Elizabeth Hawes was an American fashion designer and outspoken fashion industry critic. Hawes was a champion of the ready to wear industry and people's right to have the clothes they desired, rather than what was specified as "fashionable." These ideas are encapsulated in her 1938 book Fashion Is Spinach. Hawes began her career as a dress copier in Paris in 1925. In 1926, after the garment firm she worked for closed, she began work as a fashion sketcher. Returning to New York in 1928, and began to produce ready-to-wear copies of French designs with Rosemary Harden for their company, Hawes-Harden. After Harden sold her portion of the company to her, Hawes began to work on designs of her own. In 1931, she became the first non-French designer to show at the Paris Spring Fashion Shows, garnering her a great deal of media attention. In 1935, she showed her designs in Moscow, the first display of Western Fashion there since the Russian Revolution of 1917. In 1937, she presented an all-male fashion show of her own brightly colored designs, followed in 1939 by the publication of another book, Men Can Take It. Throughout her career, she became one of the first American designers to establish their reputation outside of the Parisian haute couture model. In addition to her work in the fashion industry, she was an author, union organizer, champion of gender equality, and political activist.