HATTIE-CARNEGIE. INFO

 

hattieillustration

Illustration of Hattie Carnegie from the late 1930's to mid 1940's

HATTIE CARNEGIE APPEARED IN A LOT OF HER OWN ADVERTISEMENTS.

Via WORLD OF ADAM.com

 

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Miss Henrietta during her Macy's mannequin heyday

  Another Photograph from Macy's of Miss Hattie

 

Hattie Carnegie Macy's circa 1902-
She was 16 years old. She loved cosmetics and experimenting with hair styles
and color

. I believe she created the hat... and earned her nickname because of her skills as a milliner.

No wonder John thought she looked like a doll, and she changed her hair color more often than Lucy before did before 1943.

.

 

 

 

The Entrance to Hattie Carnegie Inc.

 

 

Hattie Carnegie was the young prodigy of Macy's Department Store.  

She received most of her formal training and fashion education at the Department Store and with the Holiday Season here. It is the perfect time to discuss Hattie's formative years and Macy's Department Store.

(and how it led to her establishment of Hattie Carnegie Inc.)

  Please Note: For the purpose of easy organization.

I stated above the text whether the particular story has to do with Macy's and/or Hattie Carnegie Inc

                        Macy's and Hattie Carnegie Inc

 

It also talked about how Hattie got her job working for  "Macy's Department Store." She walked in there one day just to check it out.

Because Hattie's friends thought she was wasting her obvious talent working in the factory on an assembly line.
She went into the clothing department and saw a dress she didn't like. She suggested to anybody that would listen that she thought that the dress could be improved upon by adding a fur collar and cuffs.
They told her in no uncertain terms,


That she was absolutely crazy!!!! "You don't put cuffs and a collar on a beaded evening gown!!!"

Hattie said, "Fine, If you don't want to take my advice, You can at least give me a job!" she stated her name and left. 

Macy's decided to try and sell Hattie's idea, and the design sold like hot cakes.

He said, "Get me that girl and offered her a job."

Hattie accepted and stayed working there till she left to open up her own shop in 1909 at age twenty-three
It isn't any wonder Lucille Ball was the way she was she learned so much about the business world from Hattie.
Personality wise they were so much alike it's just amazing.

Like when Lucy said, "This is NOT right!!!"

.............that was how Hattie was,

"Fine, If you don't want to take my advice!!!" Vintage Lucy. LOL!!!!


Neither one of them took "NO" for an answer.

Even down to Hattie's gambling addiction,

She too was serious about her games. "Lighted table and all" LOL!!!! Hattie loved gin rummy and slot machines and we all know Lucy loved backgammon.

 The article didn't state what the problem was, but I could just picture that scene. It had to be so funny.

 Hattie Carnegie Inc

Hattie Realizes her Dream

On July 16, 1919- Hattie Carnegie officially became an independent businesswoman when she bought out business partner,  who was named,  Rosie Roth.     

Roth-Carnegie Inc was now known as Hattie Carnegie Inc

Hattie Carnegie Inc

When asked, Hattie admitted that one of her worst traits was that she had a fiery temper.

Hattie was also a perfectionist and expected the same behavior of those around her.


One day Hattie decided she would check up on her employees to see how things were going.

She decided to go into the sales department on this particular day. She spotted two of her sales girls,just sitting around talking and laughing.

She walked outfiguring they were just taking a break as they were entitled to one. She spent a lot of time focusing on the sales department on that day. Yet by the third time she walked through, She noticed the sales girls were still goofing off.

Hattie yelled, "I want to speak with you both NOW!!!!!"

The three of them walked out of the room and Hattie hit the ceiling she was so angry.


Upon their return Hattie still looked VERY ANGRY and frustrated at her employees She must have let them have it because the girl'swere in tears. Not saying a thing to anybody, Hattie walked off. Still crying the girls got back to work. Hattie returned a couple minutes later with some tissues and water for the girls.

Telling them, "Alright, I'm sorry,  I lost my temper, apoligized but  also added,

"There's a time for fun and a time to work. No crying allowed on my time. Now is the time to get to work!!"  
 

Hattie had a fiery temper, she would blow up at someone, she was quick to lose it, Yet quick to calm down.

All would be better in Hattie's mind later in the day, but she couldn't understand why the other person who was on the receiving end of her hot temper was still on pins and needles in her presence.

