Born Claire Margaret Bardwell in Toronto, Claire Haddad was a pioneer of Canadian designer lingerie. She was born into the fashion trade – her parents, born in Syria and Lebanon, had started Bard’s, a company that made bathrobes and housecoats from terrycloth and Viyella – a cotton/wool blend. After taking some pattern making and design courses, Claire went into the family business at about the same time she married Albert Haddad in 1944.
In 1964 Claire and Albert launched Claire Haddad Limited, their own lingerie company that specialized in peignoir sets. Their venture was an immediate success. Claire received six Edee (Canadian fashion) awards between 1965 and 1968, and an American Coty award in 1967. Her clothes were often reported in American fashion publications including Women’s Wear Daily and Vogue. Some of Claire’s clients included: Carol Burnett, Cyd Charisse, Arlene Dahl, Dinah Christie, Mary Tyler Moore, and Elizabeth Taylor.
Claire’s business peaked around the time she received an Order of Canada for her contribution to the Canadian fashion industry in 1979. Off-shore manufacturing was creating a competitive market in the early 1980s and obtaining quality materials and workmanship was becoming increasingly difficult. Rather than see the quality of her products suffer, Claire closed her business in 1985. For more information about Claire Haddad visit her website.
Here is a great obit that was published in the Globe and Mail
Albert Haddad predeceased Claire in 2014, Claire passed away May 17, 2016