Randy Kemper

updated 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

No, no, you've got it backward. Stop staring at designer Randy Kemper and start looking at his clothes. Tear your eyes away from the sequoia-size biceps on the 6'3½" frame, the cerulean-blue eyes and tawny hair. Consider instead the size-8 red jacket and black skirt that frequent customer Hillary Rodham Clinton wore to kick off inaugural week and the pink-green-and-black suit she sported when named head of the health-care task force last January. Her patronage has put Kemper on fashion's front pages. "It's exciting to dress a public figure, but when they get as public as she is now, the volume gets turned up," says Kemper, 33, who speculates that the First Lady likes his democratic prices ($150-$500 per piece) and conservative styling. Hillary is not his only fan. Adding to the projected $12 million 1993 revenue of his eponymous six-year-old company are, among others. Katie Couric, Marla Maples and Texas' Gov. Ann Richards, who wear Kemper's clothes because, as Couric has said, "they're no fuss."

An avid polo player raised on Philadelphia's Main Line, Manhattan-based Kemper is himself no fussbudget when it comes to clothes. "I wear black jeans and white shirts every day," he says, "because I don't have to think about it." Kemper's clients seem to share his mind-set. They are looking for something simple and easy, he says, since "no one has time to shop." That is certainly true for the busy Clinton. "Hillary in an odd way reminds me of Jackie Kennedy—they both became First Lady so young. But I don't see Hillary in a pillbox hat," Kemper has joked. "She'd keep an agenda under it!"

From Our Partners