     

                   Hattie Carnegie Inc

Hattie was one of the first designers to hire an African-American as a model.She walked into Hattie's shop, one afternoon and asked to speak with her. She told Hattie how much she admired her and thought her clothes were absolutely beautiful, and in her opinion, Hattie was the greatest designer.  At the time, Hattie happened to be looking to hire a NEW model.

Hattie smiled and said,  "Oh Thank you, Have you ever modeled before?"

The girl said, "No."

Hattie asked, "Would you like to?"

She was surprised, and asked Hattie, "Are you sure you want to hire me with your customers and all?"

Hattie replied, "You are beautiful, If my customers, don't like it, I don't want them for customers."

Hattie then told her, She knew all about bigots as she was an Austrian immigrant and Jewish and if they were NOT coming into her shop at the time then they never would, as she knew how prejudice people were and thought it was so sad.

The girl, liked Hattie's comments and accepted the job. 
   

                 Macy's Department Store

When Hattie started to learn a little bit more about business, 

Macy's gave her a job and training in regards to millinery work, .creating hats

She decided to put her training to good use and started making hats to bring income into the household, while she was learning her future trade.  The Kanengeiser family consisted of seven children and their little house was already overcrowded as it was. Mrs.Kanengeiser was getting a little tired of tripping over fabric, finished hats and half finished hats.
Hattie's brothers and sisters were constantly bugging her when she was trying to work, so she felt like she had no place to go to have peace and quiet, She couldn't get anything accomplished.  She used the kitchen table as a working table when the family wasn't eating there. Still every single time they

had breakfast or dinner. Hattie's mother would have to have her move everything out of the way, and then sit would have to be moved back there to allow Hattie to work again. Plus Hattie was always concerned about misplacing her important ordering records.

Hattie's mother finally told her,

"Henrietta, I don't want to discourage you, I admire your ambition and you have a lot of talent, but you are just going to have to find somewhere else to have your hat business as we are just too overcrowded in this little place."

With that Hattie had to give up her private enterprise at least till she opened a shop of her own, because she had too much work to do for Macy's Department Store,  they wouldn't appreciate it, if she was found to be working on her own projects during their time.

               

          Macy's Department Store and Hattie Carnegie Inc

In 1909 when Hattie was twenty-three. It was a successful year for the young girl, she had just opened up shop, and she was gaining overnight success the money started pouring into the shop. She obviously took care of her mother and siblings like she promised her father that she would and always gave her mother a share of the profits to make sure that the family had the essentials,  but yet Henrietta the little girl who never had any money while growing up, was a young adult now and very successful but on the downside, she also didn't know how to handle the success.

Hattie mentioned that because she never had any money growing up,

"When it got to the point that she actually had a business of her own, a bank account with more money than she had ever seen in her entire life. Hattie continued, "Starting out as young as I did, I didn't really have all that much money, but to me, it looked like a fortune" she said, "and when you are young and foolish, like I was,  I'd go into the market, and buy stuff for my family, that I thought they would like, especially my younger brothers and sisters.

 I would buy items for my business, spending so much money at times, that I never knew how I was gonna pay for it all when the bills came in. Something would always happen, somehow I always paid the bills, but I would worry so I'd be sick, I was so foolish."

                 Hattie Carnegie Inc

Various items that Hattie sold in her shops located at 42 East 49th Street included the following...........

COSTUME JEWELRY


COSMETICS


ANTIQUES


BAGS AND PURSES


SLIPS


BED JACKETS


SWEATERS


BLOUSES


SLACKS


PERFUMES


SCARVES


DRESSES


HATS


AND CHOCOLATES LOL- The chocolates were only sold because Hattie had a fabulous recipe that she wanted to put to good use.

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Perfume line

 

Encouraged by her husband Major John Zanft, Hattie Carnegie had her own successful line of perfumes.

Her Perfume line consisted of:

 

Hattie Carnegie Blue

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Hattie Carnegie Pink

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Hattie Carnegie Beige

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Hattie Carnegie White

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A'Gogo

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Hypnotic

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Four Winds

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Hattie Carnegie most valuable perfume bottles were created in her likeness, although I do not think they resemble her at all.

The most valuable of these bottles are solid gold and are now valued anywhere between $250.00 to $500.00 depending mostly on the condition of the bottle, and whether it has previously been opened.

