might feature tiny bejeweled embellishments while classic sportswear pieces are rendered in rich or textured fabrics like tweed, jacquard, and seersucker.

But what causes the social butterflies to congregate in Som's front row is his eveningwear. From a floor-sweeping washed organdy gown accented with a black velvet bow to a fluttering mille-feuille organza cocktail dress, Som's elegant designs have earned him fans such as Tinsley Mortimer and Scarlett Johansson.

During his brief career, Som has received a number of industry accolades. In both 2002 and 2005 he was nominated for the CFDA's Swarovski's Perry Ellis Award for emerging talent. He also was semifinalist in 2004 for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund initiative.

In 2007 Som took on the role of creative director of womenswear at Bill Blass—a move that seemed to further confirm his anointment as successor to the sportswear throne. But one year later Som bowed out at the label as the house's parent company hit financial straits.

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