By rights, Todd Oldham should have been a fashion failure. He is exceptionally polite and sunny in an industry that punishes good manners and good cheer. He is openly critical of the fashion machine. Worst of all, he finds fashion funny,... [more]
By rights, Todd Oldham should have been a fashion failure. He is exceptionally polite and sunny in an industry that punishes good manners and good cheer. He is openly critical of the fashion machine. Worst of all, he finds fashion funny, and fashion is an entity not known for its sense of humor. Nonetheless, Oldham has been remarkably successful -- maybe because we just can't help liking the guy.
Born in Texas in 1962, Oldham designed his first dress at age 15 when he stitched some K-Mart pillowcases together. He was soon designing more sophisticated looks, and by 1988 he was ready for New York. There, he quickly distinguished himself with his colorful, cheerful, fresh designs.
Oldham broadened his profile in the early '90s with "Todd Time," a regular feature on MTV's "House of Style." His segments were remarkable for their enthusiasm, optimism, and pioneering do-it-yourself approach. He now admits he had no idea what he was doing, which is part of the charm. Oldham encouraged viewers to dye their hair with Kool Aid and wallpaper their dorm rooms with wood-grained contact paper or Xeroxed pictures. How could they not take a look?
And Oldham has given us a lot to look at. Besides launching a primary clothing line, he has devised a jeans line, a fragrance, a collection of sneakers for Keds, and a leopard-clad Barbie. In 1994, he signed on as a consultant to the prestigious German design house Escada. Oldham has also forged a lot of Hollywood ties. He counts many tinsel-towners among his friends and clients; besides designing lines for MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, and Warner Bros, Oldham even directed a video for US3. However, he remains best known for his messy bangs, his goofy smile, and his buoyant, candy-cane fashion sense. [show less]