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The Various Shops of Hattie Carnegie Inc.

Hattie's shop was in all actuality a mini mall expanding an entire block. Hattie had several shops and each specialized in something different

 

Jeune Fille Shop

Hattie's Jeune Fille shop catered to the teenage girl on a budget. Hattie thought that if you could create clothes that a teenage girl would love, that her parents wouldn't object to her wearing them outside of the house. They were conservative but stylish.

 

 

Ready to Wear Shop

 

Hattie Carnegie was very proud of her Ready to Wear shop.  Not only did Miss Hattie invent Ready to Wear- she specialized in it.

Ready to Wear is exactly what it states. Fashions, suits and dresses that were appropreiate to wear to work or for a night on the town.

This shop was for the career woman.

 

 

Accessories Shop

 

Hattie Carnegie also had a shop that sold accessories that no well dressed woman could live without.  She sold costume jewelry, which was created to compliment her suits and dresses.  She also sold watches, her perfume line, handbags and gloves.

 

Custom Made Shop

 

If a customer ascended the gray carpeted staircase, she would reach Hattie Carnegie's Custom Made shop. This shop was for the wealthest of Hattie's clientele. Customers in this category were able to afford to pay more than $250.00 for a dress or gown.  These customers were usually celebrities, society women or royalty. Customers in this shop always saw the same salesperson.  They had their own dress form made to their measurements so they could easily order by mail. During fashion shows they also had their own mannequin or model who modeled clothes just for them.

Lucille Ball modeled clothing for several celebrities, most notably, actresses Joan and Constance Bennett.

 

Spectator Sports

 

Spectator Sports was Hattie's clothing line that was created during the Depression and was popular throughout the War with reasonably priced clothing and informal wear.  Because Hattie Carnegie had many loyal customers who were unable to travel to New York, they placed orders via mail or telegraph.

Hattie Carnegie valued each customer.  She always considered royalty and society ladies her most loyal of customers. The New York and Hollywood celebrities also bought just as many gowns and accessories from her competition, but the society ladies and royalty were more loyal to her.

1928 was a very important year for HATTIE CARNEGIE, she married Major John Zanft, hired Lucille Ball, and was mentioned in Important Events Time LineHattie is mentioned on this website under popular culture and fashion trends in 1928.

 

             Macy's Department Store                                   

                                                                              Isidor Straus- Hattie's boss at Macy's with his Beloved Wife, Ida

                                                     

                                                  (pictured below) 

                                            Took over after R.H. Macy's Death in 1877

                                               Isidor Straus Died in Titanic Accident-1912

 

There is a Musical Based on the Titanic Tragedy,

Information about the musical and how to purchase tickets

Please go to this link

http://www.musicals101.com

 

Conducting my usual research I found out something VERY SAD!   
Isidor Straus, One of Hattie's original bosses at Macy's Department Store when Hattie begun working and training there,

Years that Hattie was with Macy's-1902-1909

 Well, Lets just he was instrumental in training the young girl and encouraging her to pursue her dreams.

Hattie's former boss and his wife, tragically drowned in the Sinking of the Titanic in April of 1912.
I just think that is so sad, and I'm positive that this incident deeply saddened Hattie, who a few short years, before had decided to try to make a go of it with her own business, due in part to her bosses encouragement.  

In fact, He was the one who yelled and screamed at Hattie when she was a young teenager and said that she hadn't any sense, but Hattie impressed him with her ability, drive and determination, and his view of her soon changed and Henrietta Kanengeiser would quickly become one of Macy's Department Store's Greatest Success Stories.
She was known as Henrietta, and only Henrietta until her Macy's internship, Her co-worker's, NOT her parents, gave her the nickname of Hattie. 

Hattie's boss was tough as nails with her, but she always held the highest respect for him. He was impressed that when she wanted a job, she just said,

"WELL, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO TAKE MY ADVICE AT LEAST GIVE ME A JOB THEN."

He was shocked by her straight forward nature, but Hattie got the job, they went looking for her.

Isador Straus who thought that Hattie was a foolish young girl in the beginning and used to become so aggravated by her independent nature, changed his opinion about her over the years she worked there (1902-1909)  He grew to really respect her as one of Macy's most gifted employees ever. He encouraged her to follow her dreams to open her own shop.

