By LOUISE SHANE, Associated Press – A New York fashion designer has been paid $200 a week to help design the fashion collection for Bill Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp. The deal, disclosed by the retailer’s website on Tuesday, shows the extent to which Gates has been taking the fashion industry’s cues.
The designer, who has been with the company since 2006, will earn $250,000 a year and will have to spend $2 million a year on wardrobe, marketing and other costs to produce his collection.
The money will help the designer and his company expand to more countries and expand his client base, said Michael M. Stowe, the store’s director of sales and marketing.
The retailer said it is working with Gates to create a new line of clothing for the designer.
Gates has not commented on the contract.
He has said he doesn’t like fashion, but he has not been shy about buying and wearing designer clothing.
Gates also is working to create his own clothing line for women.
He recently unveiled a collection called “I Wanna Be Yours,” featuring women in swimwear, knits, dresses and dresses, a nod to his interest in fashion.
The clothing line will be available to purchase starting in 2019.
The new arrangement will not affect Gates’ role as the chairman and chief executive of the company, which has a market value of about $200 billion.
Gates is known to be a fashion fan.
His personal brand, the Bill &Mackenzie Group, has been selling apparel and accessories, including women’s clothing, to the public for about five years.
Gates’ fashion choices have often drawn criticism.
Last year, the retailer recalled several pieces of clothing it said were too revealing.
But in the past few years, the company has made a number of fashion-inspired and fashion-forward items.