Vicky Tiel is a unique phenomenon in the world of fashion. She began designing 49 years ago and is the only American fashion designer operating a business in Paris over this time. She is currently the longest lasting female designer in Paris.
As the "it" girl of the sixties, Tiel's signature dress designs made women feel and look great in their corseted draped dresses that flatter the curves of a woman's body. Tiel's couture designs have been sold exclusively in Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus for over thirty years, worn by everyone from her partner and backer of her boutique in Paris, Elizabeth Taylor, to Goldie Hawn, Halle Berry, Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey.
Born in Washington DC, Tiel grew up in Chevy Chase, Md where she was a cheerleader in junior high and high school and sewed her first garments at 12 years old and sold them to her cheer squad. Tiel has been personally selling her couture clothes ( unlike most designers) in her stores and currently selling them on HSN TV, where personally she sells ready to wear dresses cut from her French patterns and is about to launch her latest fragrance "Rue Bonaparte".
Upon graduation in from Parsons School of Design in 1964, Tiel and her best friend Mia Fonssagrives, daughter of the legendary model Lisa Fonssagrives, and step daughter of photographer Irving Penn, moved to Paris and proceeded to take Paris by storm with their miniskirts the first ever shown (in the Louis Feraud July 64 couture collection). Mia -Vicky mini fashion made Life Magazine, Newsweek, the front page of the International Herald Tribune and the girls presented the mini to America on the 64 Christmas Johnny Carson show.
By the fall Mia -Vicky designed the costumes for Woody Allen's "What's New Pussycat" and mingled with Hollywood Royalty. The girls launched the first wrap dress in the film "Candy" in 1967 years before other designers went on to claim it and they launched jumpsuits, including the leather jumpsuits worn by Barbara Streisand on tour and the costumes of Saturday Night Fever.
Tiel met her future husband, Ron Berkeley at the Paris film studio as the makeup man of Richard Burton. When Burton spotted Tiel in a lace mini, he ordered one for his wife and thus began Tiel's twenty year close relationship with the Burton's as she and Ron were part of their intimate entourage. Together Mia -Vicky created Elizabeth Taylor's signature caftan the "Liza" caftan ( named after her daughter and the Liza caftan is currently available on HSN.com.)
Over the decades ( after Mia's departure ), Tiel designed solo under the label, Vicky Tiel.
Tiel evolved from the mini, the pouf, and hot pants, to glamorous evening gowns and People Magazine in the mid eighties called Tiel the "Queen of the bustiers." Her designs constructed with French corsets to show off a feminine figure and give a woman confidence, were so in demand Tiel opened their first custom couture salon in Bergdorf Goodman in 1989, since the fifties. Her designs are still worn by leading ladies today as Tiel believes in clothing that is timeless.
Vicky Tiel remarried a Key West fishing boat captain, Mike Hamilton in the late eighties and the couple reside on a Florida farm, in a New York mountain cabin and in Paris. Tiel wrote her memoir in 2011,"It's All About the Dress", published by St Martins Press and she has a fashion- art -couture blog on the Huffington Post.