             Macy's Department Store

 

Macy's was also one of the first department stores to put women in major management positions.

 

 HATTIE WAS EMPLOYED BY,  SHE WAS A MACY'S DEPARTMENT STORE TRAINEE FROM 1902-1909

HATTIE HELD MANY POSITIONS AT MACY'S DEPARTMENT

First as a salesgirl

 

Secondly a mannequin/clothing model

 

..........and finally a milliner (A designer who creates and sells hats.)

 

                 

Macy's Department Store-circa 1908

 

                  FASHION DESIGNER OR FASHION EDITOR?????

Although Hattie Carnegie was known as one of the Greatest Fashion Designers of her time.
Hattie was not really a designer at all as she couldn't draw, cut a pattern nor sew in a straight line.

What Hattie was according to her staff and trainees was a fabulous teacher and educator. Hattie knew enough about fashion, style,

The garment industry and the business world that she could educate other people to carry out the ideas that she wanted implemented.

That in itself took a special skill.

What Hattie was a fashion editor and teacher, she would edit the designs her design students gave to her to look over, and fix them and try to improve upon them. She also gave her students assignments to create the ideas she dreamed up and relied upon them to create a finished product.  she also gave them creative license to create their own designs, and ulitize it as a learning expirience, but she would offer them advice, whether they wanted it or not

She was also a fabulous businesswoman and loved the business world and wanted her own dress and hat shop since she was a little girl that was still playing with dolls.

Macy's Department Store taught Hattie the ins and outs about how to succeed in the business world and  also taught her how to run a business efficently.

Hattie's formal book education ended after sixth grade, but Macy's was her trade school of sorts and she also attended countless seminars to learn what would be her future trade of choice.

Hattie's beloved father was a tailor by trade, so it kind of surprises me that he never really taught her how to sew correctly, especially since she was interested in her father's trade since she was a little girl,  She always wanted to help her father as he took a lot of work home.


Although maybe because her father needed the sewing machine for work and the Kanengeisers were far too poor to afford another one if that one was accidently broken because one of the children was playing with it as if it were a toy,  maybe she was forbidden to touch it.  Therefore she never learned. That's just my theory. 

HATTIE CARNEGIE WAS A BUSINESSWOMAN, EDUCATOR AND A FASHION EDITOR, BUT CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF SHE WAS NEVER A FASHION DESIGNER, ALTHOUGH MANY PEOPLE MISTAKENLY THINK THAT SHE WAS!!!!!!
_________________

    

 

HISTORY OF MACY'S DEPARTMENT STORE

      Infomation can be found on New York.com http://newyork.com

         http://www.newyork.com/visit/attractions/macys.html

    Rowland Hussey Macy, a former whaler, opened a small store at West 14th Street in 1857. The red star logo is actually borrowed from a tattoo, which Macy got when he was a sailor. By 1877, the store had expanded to a row of eleven buildings. Macy died in 1877, but the store continued its growth under the direction of Isidor and Nathan Straus, who had headed Macy's china and glassware department.

 
After outgrowing its original site, the firm acquired the present site in 1902. The ornate entrance at 34th street still has the original caryatids standing guard at the entrance. The clock and the original lettering are there, too.

A plaque at the main entrance commemorates the death of Isador and his wife, who died aboard the Titanic in the tragic sinking of the famous ship in 1912.


Macy's is famous for sponsoring the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Fourth of July fireworks.

The store also holds its own spring flower show which draws huge crowds annually.

But Macy's is perhaps best known for being an important stop for any shopper who visits New York City. In addition to a tremendous array of fashions for all ages, it has home furnishings and other specialty departments.

Macy's has a full-service Visitors' Center, as well as restaurants and its own post office.

 

            

             Macy's Department Store    

              Henrietta aka Hattie

Henrietta started out as a model and mannequin for Macy's Department Store,  although she loved the wardrobe that she was given as a trade for modeling the fashions and promoting Macy's, she hated it at the same time.

Henrietta was very embrassed when it came to modeling assignments, because she was so teeny tiny.

Hattie herself stated, that she had no figure to speak of. She was very insecure about how she looked.

