Fashion: But Gordon, I Want It All: Gordon Henderson

A kicky young designer launches a colorful, sporty line

Times are shaky in the fashion world. Business is flat, department stores an endangered species, customers bored. Amid the unending cycle of sales and the unmapped racks that cram discount outlets, the industry is looking hard for what it calls direction. Anything goes now -- minis, dirndls, see-throughs, slouches -- but none of it is going very far. So the time seems right for a young designer with a couple of bright ideas and a lot of insouciant charm. California-born Gordon Henderson, for instance.

Henderson is young (32), handsome, black, with boldness and brights to burn. Surrounded by his newly hired...

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