Badgley Mischka is a design team of James Mischka born 1960 in Burlington, Wisconsin, USA and Mark Badgley born 1961 East St. Louis, Illinois, USA.
They met when they both enrolled in 1982 at Parsons School of Design in New York. After graduation and separate apprenticeships Badgley with Donna Karan and Mischka with Willi Smith, the pair formed their own company in 1985.
Their showroom was in the Hells Kitchen district of Manhattan. It was up an old staircase and got crosswinds which often blew the gowns across the car park. In 1992 however, they managed to get financing from the German company of ESCADA. In 2001, Escada launched a cost-cutting initiative which did help the company to show a profit on sales of $ 40 million.
They decided to specialize in evening wear and now stars and celebrities are clamouring for their unique brand of elegance, particularly for Oscar night.
Their 1987 show attracted buyers from major departmental stores who were drawn to their elegant, contemporary versions of classic designs.
In 1989, they won the Mouton Cadet Young Designer Award, and in 1992, the Dallas International Apparel Rising Star Award.
In recent years they have attracted a Hollywood clientele for the Decollete Cocktail dresses and tunics encrusted with beads as well as off the shoulder bridal gowns made of ivory lace and silk crepe.
Since 1992, their house has been financed by Escada, USA.
As part of the campaign to Aid Breast Cancer Research, more than 70 designers took part and made in-store appearances. Most of these have stores in New York's 5th Avenue. Badgley Mischka created a beaded bag which went on sale in Autumn 1999, with a percentage of the proceeds going to this charity. It has turned out to be a 'MUST HAVE' bag for customers.
When Mark Badgley and James Mischka set out to make a beautiful evening gown, they look to glamour icons like Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe for inspiration. This rang loud and true at their Spring 2002 Bridal collection, shown at their New York showroom.
They are also known for fragrance, handbags, shoes and eyewear.
The Badgley Mischka line is available at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman and two boutiques in Beverly Hills and Boston.
Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka have said of their clothing, "one zip and you're glamorous." Their clothing radiates youthful confidence; fanciful but realistic, their designs recall the elegance of an age when one dressed for evening. Uptown diners and downtown executives alike find something appropriate and pleasing in Badgley Mischka designs. Evening suits and dresses are refined and uncontrived—form-fitting wool jersey, cotton brocade, faille, embroidered lace, silk, and baby bouclé are used to create suits with long fitted jackets and pencil-thin or swingy full short skirts. One versatile wool jersey dress, perfect for career dressing, looks like two pieces, with a rib knit turtleneck and either a permanently pleated or straight wrap skirt, in gray or pale yellow. The combination of fine crisp and softly draping fabrics (bouclé and silk, velvet trimmed wool, organza and silk chiffon) adds dimension and drama. Fitted, empire, or lowered, waistlines are superbly shaped. Expertly mixed cocktail dresses—with evocative cocktail names such as the Tom Collins, the Delmonico, the Bacardi— are off-the-shoulder, décolleté, bowed, lacy, or beaded and above the knee. All are subtly provocative, feminine, and flirtatious. Their bridal gowns cause women to swoon, such as the V-backed ivory lace and silk-crepe dress, or the off-white silk brocade coatdress, with front wrap and jeweled buttons. Badgley Mischka bridal dresses are for the grown-up sweet tooth, confections allowing the beauty of the wearer to shine through the frills.
Wynona Ryder, Bridge Fonda, Teri Hatcher, Sharon Stone, Andie McDowell, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Jodie Foster, Calista Flockhart, Nia Vardolos, Jenna Bush, Barbara Bush, Kate Winslett, Helen Mirren, Oprah Winfrey, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Hurley, Mira Soryino, Catherine Zeta-Jones.