When they saw her people would always comment how cute or adorable that she was.  Henrietta would always be gracious and thank them, but she always hated being called cute.it was worse for her when people would speak to her and she would answer them and they would say that

"The little blonde girl has an accent isn't she cute"

Henrietta wanted to be taken seriously, just like her co-workers, but because she didn't quite have a handle on the English language yet, and because of her accent, and the fact that she was so little, she was not taken seriously and regarding as adorable.

At least adorable was a compliement as she was also ridiculed by a few mean spirited customers who thought that she was stupid or naive because she was an immigrant. Henrietta wanted to prove them wrong, she set out to do just that.

Henrietta was about to get a promotion. She was going to get to learn a trade next, a trade that she was introduced to early on by her beloved father.

She was going to get the chance to learn how to design. Henrietta's father was a tailor,  but he never taught her how to sew, and I really don't know why, but he didn't.

Macy's was going to give her millinery training.

Hence she was going to learn how to design hats.  Henrietta felt like this was a way to express herself, to create something that was uniquely hers.

As much as she dreaded modeling, she equally loved the millinery work,  the prospect of a career in milliney work was something that she desperately wanted to pursue and couldn't wait to learn. She showed so much enthuasism with the training and was a quick study. 

Henrietta shined in this new field that she was studying, she always completed the tasks that she was taught faster than the other employees.

She was also very creative with her hat designs, They showcased beautiful colors, lace, ribbons and flowers. 

She quickly became known for her unique and interesting hat designs.

         The Tiny Milliner

(Her talent for hat design became her trademark.)

Her co-workers begun to call her "Hattie" and the nickname stuck for the rest of her life.

Hattie thought that hats were an important part of a stylish wardrobe, here is where she contradicted herself, again. 

 Hattie seldom wore hats herself. At least when she was an adult because as a child and little girl she was always playing dress up by the mirror with her mothers hats, and always draping colorful cloth or any type of fabric that she could locate over her head to make hats and scarves out of the material.  She often found herself in trouble when she would take the fabric that her father was using to make suits out of as he often took work home with him to complete. He would find her looking in the mirror with the cloth draped over her head. Not being able to stay upset at her for long her father compromised, gave her some fabric to play with. 

Hattie credited Macy's Department Store for teaching her a valuable trade that she put into good use when she finally acheived the dream of her own shop. She felt like all the trades she was taught via Macy's helped her acheive success Because she had worked as all of the above a salesgirl, model and milliner, she liked millinery work the very best.

                     Hattie Carnegie Inc 

What retail cost Hattie in 1949

 

Hattie Carnegie stated these facts in a 1949 interview.

 

At that current time, She was making two wholesale collections per year at a cost of around $125,000 each.

 

Her smaller custom collections cost her $75,000 a piece.

 

The fabrics that she bought were expensive, high quality and had to be exclusive.

 

Hattie would not allow any print to be carried over to a second season. Any fabric left over was sold to retail stores.

 

 

THE INFLUENCE OF FRANCE

 

Even though was proud to be an American designer, she also loved French designs,

She was known to proudly showcase a few French imports along with her own collections.

 Hattie thought her style and taste mirrored that of French designers and commented in the pre-war years that she was a very big importer.

  She had this to say about importing.

“Those trips overseas, I used to return from Europe and all my customers gathered around to see what I had brought back from Paris, “ she said nostalgically.

"Today, French things are too expensive. A Dior coat cost me $750.00, The duty on it was about $450.00 more, therefore I had to end up selling it for $850.00. Slips land at $100.00 and I must get at least $165.00 for them. People used to buy for those prices, but they can’t anymore, so I don’t either.”

 Knowledge is Power

Hattie also knew her trade so well, That she guessed on all things that were fashion related.

She could quickly tell you what designer created what, what year it was made, how much it cost. 

 She also had several details on the various costume jewelry or other accessories that went with each outfit.

                                

HATTIE CARNEGIE INC

                 HATTIE'S  FASHIONABLE SALON IN NEW YORK CITY

                          Courtsey of Life Magazine-November 1945

                                http://www.life.com/Life/

                

              

            

                       Hattie advises a customer on her fashion selections

                       Hattie's secretary and assistant Josephine Hughes

                                           (Seated at right)

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Hattie’s Trusted Staff- Josephine Hughes and Madeline

Hattie had a great confidence and trust in her personal staff. Josephine was her personal secretary and Madeline was her housekeeper. They were the two staff members who traveled with Hattie the most often. Many doors opened for them because of their association with Hattie Carnegie. They got to see the world traveling with Hattie and both of them became valuable employees and confidantes.

