Private funeral services will be held Thursday for Arnold Scaasi, the designer and confidant to a bevy of First Ladies and New York insiders, who died Tuesday at age 85.

Scaasi died of cardiac arrest at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, according to his longtime associate Glendina Weste.

Born Arnold Isaacs, the designer changed his surname to Scaasi for business purposes in the mid-Fifties. One of the first American designers to break out on his own in his 20s, he became known for his designs as much as his ties to well-heeled women. He also helped pioneer the home shopping trend, first selling to QVC in 2001 and later signing up with HSN. Shrewd in business, rather than donate his archives to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 2009, Scaasi opted to sell them.

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Story Cred: WWD