Designer and First Lady Favorite Anthony Muto Dies at 81

Over the years he dressed First Ladies Lady Byrd Johnson, Rosalynn Carter and Barbara Bush

1976, March 29 – Parsons School of Design – New York, NY – Donna Karan, Donald Brooks, Albert Capraro, Betty Ford, Kasper, Kay Unger, Chester Weinberg; Liz Claiborne, Shannon Rodgers, Leo Narducci, Anthony Muto, Calvin Klein – Betty Ford standing with critics, fashion designers; formal wear – Parsons School of Design Fashion Critics Award Show and Dinner-First Lady Receves Parsons Award; Fashion Designers
On March 29, 1976 at Parsons School of Design Anthony Muto and Betty Ford (Photo: The National Archives).

Women’s Wear Daily reports that Anthony Muto, famous for outfitting numerous First Ladies, died on Wednesday at NYU Langone Medical Center. Mr. Muto ran his own label, Marita by Anthony Muto, along with working for firms like Albert Nipon, Koos Van Den Akker (who Simon Doonan calls “the patchwork god of the 70s”), Arkay Juniors and . Over the years he dressed First Ladies Lady Byrd Johnson, Rosalynn Carter and Barbara Bush.

One of Mr. Muto’s designs that can be found vintage today on Etsy (Photo: Etsy).

Mr. Muto’s vintage designs can still be found deep within the internet, along with information on his humble beginnings. At age 12 he followed in his family’s fashionable footsteps. His grandfather, a professional tailor, and mother, a professional seamstress, encouraged him to begin designing.

In 1976, Mr. Muto was honored for his designs for First Lady Betty Ford by the Parsons School of Design. He famously created sequined gowns, gold capes and antique lace that were very much on-trend during the sixties, seventies and eighties. Many designs can be found on Etsy, so start preparing your First Lady Halloween costume early this year.

A sleeker look from the designer (Photo: Etsy).
A sleek look from the designer (Photo: Etsy).

If you’re not in the market for a 1980s ball gown with puffed sleeves and sequins, you can visit his looks at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Designer and First Lady Favorite Anthony Muto Dies at 81