Josephine

Josephine was Hattie’s secretary and personal assistant. She handled personnel, supervised advertising. She talked with fashion editors on Hattie’s behalf, and helped her with buying .Hattie had confidence in Josephine's selection of materials and fabrics, if Hattie was too busy to shop for materials on any given day, she often told her trusted associate to just select what she thought looked fashionable.

Hattie developed a close friendship with Josephine She became Hattie’s confidante. Unfortunately though when Hattie had to vent Josephine was usually the first person on the receiving end of her temper.

Josephine was familiar with her employer's mood swings, and took nothing too personal because she knew her temper would extinguish as quickly as it flared up.

Josephine understood that a lot of Hattie’s comments toward her, were said in moments of extreme stress, However unlike many people that Hattie associated with she never backed down from an argument, Josephine stood on her own two feet and was never afraid to disagree with Hattie.

The two women often had debates and arguments over trivial matters, but many of Hattie’s employees believed that Hattie simply argued for the fun of a spirited debate. Because she understood Hattie so well, she was fiercely loyal protected her employer's public image 

I have many collectible advertisements and fashion show invitations and Josephine was always listed as the contact person

Jo Blair Hughes, 80,

A Super Saleswoman Of Fashion, Is Dead

 By ANNE-MARIE SCHIRO

Published: March 29, 1990 in the New York Times

 Josephine Blair Hughes, a super-saleswoman who sold high-fashion clothes to socially prominent women for four decades, died on Monday in her apartment in Manhattan. She was 80 years old and had been bedridden for several years.

Josephine Blair Hughes, a super-saleswoman who sold high-fashion clothes to socially prominent women for four decades, died on Monday in her apartment in Manhattan. She was 80 years old and had been bedridden for several years.

''Jo Hughes was a dynamo, with the most fiercely loyal customers,'' said Lynn Manulis, president of Martha, where Miss Hughes spent the last seven years of her working life. ''Her girls, as she called them, wouldn't buy anything without her there to help and advise them.''

During her career, Jo Hughes worked at Hattie Carnegie, de Pinna, Bergdorf Goodman and Martha, as well as running her own shop for a time in a townhouse on East 56th Street.

Staged Fashion Shows

At Hattie Carnegie in the 1940's, she headed a department called Jeune Fille for 10 years, staging formal fashion shows each season. She continued the tradition of fashion shows, usually as charity benefits, when she went to Bergdorf Goodman in 1966, attracting customers like Doris Duke, Mary Lou Whitney and Mary Wells Lawrence.

''All the important people came to her shows,'' recalled Andrew Goodman, the former owner of Bergdorf's. ''She had a volatile temper. She'd stop the show if someone was talking. But she was very good to her customers. If someone in Great Neck or somewhere had ordered a dress and needed it for a special party, she'd take a car and deliver it personally.''

Accompanied by a Dog

She was a familiar figure at designers' fashion shows, sitting in the front row with her Shih Tzu Tony on her lap. The dog went everywhere with her, friends recalled yesterday, even to restaurants like La Cote Basque and ''21,'' where he was checked in the coatroom.

Miss Hughes, who was born in Dallas, retired from Bergdorf's in 1978, then went back to work at Martha's in the early 80's until her health failed.

There are no survivors.

 

 Madeline

 Madeline was Hattie’s live in housekeeper, she was originally from Paris.

That may have been a part of the reason why Hattie hired Madeline she had many close friendships in Europe.

Madeline was hired on a recommendation from a mutual friend whom she befriended during one of her many trips to Paris.

Hattie spent a quarter of the year in Paris between the two World Wars. Madeline traveled with her via ocean liner and later aircraft.

Paris was the fashion capital of the world and Hattie loved everything about Paris, the atmosphere and the culture, so it isn‘t surprising that Hattie would hire a Parisian when she was interviewing for housekeepers, she was selective and cautious, she asked her friends for recommendations.

She interviewed many applicants, but Madeline got the job. Hattie wanted to keep close tabs on European fashion therefore she often paid Madeline’s fare home when she couldn’t leave New York.

