US NNFIT SC.242
- 1940-1955 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
1 oversized box
Name of creator
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.
This collection was part of the donation to SPARC from The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Costume Institute in 2011. Officially recognized by deed of gift 2013.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
This collection is comprised of fashion sketches made for Hattie Carnegie, Inc. from 1940 - 1955. This collection contains millinery (hats) for which some designs can be attributed to Esther A. Kleeper in 1945. The remainder of the collection is ready-to-wear dresses and suits, along with evening wear, mostly ballgowns, that were adapted from French couturiers for the American woman. The sketches have been divided into millinery, ready-to-wear, and evening wear. Many of the sketches are not dated, but based upon a survey of the collection and dates of similar physical garments made by Hattie Carnegie, Inc. it is assumed that the sketches are from the aforementioned dates.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
collection, series, folder
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 217-4385.
Conditions governing reproduction
The Department of Special Collections and FIT 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 (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#108) 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.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Generated finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
The Library of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives, 27th St. at 7th Ave., NY, NY , USA, 10001
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Place access points
Name access points
- Carnegie, Hattie (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion