Carnegie, Hattie

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Carnegie, Hattie

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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 Amercian 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.

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