It was a working vacation for Madeline because she would keep Hattie updated on the changing styles of European fashion. She would do some retail buying and investigation for Hattie, who valued her opinion.

Madeline actually acquired dual employment duties for Hattie, she would make sure her home was neat and well kept, whether Hattie was in New York or Paris but she also became a fashion expert and scout because she would often interview perspective models for Hattie.

          

I. Magnim Department Store

I. Magnim was acquired by Macy's Department Store in 1994

 

Ironically  Hattie Carnegie’s introduction to the fashion world was via Macy's

 

I.Magnim was the first department store to purchase her wholesale collection.

 

 Hattie Carnegie made a very intelligent business decision when she decided to allow I..Magnim to purchase her clothing collection to be sold in their west coast based department stores.

 

Her Big Break

 

 

The year was 1925. Hattie had just signed a deal that would bring her fame from coast to coast as her clothing line would now be as easily accessible to Hollywood starlets as it was to New York City socialities.  Her fashions and hats would now be seen in movies as they had been seen on Broadway beginning a decade before.

 

This deal would also make Hattie Carnegie, a very successful and wealthy woman. This was the same woman who as a young immigrant didn’t even want to venture into Macy’s because she felt why should she venture into a store where she couldn’t afford to purchase a hatpin. This very intelligent business deal showed just how much status Hattie Carnegie had achieved in the business world.

I. Magnim was the first of hundred department stores to purchase Hattie Carnegie’s collection.

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I. Magnim Facts

I Magnim was the first department store to be founded by a woman. It was established in the late 19th century,  by Mary Ann Magnin.

The “I” in I Magnim was in honor of Mary Ann’s husband, Isaac.

 

 

 

 

The first store opened in San Francisco, but other stores followed in throughout the state of California. The store even expanded outside of California with locations in Seattle, Washington, Phoenix, Arizona and Chicago, Illinois.

 

The main location in San Francisco was very chic, and very beautiful with Art Deco and modern decors. The interior consisted of chandeliers, mirrored cabinets, bronze elevator doors. 

 

I Magnim was known for their women’s clothing, but they also sold men’s and children’s clothing and as well as few gift items.

 

I Magnim faded into retail history when in 1994. Macy’s Department Store which just a few years, before filed for Chapter 11 protection acquired both the Jordan Marsh and the I Magnim store chains. By 1996 all these stores also had the Macy’s nameplate.

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Macy’s Department Store Facts

Macy’s was the first department store to hire women for management positions.

 

The first store to ulitize the one price system.

 

The first store to quote prices in advertising

 

Macy’s introduced products such as the tea bag, Idaho potatoes and colored bath towels. 

 

They were the first retailer to be granted a New York City liquor license.

 

In 1904, The same  year that Hattie had begun working at Macy’s. They moved to their current Broadway and 34th street location.

 

In 1922 Macy’s became one of the first store to acquire their competition by buying them out.

 

In 1924 was the very first Macy’s parade complete with floats, animals and bands. The parade was started by a group of immigrant employees who wanted to celebrate American traditions. The parades are still a proud tradition some eighty years later.

 

In 1924 Macy’s was now the Worlds Largest Department Store

 

In 1945 the store opened up a California location,  the famous Macy’s Flower Show became a yearly event.

 

On December 19th 1994 Federated Department Stores merged with Macy’s creating the world’s largest premier department store company. Federated Department Stores operated over 400 department stores and more than 157 specialty stores in 37 states and several overseas locations. 

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 References

Macy's Department Store History

http://www.macys.com/store/about/history/index_my.jsp?bhcp=1

 

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=00BOCc

                                                 MILLINERY

A milliner is a designer of hats for women.

Hattie Carnegie received her millinery training (and her nickname) while she was employed through Macy’s Department Store between the years of 1902-1909

She started out as a salesgirl, then she graduated to modeling, but the department store needed additional milliners on staff so they decided to train current employees including young Henrietta.

Henrietta showed so much promise and talent as a hat designer, her co-workers and supervisors begun to refer to her as “Hattie”

 

Are you Surprised?

 

An interesting fact was that Hattie could not sew a straight seam. She mentioned in interviews that she pinned/ wired/fastened her hats together and attached the ribbons, lace and flowers to them in the same fashion. Although she couldn’t sew like most of the other Macy employees she was very skilled, was a quick study, and was proud to state that she could get projects completed in record time.

