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Aigner, Accessories Designer, Dies

November 11, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Etienne Aigner, whose leather accessories adorned with an omega-shaped logo helped define the preppy style of the 1960s and 1970s, has died at age 95.

Aigner, who died Sunday, fought in the French resistance against the Nazis in World War II. He then began turning out handbags and belts, attracting the attention of fashion houses like Dior, Jacques Fath and Molyneux, who bought and used his designs.

He moved to New York and while working out of his apartment began producing belts in the dark red color that would become his trademark. By the mid-1950s, high-end department stores began to display his belts and bags and orders poured in from around the country.

He sold the line in 1967, and when it was ultimately acquired by Jonathan Logan, a dress manufacturer, the Etienne Aigner brand grew substantially.

Aigner was born in Hungary and began working with leather as a teen-ager, binding books.

With his brother Lucien, a well-known photojournalist, Aigner moved to Paris in the 1930s and continued to bind books until after the start of World War II. Although he had converted from Judaism to Christianity when he married, he soon found himself in danger and in 1943 joined a group of resistance fighters.

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