In the early 1950s, while he attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Halston began a business designing and creating women's hats. He created a high profile clientele list and opened a store in Chicago in 1957. His minimalist, sleek designs, usually made of cashmere or ultrasuede, were extremely popular in the mid-1970s. Halston’s fresh new designs redefined American fashion. Halston was known for creating a relaxed urban lifestyle for American women.