Saks Fifth Avenue was an extension of Andrew Saks' A. Saks & Co. store, which opened in Washington, D.C.'s F Street shopping district in 1867. Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel came up with "Saks Fifth Avenue" in the early 1900s but it took almost two decades for their creation to come to fruition. The first Saks Fifth Avenue store opened on September 15, 1924, and, as is still the case, sold high-end women's and men's fashions. Adam Gimbel became President of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1926 after the death of Horace Saks. Adam Gimbel was responisble for expanding the brand, setting up stores throughout the country. Gimbel retired in 1969. Affiliates of Investcorp S.A. ("Investcorp") acquired Saks & Company in July 1990. In April 2015, Marc Metrick became president of the company, and five years later, Metrick took on the title of CEO as well.
Maurice Rentner was an established maker of quality suits and dresses and a founding member and first president of the Fashion Originators Guild of America. He began his career in fashion working in his father's button making factory and in 1923 formed Maurice Rentner, Inc.
Sophie Gimbel, more well-known as Sophie of Saks, was born Sophie Hass in 1898 in Houston, Texas. She attended Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. In the late 1920s she moved to New York and was hired as a stylist at Saks Fifth Avenue. Shortly thereafter she was asked to re-vamp their foundering custom-order Salon Moderne. She was successful in this endeavor, as well as with her line of ready-to-wear, Sophie Originals. In 1931 she married Adam Gimbel who was president of Saks Fifth Avenue from 1926 to 1969. Sophie did not sketch her designs, rather, she used sketchers to assist with visualizing her ideas, or purchased designs from other designers and modified them. She enjoyed significant success, particularly in the 1940s, and her designs were noted for their elegance. Her clientele included Claudette Colbert, Rose Kennedy, and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson who wore a red coat and dress designed by Sophie Gimbel to her husband's inauguration in 1965. Sophie Gimbel retired in 1969 and passed away in 1981.
Simonetta and Fabiani met in 1950 and married three years later. They each had separate designing careers until 1962 when they opened a salon in Paris named Simonetta e Fabiani. Simonetta was a popular designer known for her flowing capes and beautiful gowns. They both retired from designing in the late sixties.
Formed by a merger of the New York Couture Group and the American Fashion Business Council in February of 1966, the NYCBC's founding chairperson was Adolf Klein of Townley, Inc.
Reem Acra was born in Beirut and after studying business at the American University of Beirut, moved to New York to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology where she graduated magne cum laude and won awards for her senior collection. Acra subsequently studied fashion design at ESMOD in Paris and briefly worked in Hong Kong and Taiwan before launching her own bridal wear brand Reem Acra New York in 1997. The brand continues to be known for its bridal looks and high-end RTW eveningwear.
Margaret Evelyn de Arias DBE, born Margaret Evelyn Hookham, known by the stage name Margot Fonteyn, was an English ballerina. She spent her entire career as a dancer with the Royal Ballet, eventually being appointed prima ballerina assoluta of the company by Queen Elizabeth II.
Joseph Love was a prominent childrenswear designer. He opened his business Joseph Love Inc. in 1920 using his Army bonus.
Pearl Alexander Lipman (née Pearl Levy) was the co-owner and designer for the trend forecasting subscription services André Studios and Creator Studios. At the age of twelve, she sold her first designs to children’s wear manufacturer Joseph Love. At seventeen, she started her own business before studying fashion and design at Cooper Union and the Traphagan School. Levy was employed as a designer by coat manufacturer Rubin Endler, Inc. before striking out on her own. In 1930, Levy married Albert Louis “A. L.” Alexander, a police reporter-turned-radio announcer. After her marriage, Levy became known, both personally and professionally, as Pearl Levy Alexander, Pearl L. Alexander and Pearl Alexander. She eventually married a second time, and by the early 1960s was going by Mrs. Pearl Lipman.
"Antonio Lopez was born in 1943, in Utuado, Puerto Rico. He was the son of a couturier, and moved to New York at the age of eight. He studied at the High School of Industrial Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
In the early 60's, he worked as a sketch artist on 7th Avenue, until in 1964, he met the designer Charles James, who was to be an enormous influence on him. Antonio worked with James, drawing all the designer's clothes, for a number of years.
With the advent of fashion photography, Vogue magazine used lesser and lesser of the illustrator's art, with the exception only of Antonio, who was almost the only artist to be found in Vogue after 1963, because of the stylistic quality and great verve of his drawings.
In 1969, while on a working trip for Elle Magazine in Paris, he met fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who encouraged him to set up a studio in Paris. He did so and became the leader of a group of celebrities.
He established himself as the foremost fashion illustrator on both sides of the Atlantic. It can be said of Antonio that his work helped create a return to the almost forgotten art of fashion illustration in magazines. He exerted a strong influence on many younger artists.
He was the only artist commissioned by fashion magazines with any regularity during the lean years of the 60's and 70's. His was a style completely in tune with the rebellious clothes and free attitudes of the 60's. From the moment they were first published in Women's Wear Daily and the New York Times, Antonio's drawings were much in demand.
He was sought out by designers, stores and magazines around the world. For over 20 years, Antonio remained the most consistently influential fashion illustrator and his career bridges the gap between the 60's and the renaissance of fashion illustration in the 80's.
He died in 1987 at the age of 44."
Orvon Gene Autry was born on September 29th, 1907 in Tioga, Texas. His father was a cattle buyer, farmer, and preacher. Autry learned how to ride horses and play the guitar at a young age. Late in his teens, Autry worked as a telegrapher. His interest in show business began one night while working in Chelsea, Oklahoma. The actor Will Rogers came in to the depot Autry was working in, saw the guitar near the young man, and asked him to play. After hearing Autry, Rogers encouraged him to try to find work on the radio. After being turned down for work in New York, Autry got his first job in radio at a radio station in Tulsa. In 1928, Autry was back in New York but this time to record a song which became successful. This got Autry a contract with Columbia Records. His film career began six years after he cut his first record. Throughout the mid- and late-1930s, Autry's star kept rising. His cowboy persona was well regarded by both kids and adults. From 1938 to 1932, he was one of the top ten box-office draws in the nation. Autry continued to record music and star in films in the 1940s and 1950s, only retiring in 1964 at the age of 57. Gene Autry is perhaps best known as the singer of the original "Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer," the second best-selling song in history. In addition to his work in the entertainment business, Autry owned a handful of profitable properties. Gene Autry passed away on October 2nd, 1998 at the age of 91.
Kenneth Paul Block was an American fashion illustrator. He worked as an in-house artist for Fairchild Publications and was featured prominently in their magazines Women's Wear Daily and W. His personal clientele included fashion retailers including Bergdorf-Goodman, Lord &Taylor, and Bonwit-Teller. His long-term life partner was fellow artist and fabric designer Morton Ribyat.
Björk is a singer and musician from Reykjavík, Iceland.
Sir Cecil Beaton was born in London in 1904. Beaton attended St. John's College, although he never graduated. He signed a contract with Condé Nast to supply Vogue with fashion photographs in 1930. He photographed royalty, movie stars, fashion designs, and cultural elites. His first book, The Book of Beauty, was published in 1930, followed by dozens more which became a platform for him to show off his talent for illustrating. Beaton produced costumes and sets for both stage and screen, winning three academy awards, two for Best Costume Design (Gigi in 1958 and My Fair Lady in 1964) and one for Best Art Direction (My Fair Lady in 1964). Queen Elizabeth II knighted Beaton in 1972.
George Barbier was one of the great French illustrators of the early 20th century. Born in Nantes, France October 10, 1882, he was a student of J.P. Laurens at the Beaux-Arts and exhibited at the Salon des Humoristes in 1910 under the name of Edouard William. The following year he began working at the gallery of Boutet de Monvel. From 1912 to his death he regularly figured into Salon des Artistes Décorateurs and was the recipient of many prizes. For the next 20 years Barbier led a group from the École des Beaux Arts whom Vogue nicknamed "The Knights of the Bracelet"—a tribute to their fashionable and flamboyant mannerisms and style of dress. Included in this élite circle were Paul Iribe, Georges Lepape, Charles Martin, and his cousins Bernard Boutet de Monvel and Pierre Brissaud. He contributed to Gazette du Bon Ton, le Jardin des Dames et des Modes, Modes et Manières d'Aujourd'hui, Les Feuillets d'Art, Fémina, Vogue, and Comœdia Illustré. His career also included jewelry, glass, and wallpaper designs. Through the Max Weldy Studios he created a number of décors and costumes for the Folies Bergère and other music halls. He is credited with the costume for Rudolph Valentino in the movie Monsieur Beaucaire. In the mid 1920s he worked with Erté to design sets and costumes. In 1929 he wrote the introduction for Erté's acclaimed exhibition and achieved mainstream popularity through regular appearances in L'Illustration magazine. Barbier was also one of many artists who made a living illustrating limited "editions de luxe," intended to be collectors’ items due to their rarity and high standards of printing. Eagerly collected In France in the teens and twenties these classics and contemporary works were illustrated by leading artists of the day and often bound in lavish, specially designed bindings. Artists such as Guy Arnoux, George Barbier, Leon Benigni, Benito, Brunelleschi, Georges Lepape, Charles Martin, and Andre Marty found a lucrative demand for contributions which brought a considerable amount of prestige. The first book of this kind done by Barbier, in 1913, was an album of drawings of Nijinsky, the dancer, done in his various roles in the Ballets Russes. 1914 saw a similar album of Karsavina. Done mostly in black and white, it is in these that the similarity to Beardsley's style is most evident. After these albums, Barbier seemed to pull away from this style, using more color and less outlining to make his graphic statements. Barbier died in 1932 at the very pinnacle of his success.
One of the great French illustrators of the early 20th century, he was also a designer of theater and ballet costumes, a journalist and writer.
Barbier was born in Nantes, France and moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. There he studied alongside many of the fellow artists and illustrators later dubbed "The Knights of the Bracelet," by Vogue, which included Paul Iribe, Georges Lepape, and Charles Martin. Over the course of his career, he contributed to many popular journals of the day including Gazette du bon ton, Les feuillets d'art, Fémina, Vogue, and Comoedia Illustré. He created set designs and costumes for the Folies Bergère, and worked as an illustrator for artists’ books and “editions de luxe.” Very little documentation of Barbier’s personal life survives today; he died at the pinnacle of his success at the age of 50.
Tallulah Bankhead (1902 - 1968) was an American stage and screen actress. Known for her outrageous personality, Bankhead won acclaim from both U.S. and European audiences. She began acting in 1918, performing a bit part in a Broadway production. Although a steady stream of roles came to her during her early career, Bankhead was unsatisfied with the tepid response she received from reviewers. She left for London in 1923 and became a box office hit. She appeared in a handful of stage roles, each garnering her praise, until she left for Hollywood to star in her first film, in 1931. Unfortunately, her first few films were flops. Bankhead returned to Broadway in 1933, but could not find success. It wasn't until 1939 when Bankhead starred in The Little Foxes that she won over critics, winning a New York Drama Critics Circle award for her performance. This was to be her last major triumph on the American stage. Bankhead continued acting in films and on stage until her death in 1968.
The dancer, actress, and activist Josephine Baker was born on June 3, 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri. At the age of 18, she left America and her turbulent childhood behind for Europe. She settled in Paris, quickly becoming the toast of the town after starring in "La Revue Nègre." After a year starring in the revue, Baker became a headline attraction at the Follies Bergère. It was at this famous club that Baker debuted her now-famous banana skirt. Thanks to her success in Paris, Baker was able to perform throughout Europe. The entertainer continued to perform in Parisian revues throughout the 1920s and 1930s. During this time, Baker began acting in movies, becoming one of the first black woman to star in a major motion picture. Her first speaking role was in 1934's Zouzou. In 1936, Baker returned to the U.S. and performed on Broadway in the "Ziegfeld Follies." After appearing on the New York stage, she traveled the U.S. in her own show. Baker returned to Paris, however, and became a French citizen in 1937. During WWII, Baker worked as an intelligence agent, ambulance driver, and entertainer for French troops in North Africa. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her service. In the 1950s, Baker began adopting children of different backgrounds. Her and her "rainbow tribe," as she referred to them, lived in Southwestern France. In 1958, she returned to the Parisian stage in an auto-biographical show titled "Paris Mes Amours." Josephine Baker died on April 12, 1975 at the age of 68. Her legacy lives on to this day. Many contemporary fashion designers name her as inspiration for their collections.
Born Elspeth Mary Hodgson in 1888, Elspeth Champcommunal was a notable socialite in the pre-WWI and interwar European art world. She married the French artist Joseph Champcommunal, who died tragically during the first year of WWI. In 1916, Champcommunal became the first editor of British Vogue. Beginning in the mid-1920s, Champcommunal ran her couture house in Paris. Champcommunal became head of the British operation of Worth in 1936, where she stayed until the mid-1950s. Champcommunal passed away on November 10, 1976.
Hussein Chalayan is a Turkish Cypriot-British fashion designer. He started his own Ready-To-Wear fashion line "Hussein Chalayan" in 1994, which was later shortened to "Chalayan" in 2010. He received the Designer of the Year award at the annual British Fashion Awards in 1998, and was voted British Fashion Designer in 2010.
Elisabetta Catalano was an Italian photographer who did work for various publications including L'Espresso, Vogue Italia, and the American, French, and English editions of Vogue.
Mia Carpenter was a fashion illustrator working in the mid- to late-20th century. Carpenter was born in California in 1933 and studied at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, graduating in 1956. Her first sketches appeared in Seventeen magazine beginning in 1957. In 1962, Carpenter received an award for advertising from the Society of Illustrators. She started in retail fashion illustration and moved into sketching for entertainment ad agencies when illustration in retail fashion dropped in demand. She later also worked as a sketch artist for the film industry and for numerous agencies in the Hollywood area. She retired in 2004.
