Designer Dennis Basso Has Dressed First Ladies, Actresses, & Socialites for 40 years-Tracy Caruso Tells All

Diane Franco of Delray Beach is an ageless entrepreneur with excellent style, beauty, and refined taste. This is something that runs in the family. Her first cousin is renowned American fashion designer Dennis Basso, who has clothed everyone from Ivana Trump to Kim Kardashian.

President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan, wearing a stunning Basso design.

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Recently, Basso invited Franco to New York’s biggest Fashion week to see his new collection, where he was celebrated for his incredible forty years of work dressing the rich and famous and creating iconic looks for movies such as “The Devil Wears Prada.”

Dennis Basso with his lovely cousin, Diane Franco, wearing luxurious Basso fur.

Basso showed promise with his first drawing at age five. His family knew of the creative genius to come. Basso grew up in a family of strong Italian women who believed in putting themselves together. Even a trip to the mailbox meant putting on a swipe of lipstick. His cousin, Diane Franco, was always important to his life. He helped her dress for dates. She is undoubtedly part of his inspiration. 

Dennis Basso’s drawing at five years old. It was included in the video of the 40-year retrospective of his phenomenal career.

Basso doesn’t believe age or body type are barriers to great style. Franco told Jolt that her cousin always said women should dress for their body type, not the type they wish they had. They should show off their best features. Women should feel good and comfortable but not too comfortable. Basso told Franco;

The Day you can’t wear three-inch heels, delete my phone number. -Dennis Basso

Basso studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York before launching his fashion line in 1983. His designs are known for using high-quality materials, expert craftsmanship, and timeless style. In addition to his signature furs, Basso designs ready-to-wear clothing, bridal gowns, and accessories.

Basso knows how to reinvent himself to go with the times. When PETA came out against him, he started a faux fur line for QVC. It sold out within the first ten minutes. Basso keeps on going. Now he is dressing the daughters of his high-end clientele. 

One of Basso’s first celebrity clients was Ivana Trump, who promised to make him a star. She connected him with many women who couldn’t get enough of his gorgeous furs. They remained close throughout her life. When Ivanka was born, Basso made her a special baby blanket, satin on one side and fur on the other. 

Fashion Designer Dennis Basso with Ivana Trump.

Over the years, Basso has become a fixture in the fashion industry and has dressed many high-profile clients and celebrities, including various first ladies,  Ivana Trump, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Barbara Walters; his designs have been featured in magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle. 

Dennis Basso has dressed many First Ladies and celebrities.

Some standout movies featuring Basso’s furs are “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Sex and the City: The Movie,” “Ocean’s 8”, and “Hustlers.”

Franco says people can’t get enough of Basso’s self-deprecating and witty humor, which has made him a celebratory in his own right. He has appeared on TV shows such as Gossip Girl, Empire, and The Real Housewives of New York City.

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Franco told Jolt about the excitement of fashion week;

The hype and excitement before the show began were terrific because I got to experience the behind-the-scenes with the paparazzi and watch hair and makeup being done by masters. Hours go into it, and then the show ends in a whirlwind ten minutes. -Diane Franco

Franco went on to say that one of the most exciting parts of fashion week was the thrilling finale of the Basso show, featuring seventy-year-old former supermodel Beverly Johnson. Beverly Johnson was the first Black model to be featured on the cover of Vogue. In honor of Black History Month, Johnson was the last one on the runway.  

Beverly Johnson Fashion Show Finale

Dennis Basso is a talented and respected fashion designer who has significantly impacted the industry and clients, who have become cherished friends. Julia Koch of Palm Beach recently had a dinner party in Basso’s honor because he has been such an essential part of her life. 

Diane Franco with Supermodel Beverly Johnson at Dennis Bass’s show at Fashion Week.

Basso’s designs are known for their elegance, sophistication, and luxury, and he plans on remaining a prominent fashion fixture for years to come. Franco told me that Basso would never retire. Basso is the perfect example of “do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life. 

Other stories you may want to read:

Ivana made me dream, and I’ll never forget her

Tommy Hilfiger Adds Another Crown Jewel to His Palm Beach Real Estate Collection

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