Category Archives: Designers/Couturiers

Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Rosina Schiavone Ferragamo

While we are in Italy, here is another name that eludes research. Rosina Schiavone Ferragamo is often cited as being the sister of the more famous shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo. Her birth date is recorded as 1905, but I have … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Oppio

In 1940, Anna Ancillotti Chiarugi established a dressmaking business in Sovigliana-Vinci, near Florence. Her four daughters Sandra, Lucia, Rosaria and Stella Chiarugi inherited the business in 1975 and seven years later renamed the company Oppio (Italian for opium). The label … Continue reading

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Karl Lagerfeld, 1933 – 2019

Karl Lagerfeld died earlier today of pancreatic cancer at the age of 85. Rumours of failing health surfaced a few weeks ago when he didn’t make his end-of-show-bow at the Paris Chanel show on January 22.   Karl Otto Lagerfeldt was … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Mrs. Franklin Inc. (1923-1938)

Last year we acquired a very nice forest green knit suit from the early 1930s. It is dead plain – consisting of a straight, ankle length skirt, and an open jacket with a belt. In the nape is a small … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Francis & Co., 9 rue Auber, Paris

There were so many couturiers working in Paris in the late 19th and early 20th century that it is nearly impossible to research their labels, especially when what information there is, likely exists only in France. A couple of years … Continue reading

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Michaele Vollbracht, 1947 – 2018

Born November 17, 1947 in Kansas City, Missouri, Michael Vollbracht was a fashion designer, illustrator, author, and designer. I worked with him in 1999 when he was the designer for a retrospective exhibition about American shoe designers Beth and Herbert … Continue reading

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Kate Spade, 1962 – 2018

Born in Kansas City on December 24, 1962, Katherine Bresnahan, was attending college when she met her future husband Andy Spade (brother of SNL actor David Spade). The idea of opening a  handbag company came from a casual conversation the … Continue reading

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Acquiring Contemporary Clothing: Weston Wear, c. 2010

When collecting fashions from the recent past for the future, it can be a challenge to make sound decisions without the perspective of time that allows us to see the past more clearly. Since the museum was founded in 2004 … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Carole Little

Mary Carole Lenski was born September 27, 1934. After studying fashion design in Los Angeles, she started her fashion career as a secretary at swimsuit maker Rose Marie Reid. She married her boss, James Little and by the early 1970s … Continue reading

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Judith Leiber, 1921 – 2018

Handbag designer Judith Leiber passed away last Saturday at the age of 97, a few hours after her artist husband of 72 years Gerson Leiber. Both died of heart attacks. Born Judith Marianne Peto in Budapest on Jan. 11, 1921, … Continue reading

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