Hattie Carnegie was born Henrietta Kanengeiser in Vienna, Austria on March 15, 1889. In 1900, she immigrated with her family to the United States where they settled in New York City. She later changed her last name to Carnegie because of its association with wealth. In 1909, she bought a store with Rose Roth called "Carnegie Ladies' Hatter". Carnegie studied Parisian fashion styles which she adapted for her customers. In 1919, she bought Rose Roth's share of the business and Hattie Carnegie, Inc. was born. In 1928, Carnegie introduced her first ready-to-wear line designed by Norman Norell. By 1940, Carnegie had more than 1,000 employees producing her ready-to-wear lines, but her custom shop was the foundation of her reputation. During WWII, Carnegie became a leader in the American Fashion scene where she began to rely on American fabric designers. In the 1950's she continued to make chic and conventional dresses and suits, along with ballgowns that were adapted from French couturiers. she was also known for using a particular shade of blue in many of her garments that became known as "Carnegie blue". Carnegie died in 1956, but her business stayed open under the direction of her husband, John Zanft and employee, Larry Joseph until 1976.
Maria Callas was an American-born Greek soprano opera singer.
Stephen Gerald Burrows was born on September 15, 1943 in Newark, NJ. He attended the Philadelphia Museum College of Art from 1961-1963 and then attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T) from 1964-1966, where he graduated with a degree in fashion design. Successfully selling his garments to his friends or the "commune" as he referred to them, he co-founded "O" Boutique in 1968 on Park Avenue South.Burrows' use of color, color combinations, and fabrics was unheard of at this time. Burrows was influenced by rhythm and dance inspiring garments with a softer, slimmer silhouette that moved with the body and as a finishing touch, he originated the "Lettuce Edge", which is still in use today. In 1970, the fashion industry took notice of Burrows' innovative designs, where he was hired by Henri Bendel and given a boutique named "Stephen Burrows World". In 1973, Burrows was chosen to be a part of a collaborative fashion benefit between the United States and France at the Palace of Versailles, where Burrows and American fashion became an international sensation. Following his success, Burrows received the Coty award in 1973, 1974 and 1977. Burrows later left Bendel to open his own business on seventh avenue, marking his hiatus from the fashion industry until 2002. On February 13th, 2002 "Stephen Burrows World" reopened at Henri Bendel, reintroducing Burrows into the fashion world. In 2006, Burrows received the CFDA's Board of Directors Special Tribute after 40 years as a designer.
Jean Pierre Brissaud was born on December 23rd, 1885 in Paris, France. In his youth, Brissaud trained to be an artist. Both his brother and uncle were working in the arts when Brissaud began his career. Brissaud's first success as an artist came in 1907 when he was invited to show some prints and watercolor works at the Salon. This helped launch Brissaud's career, for after the 1907 Salon, he began getting work as an illustrator for magazines. By the 1920s, Brissaud's pochoir work could be found in La Gazette du Bon Ton, Vogue, House and Garden, Ladies Home Journal, Fortune, and Vanity Fair. Through these publications, Brissaud helped establish the Art Deco movement. Brissaud continued to work in the fashion industry during the 1920s and 1930s. Additionally, Brissaud worked on book illustrations for several authors. Little is known about Brissaud's life after the 1930s. On October 17, 1964, Pierre Brissaud passed away.
Clara Bow was an American actress who got her start in silent film in the 1920s and successfully made the transition to talkies in 1929. She was nicknamed "The It Girl" following her globally renowned role as a shopgirl in the 1927 film It.
Ina Claire was an American stage and film actress.
Lygia Clark was Brazilian artist who worked in mediums including painting, sculpture, and installations.
Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur in San Antonio, Texas around 1905. She began dancing at an early age. She began acting in MGM-produced films in 1925. Fame didn't come until 1928, when Crawford appeared in the smash-hit "Our Dancing Daughters." Her natural, un-accented voice helped her transition to talkies in the late 1920s. Throughout the early- and mid-1930s, Crawford was a major box office draw. By the end of the decade, however, her star had dimmed, in part due to sub-par roles and a younger batch of actresses coming up in the industry. She left MGM for Warner Bros. in the early 1940s. In 1945, Crawford received an academy award for "Mildred Pierce," a film that helped relaunch her career. Crawford worked steadily through the late 1940s and 1950s, although with waning success. In 1962, her career was briefly revived once more when "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane" was released. Crawford continued to act until her death on May 10, 1977.
