collection SC.311 - Halston sketches and photographs, circa 1964, 1979-1989

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Identity area

Reference code



Halston sketches and photographs, circa 1964, 1979-1989


  • 1964, bulk 1980-1989 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.25 linear feet of sketches and photographs

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born Roy Halston Frowick in 1932 in Des Moines, Iowa, the fashion designer who was better known as simply 'Halston' moved to Chicago in 1952 where he took a job as a window dresser for the Carson Pirie Scott department store. In 1958, he moved to New York to work for the preeminent milliner Lilly Daché before taking a job designing millinery for Bergdorf Goodman. In 1966, Bergdorf Goodman sponsored Halston's first ready-to-wear clothing line which had its own boutique within the store. He left Bergdorf in 1967 and launched his own line the following year, which was an immediate success. He won COTY Awards in 1969, 1971, and 1972. In 1973, Halston signed licensing deals with Norton Simon. Halston and menswear lines were launched in 1975.

During this period, Halston was at the epicenter of a glittering social circle, frequently attending the Studio54 night club beginning in 1977 with Andy Warhol, Liza Minelli, Mick and Bianca Jagger, and his coterie of models dubbed "The Halstonettes."

Halston diffusion lines were launched with J.C. Penny's in 1983 and the following year, Halston unsuccessfully attempted to buy his company back from Norton Simon; Halston Originals closes in 1985 and the following year Halston learned that he was HIV positive. Halston passed away from AIDS-related complications in 1990.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

This collection was given to the FIT Library unit of Special Collections and College Archives by The Museum at FIT (MFIT) in 2013. According to MFIT curator Fred Dennis we have duplicates of photos held by the Museum as part of their Halston archive, which also contains patterns, and business and personal correspondance.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection is comprised of 121 black marker millinery sketches and photographs.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

There are two series in this collection: a set of millinery sketches and a set of 8x10" color photographs of runway presentations.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access is open to researchers by appointment at the Fashion Institute of Technology Library, Department of Special Collections and College Archives. If you have any questions, or wish to schedule an appointment contact us at or call (212) 217-4385.

Conditions governing reproduction

The unit of Special Collections and College Archives does not own copyright for all material held in its physical custody. It is the researcher's obligation to abide by and satisfy copyright law ( when copying or using materials (including digital materials) found in or made available from the department. When possible, the department will inform a researcher about the copyright status of material, the researcher's obligations with regard to such material, and, wherever possible, the owner or owners of the copyrights. Any and all reproduction of originals is at the archivist's discretion.

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      Allied materials area

      Existence and location of originals

      The Library of the Fashion Institute of Technology, unit of Special Collections and College Archives, 27th St. at 7th Ave., NY, NY , USA, 10001

      Existence and location of copies

      Duplicates of the photographs are housed in The Museum at FIT.

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      Level of detail

      Dates of creation revision deletion


      • English


      • Latin


      Archivist's note

      Arrangement, description, and/or archival processing by April Calahan in December 2014, FIT, NY, NY, USA.

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