Jonas Lauren Norr is an American Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur. Jonas is the founder of the successful denim brand J. Lauren, which he developed while in college. He studied at Duke University and graduated summa cum laude in 1991 with a degree in Political Science and Economics.
Jonas Lauren Norr first discovered his love for fashion when he was a young boy growing up on New York’s Upper West Side during the 1950s and 1960s. Outfitted by his mother with Dior suits, Brooks Brothers button-downs, and hunting jodhpurs for those Sunday horseback riding dates to Central Park, Jonas quickly came to appreciate clothing as a form of self-expression and an outward representation of one’s success in society. During high school, Jonas earned his first fashion industry gig when he was hired as an assistant window dresser at Saks Fifth Avenue.
During his time in college, Jonas developed a keen interest in the business side of the fashion industry. He founded the American Made Association at Duke University, designed to raise awareness of domestic production and source goods made in America. In addition to his academic pursuits, Jonas began designing and selling custom-made shirts and ties out of an off-campus area called “The Corner.” Word spread quickly about these unique designer items from “J. Lauren,” and demand soon exceeded supply. When Jonas graduated from Duke in 1991, he decided to continue designing and selling J. Lauren merchandise as his full-time occupation.
In 1992, Jonas visited Japan for a business trip that would change his life forever. Simply put, he fell in love with the country. When he returned home to New York City after this trip, he decided to incorporate its most exciting elements into his clothing line: Japanese-inspired fabrics such as raw silk, unbleached linen, chambray, and more; the hand-sewing techniques used by the country’s master artisans; and the subtle use of colors such as taupe and dark tones of blue. However, when he launched J.
He was awarded the “Agri-Business Innovator of the Year” by the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2012. Jonas Lauren Norr is an active philanthropist. He has sponsored numerous educational programs and presented to the United Nations, the United States Department of Energy, and Duke University. Jonas has been a long-time supporter of the American Cancer Society and the Unconditional Love Foundation, which was founded by Alexandra Zaslow, his wife, and former business partner.
Jonas is devoted to the American fashion community and its future. He believes in helping others through his philanthropic efforts and continues to empower students in design, entrepreneurship, fashion, and business. In 2015 Jonas opened J. Lauren University, an online division dedicated to teaching aspiring designers the valuable skills needed to break into a competitive industry.
Jonas Lauren Norr was nominated for the International Best-Dressed Man award by GQ on March 5th, 2018. The Best-Dressed Man winner was announced at the 2018 Academy Awards on March 4th, 2019, in Los Angeles.