Born in 1898 in the Bordeaux region of France, Lilly Daché received her millinery training under the famed Parisian milliners Caroline Reboux and Susan Talbot. In the early 1920s, she made her way to the United States and by 1924 had become part owner of The Bonnet Shop, which was eponymously named after the departure of her partner, shortly into the venture. The 1930s saw the business find great success with many Hollywood actresses patronizing the talents of the House of Daché. In 1931, Daché married COTY vice-president Jean Despres, in whom she found a warm and supporting partner through out her life. In 1940, Daché received the Neiman Marcus Award and the following year the Coty American Fashion Critics Award. The 1940s would also see her offer cosmetics and clothing to her clients as well as imported couture models of clothes and hats from Paris. When the demand for hats declined in the 1960s, Daché opened a hair salon on her premises and also sold wigs. In 1968, at the age of 73, Daché retired and liquidated her business assets. She died in Louvecienne, France in 1989. One of the many illustrious protegées who trained under Daché was Halston, who left her employ in 1958 to take the job of milliner for Bergdorf Goodman.
Bebe Daniels was an American actress, singer, dancer, writer and producer.
Marion Davies (born Marion Cecilia Douras in 1897) was an American actress. Her career began on Broadway, working with the great directors and producers of the day, including Florenz Ziegfeld. While performing in Ziegfeld's Follies, she met William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate. Although Hearst was married, the two entered into a passionate affair that would last until Hearst's death in 1951. With Hearst's backing, Davies became one of the most publicized actresses of the silent era. In Hollywood, Davies starred in over 40 films, including 16 "talkies." She retired from acting in the mid-1930s. She spent the rest of her life between Hollywood and San Simeon, where Hearst had a large estate. After Hearst passed away, Davies entered her first and only marriage with Horace G. Brown. Marion Davies passed away on September 22, 1961 at the age of 64.
Elise de Wolfe, also known as Lady Mendl, was an American actress and interior decorator.
Ann Demeulemeester is a Belgian fashion designer. She got her start in the mid 1980s as a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, and her showcase at London Fashion Week in 1986 has earned her a title as part of the "Antwerp Six". She launched her eponymous label in 1985 in collaboration with her husband, photographer Patrick Robyn.
Gaby Deslys was a French singer, dancer, and actress.
Bil Donovan is an American fashion illustrator. His client list reads like a who's who in fashion: Christian Dior, Vogue, and L’Occitane are just some of the companies Donovan has worked with. In addition to his work as an illustrator, Donovan teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology as well as The School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Born Lucile Christiana Sutherland in 1863, Lady Duff Gordon was raised by Canadian Parents in London, England. Following a childhood focused around dolls and dresses, Lucile designed women's wear as Mrs. James Wallace from 1895 - 1897. She began a successful dressmaking business shortly after the divorce from her first husband. This business proved to be successful, and evolved into Maison Lucile in 1887, distinguished for its colorful fabric and whimsical, feminine designs as well as its celebrity clientele. In 1900 she married Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon, thus changing her name and title as clothing coutier. While owning and operating Maison Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon also wrote fashion columns for the Hearst Papers and other notable fashion magazines. She opened branches of Lucile in New York in 1910, Paris in 1912, and Chicago in 1915. She is recognized her stature as the first British fashion designer to use live models during fashion shows, and, after establishing her name as one of the foremost fashion designers, designed costume for film and theatre. Such productions include costume designs for the British premier of the Franz Lehar Opera, the film The Merry Widow (1907), and for the Hollywood feature Way Down East (1920). She is most credited for her collaboration with the Ziegfeld Follies from 1915 - 1921, some sketches of which appear in this collection. Financial strain prompted her to close her design house in 1923, though she continued to work as a theatrical designer until 1925. Lady Duff Gordon passed away on April 20, 1935 at the age of 71 of breast cancer in a nursing home in London.
Bill Dugan was an American fashion designer. He co-founded his design firm W.S. Dugan, Inc. in 1988 with his partner Nancy North. He was previously the executive design assistant to Halston Enterprises in New York City from 1972 to 1984 for designer Halston.
Isadora Duncan was an American dancer.
Edward VII, full name Albert Edward, was the king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British dominions and emperor of India from 1901 until his death in 1910.
Ruth Finley was born January 14, 1920, in Haverville, Massachusetts to a Russian immigrant father and New York born mother. She attended Simmons College in Boston and received a Bachelor's of Science in Journalism and Nutrition. During her college education, she interned as a food journalist at the New York Herald Tribune and for Eleanor Lambert's Red Cross Fashion Show in Press Week. Two years after graduating, in 1941, she and a friend founded the Fashion Calendar. From the 1940s to the present, she played many roles in the New York fashion industry, including director of New York Fashion Council, member of Roundtable of Fashion Executives, and board member for philanthropic organizations, including City Meals on Wheels,.
Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, MA. He was educated at the Boston Latin School but dropped out at the age of 10 to help his father run the family candle and soap store. He moved to Philadelphia in 1723, and a year later, traveled to London, finding work in a printing press. Franklin published his first text in 1725. He returned to Philadelphia in 1726 and entered a common-law marriage with Deborah Read. Franklin continued to worked in publishing in the States. His success and fame grew throughout the 1730s. The following decade saw Franklin expand into inventing. His first invention, the Franklin stove, was introduced in 1740. Franklin entered politics in 1748, when he joined the Philadelphia’s city council. In 1775, Franklin was elected to the Second Continental Congress. The following year, he helped draft the Declaration of Independence. Shortly after this, he became the United State's first ambassador to France, where he stayed until 1785. In 1787, Franklin was elected to represent Pennsylvania at the Constitutional Convention. Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia.
June Amos Grammer was a doll designer and illustrator.
Katharine Hepburn was an American actress.
Derived from http://www.beauxbooks.com/a-collection-of-original-fashion-illustrations-of-designs-by-the-couturier-elspeth-phelps.html:
Constance Elspeth Phelps was born in 1877 in Madeira, Portugal. She emigrated to England to work as a dressmaker and at the turn of the century was working under the court dressmaker Ada Nettleship (Augustus John's mother-in-law) in Wigmore Street. [Around] 1906 she opened her own London couture house in Albemarle Street. From here she designed gowns for Court and high society, as well as dressing the cream of London's theater stars, including Lily Elsie and Irene Castle. In 1920 she married Lionel Fox Pitt, by which name she is often referred. The fashion house continued to expand over the next two decades. In 1923 she formed an alliance with the London branch of the French fashion house Paquin; she sold the Elspeth Phelps name to them and opened a new showroom in Dover Street. The arrangement was not to end well and a very public court case ensued, with Paquin accusing Phelps of underhand dealings and Phelps suing Paquin for breach of contract. She managed to extricate herself from the arrangement and reopened her house as Elspeth Fox Pitt Ltd. in the late 1920s. The business continued to run for many years. Her London shop was bombed during the Second World War and she relocated her workrooms to Oxford. The company was closed in 1959. Phelps died on 10 March 1968.
Dorothy Hood was an American fashion illustrator. Working as an illustrator for Lord & Taylor for nearly 40 years, Hood's easy, natural figures had considerable impact on fashion illustration styles. The Hood Girl became, for a time, almost as talked‐about a style as the Gibson Girl.
Esther "Esta" Nesbitt was an American artist, well known as a fashion illustrator for various leading publications including Harpers Bazaar, Mademoiselle, and the New York Times Magazine.
Marc Jacobs was born on April 9, 1963, the son of two theatrical agents. His father died when he was only 7 years old. He went to live with his grandmother, who taught him how to knit. After his graduation at the High School of Art & Design, he entered Parson's School of Design, and in his final year (1984) created a collection of handknit sweaters (made by his grandmother) which won him the Perry Ellis Golden Thimble award. After graduating, he designed under his own label for two years, creating irreverent take-offs of 60's hippie style clothing and versions of patchwork and gingham. While studying, Marc Jacobs won many prizes including "Design Student of the Year 1984". This gave Marc Jacobs the opportunity to start his first ready-to-wear collection for Ruben Thomas Inc. In 1986, with the support of Kashyama USA Inc., Marc Jacobs designed his first collection with his own "Marc Jacobs" label. In 1987 Marc Jacobs received the "Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent", the highest tribute possible in the American fashion world. In 1989 Marc Jacobs joined Perry Ellis and was named Vice-President of Women's Design. While at Perry Ellis, Marc Jacobs created the designer collection as well as overseeing the various women's licensees. In 1992, the CFDA once again bestowed Jacobs with a distinct honor: Womenswear Designer of the Year.
As a womenswear designer for sportswear label Perry Ellis, Jacobs was fired in 1993 after designing a now infamous grunge collection along with business partner Robert Duffy. He then went back to designing under his own label. In 1994, Jacobs produced his first full collection of menswear. In 1997, he was voted Womenswear Designer of the Year by the CFDA. In the same year, Jacobs was appointed Louis Vuitton's creative director, where he created the company's first ready-to-wear clothing line. Jacobs has collaborated with many popular artists for his Louis Vuitton collections, including Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami and most recently American artist Richard Prince and rapper Kanye West. He has introduced modern pop and kisch into their sedate image. He is credited with turning Louis Vuitton into a global fashion powerhouse, quadrupling its profits within 10 years of being there. Robert Duffy is Jacobs business partner, who has worked with him from his earliest days at Perry Ellis. In the spring of 2001, Jacobs introduced his secondary line, Marc by Marc Jacobs. His three Marc Jacobs collections—two for adults and one for children—are sold at dozens of Marc Jacobs boutiques worldwide. He has also licensed his name to perfumes and accessories. The Council of Fashion Designers of America named him the Menswear Designer of the Year in 2002, and Accessories Designer of the Year in 1998/99, 2003 and 2005. In 2011 the CFDA honored Jacobs with its prestigious Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement award.
Jane Bixby Weller was educated at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois and Cooper Union in NYC. She worked as a fashion illustrator, producing work for such clients as Marshall Field & Co. and Saks Fifth Ave., among many others. Her illustrations were used by numerous major advertising agencies in the US and abroad and her editorial illustrations appeared in Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. Book illustrations by Weller were used publishing houses like Bantam Books, Avon, and Harcourt Brace & Co. During her career, Weller was recognized with numerous awards from the Chicago Art Directors Club, the NY Art Directors Club, and the Society of Illustrators. In 2001 she was included in the Society of Illustrators' exhibit "Woman Illustrators in America" and in the 2010 exhibit "The Line of Fashion." Weller's work is also included in the Society's Permanent Collection. Weller taught at the Parsons School of Design and retired after a long career as an educator at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Rei Kawakubo is a Japanese fashion designer. She is the founder of fashion label Comme des Garçons, established in 1973.
Born August 10 1903 in Crawfordsville, IN, Eleanor Lambert attended the Chicago Art Institute before moving to New York in 1925 with her first husband Willis Connor. She soon found work with publicist Franklin Spear and brought in new clients from the New York art world, representing both artists and institutions. She was involved with the founding of both the Whitney Museum of Art and MoMA in the late 1920s and early 1930s. By 1935, she was sufficiently established and branched out on her own, forming Eleanor Lambert, Inc. The marriage to Connor was short-lived and Lambert married Hearst newspaper executive Seymour Berkson in 1936, with whom she had her only child, William in 1939. During the 1930s, her professional attentions shifted away from art and towards the American fashion industry. She helped establish the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1937 and established the New York Dress Institute in 1939, serving as director until 1962. When the International Best Dressed list was suspended during WWII, Lambert appropriated it, running it until 2002 when she turned it over to Vanity Fair. In 1941 she created the American Fashion Critics Awards (aka the COTY Awards) and launched the first New York Fashion Press Week in 1943. Long associated with the Costume Institute, Lambert established the annual Party of the Year fundraiser, the precursor to what is now the Costume Institute Ball. In 1962, Lambert is instrumental in the founding of American Art Dealers Association of America and created the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In 1964, she launches a syndicated newspaper column on fashion "She" which was renamed "Eleanor Lambert" in 1982 which would run until the time of her death. Over the next several decades, Lambert received numerous awards and recognition for her dedication to the American fashion industry, notably the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989. At the age of 99, Lambert shuttered the doors of Eleanor Lambert, Inc. and passed away at the age of 100 in her Park Avenue home.
Vera Maxwell was New York City in 1901. She trained as a ballet dancer and joined the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in 1919. In 1924, she married Raymond J. Maxwell and shortly after began her first foray into the fashion world as a model for a wholesale company, eventually starting to sketch, design and model her own clothes in 1929. By 1936 Vera's designs were receiving positive reviews in the fashion press and her freelance collections were receiving attention in New York. She was also designing for 7th Avenue firms such as Adler and Adler, Glenhunt and Max Milstein. Vera opened Vera Maxwell Originals in 1946 and became known for her classic separates and suits, dresses teamed with jackets, print dresses, Chesterfield coats and Wraparound jersey dresses. During the war years, she gained a reputation for her practical sense, which was evident in the one-piece overalls she designed for female factory workers. Her simple lapel-less suits were spare and gave no hint of having been stripped of their decorations, which demonstrated her skill at overcoming the fabric rations of the time. Other innovations Vera became known for were her desire to design for women of short height, or without a model's figure and for women whose jobs took them beyond their desks. In 1974, she designed a "speedsuit" made of jersey with an elasticized waist, which could be pulled on in just 17 seconds. Vera closed her business in 1985, eventually passing away in January 1995.
Claire McCardell was born May 24, 1905, in Frederick, Maryland. She showed an aptitude and passion for fashion from a young age, and began making her own clothes during her early adolescence. At age 18 McCardell enrolled in Hood College in Fredrick, Maryland, but she left after two years to pursue fashion illustration at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (known today as Parsons School of Design). In 1927 McCardell transferred to the Parsons branch in Paris at the Place des Vosges. There, she gained hands-on experience with Paris couture and perfected her understanding of garment construction. When she returned to New York she worked as a model, a seamstress and as a designer for a small knit-goods company.
