Elsa Schiaparelli

fashion designer
Born: 9/10/1890
Birthplace: Rome

Proof that studying philosophy rarely leads to regular employment, Schiaparelli worked as a script writer in the US before moving to Paris in the late 1920s to open a boutique. Her designs were characterized by their bold use of color, particularly shocking pink and ice blue, which both became sensations when she introduced them. One of her most memorable designs was a tall hat in the shape of a shoe. Her dresses and suits of the 1930s with squared, padded shoulders changed the female figure. She originated the idea of separates for sports clothes. She was the first designer to use zippers and man-made fabrics for her fashions. She expanded her line of clothing to include hats, perfume, jewelry, cosmetics lingerie and swimwear. A New York store opened in 1949, specializing in mass-producing her suit designs.

Died: 11/13/1973

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