In 1929 McCardell began working as an assistant designer for Robert Turke, and moved with him to Townley Frocks, Inc. when Turk’s own firm disbanded. A month before the spring showing in 1931, Turk tragically drowned and McCardell was left responsible for completing the collection. She copied the latest styles from Paris and the collection sold well, although it was moderately received. For the following collection she experimented with shapes and materials in a more avant-garde style, but these were too advanced for the mainstream market, which was not yet ready for her revolution of casual clothing and sportswear. Then, in 1938 McCardell launched her famous 'Monastic Dress', a shapeless bias-cut dress that was worn with a belt to cinch the waist. It was extremely successful and widely copied by mass retailers. McCardell left Townley Frocks for a brief time and went to Hattie Carnegie (1938-1940), where she worked alongside Norman Norell. She later returned to Townley Frocks, where she spent the rest of her career.
While other designers struggled during World War II without the guidance of French designers and with the unavailability of traditional fabrics and materials, McCardell took advantage of the circumstances. She used nontraditional fabrics such as denim and wool jersey, while continuing to design clothing to meet the everyday needs of the American woman. In 1942 she designed the 'Pop-over' dress, a wrap dress that was meant to be popped-over pants, bathing suit or the bare skin. It was simple, comfortable and functional- a style that became McCardell's signature. The dress was very successful and was incorporated in different variations into every collection from then on.
During her short career McCardell collaborated with many retailers and manufacturers and received several awards and accolades for her innovative fashion. Among them were the Mademoiselle Merit Award, Coty American Fashion Critics Award, Nieman-Marcus Award, and Women's National Press Club Award. McCardell's contributions to the fashion industry include metal closures, blue-jean stitching, mix and match separates, and the influence of menswear in women's designs. Perhaps most importantly, she helped create an “American Look” that was distinct from traditional Parisian fashion. Sadly, McCardell succumbed to cancer on March 22, 1958, at age 52.
Lygia Pape was a Brazilian artist working in mediums including sculpture, engraving, painting, drawing, performance, filmmaking, video and installation art. She was a prominent member of the Concrete and Neo-Concrete movements.
Jeanne Paquin, born in 1869, was a leading French fashion designer known for her forward thinking modern designs. Her husband, Isidore Rene Jacob Paquin, opened the couture house, Paquin, in 1891, a month before the two married. Jeanne Paquin acted as designer while her husband acted as business manager. The duo's tenacity lead to the couture house's success in the early 20th century. Jeanne Paquin always wore her own designs, effectively advertising her house wherever she went. In 1900, Paquin was elected to head the first collective public display of couture at the great Paris Universal Exposition. For her work in fashion, Paquin was honored with several prestigious awards including the Order of Leopold II of Belgium in 1910 and the Légion d'honneur in the field of commerce in 1913. Paquin was elected to serve as the president Chambre syndicale de la couture in 1917. After almost 3 decades in the business, Jeanne Paquin retired in 1920. Eleven years later, she married Jean-Baptiste Noulens, a French diplomat. Jeanne Paquin passed away in 1936.
Known as the King of Fashion, Paul Poiret, born in France in 1879, was a celebrated French couturier active during the first half of the 20th century. He began his career selling designs to French fashion houses. Jacques Doucet hired him in 1889, where he stayed until drafted into the military in 1900. A year later, Poiret was hired by the House of Worth to create subtle garments that would offset Worth's own show-stopping ensembles. This venture was short lived, however. Poiret left in 1903 to create his own fashion house, originally at 5 rue Auber. In 1906, Poiret debuted his first corset-less design. This act was among the first that would establish the young designer. Years later, he claimed he invented the corset-less style although both Lucille and Vionnet had also gotten rid of the irksome undergarment. While "freeing women from the corset," Poiret introduced the hobble skirt, which "shackled them at the knee." By 1909, Poiret was designing garments heavily influenced by the Near- and Far-East, Africa, and Antiquity. Poiret was also began collaborating with other artists around this time, producing two pochoir books, Les robes de Paul Poiret with Paul Iribe in 1908 and Les choses de Paul Poiret with Georges Lepape in 1911, as well as what is considered one of the first fashion photoshoots with Edward Steichen. After the Ballet Russe's success in Paris in 1909, Poiret began designing "orientalist" garments including “harem” pantaloons in 1911 and “lampshade” tunics in 1913. In addition to garments, Poiret began expanding into perfumes, home decor, art exhibitions, and even opening up a trade school, École Martine (all in 1911). Poiret left his position in 1914 to serve in the first World War. He returned in 1919 but by that time, his business was on the brink of bankruptcy. During his time away, younger designers were making a name for themselves, including a young Coco Chanel. Compared to these newer designs, Poiret's garments looked out-dated and dowdy. His brand continued to deteriorate throughout the 1920s. The house closed in 1929. Poiret worked odd-jobs and often relied on the kindness of friends and acquaintances for financial help throughout the 1930s and up until his death in 1944.
Ronald Reagan was an American actor and politician. He served as the governor of California from 1967-1975, and was the 40th president of the United States from 1981-1989.