Millinery and seamstress work was one of the few professions besides teaching, cooking or housekeeping available to the women of the 19th and early 20th century

 

Milliners Contributions to the Fashion World

 

Milliners were in high demand because at the turn of the century fashionable ladies always complimented their wardrobes with a beautiful hat.  A hat was an essential part of a daily wardrobe. The most sought after hats had beautiful feathers attached to the material.  Fancy hats symbolized status because they were more expensive it was because of this the expression, a feather in your cap was first coined.

 

Who usually became a Milliner?

 

Milliners who owned shops were usually middle-aged women who had never married because married women usually did not work outside the home. Younger women who were seamstresses or milliners like Hattie became were so out of necessity because the main household provider had passed or because the family experienced extreme poverty and needed some additional income. It was because of these reasons that a twelve year old Henrietta left school for full time employment. Millinery/seamstress training provided not only a valuable skill for women, but milliners and seamstresses usually received some of the highest wages.

 

A Talented Young Lady

 

Henrietta found that she really enjoyed millinery work and had fun creating unique one of a kind designs. She first knew that she had talent when all the women in the neighborhood were clamoring to buy the piece of blue velvet that she draped as a turban on her head simply because it was the style of the time.

When she turned the Kanengeiser apartment into a millinery shop, and utilized the dinner table as a work area. Her mother foreclosed on her first enterprise.

A few years later when she began selling hats locally she created her first label with a play on her new name HATENGIE

 

Garment District Employment

 

Millinery and seamstress work, although time consuming was considered a skilled labor because the designs were most often handmade and original with a personal touch by the designer. They were most often custom made creations.  On the other hand, factory work was just as tedious and much more dangerous due to the machinery and chemicals used and not regulated within the factories.

Factory work was considered unskilled labor with very low wages

Here is an interesting link to a book all about millinery.

 

http://www.hatbook.com/

 

Did Isaac Singer actually invent the Sewing Machine?

 

Why was it first rejected?

 

 In 1853 with the invention of the sewing machine the entire garment industry was changed forever. Designing was made easier and faster. Now clothing and hats could be mass-produced. Despite the improvements the machine could offer the garment industry the majority of tailors, seamstresses and milliners were not ready to accept the new invention for fear that it would lead to job loss.

I had always wondered why Hattie Carnegie who was the daughter of a tailor, couldn’t sew, cut or stitch.  The Kanengeiser family was very poor. Therefore I seem to think if Isaac Kanengeiser bought a personal sewing machine to complete projects at home. Hattie and her siblings were most likely forbade to touch the machine because it would have been expensive to buy a replacement if it was broken.

 

Legal Battles

 

There was a legal battle for patent rights to the sewing machine. Elias Howe actually invented the first sewing machine designed for industrial use. He received a patent and attempted to get a group of tailors interested in purchasing his invention. The tailors were understandably apprehensive.

Howe decided to try his market the invention overseas. He failed and a few years later returned to America. By this time Isaac Singer had marketed a similar type of machine with a few changes. This time opinions shifted and the sewing machine became a commercial success. It was improved upon.  It was made with a smaller scale design for home use. When Howe returned he found out about Singer’s invention and it’s similarity to his own and sued him for a portion of the profits made from any sale. Howe won the suit and died a rich man because Singer was forced by the court to pay Howe  royalties, from the sales,  but Singer received the credit and it still considered by many as the creator of the first modern and functional sewing machine.

 

http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/story065.htm

 

 

Did you know?…………….

 

 

 

Did you know that there is actually a museum in England dedicated entirely to milliners and the art of millinery?

 

http://www.hatworks.org.uk/home.htm

 

 

And also a huge display of hats from every era located in Ontario Canada

 

http://www.infoniagara.com/bb/Niagara-Falls/bampfield/hat.html

 

Bampfield Hall Bed & Breakfast
4761 Zimmerman Avenue, Niagara Falls
Ontario, Canada L2E 3M8

 


Phone (905) 353-8522

Toll Free 1-877-353-8522
E-Mail
niagbnb@mergetel.com

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                                    R.H. MACY AND ISADOR STRAUS

                                        - THE HISTORY OF RETAIL -

                                     

Thanksgiving is the time of year when the internationally known department store celebrates a proud history.

The store was the dream of Rowland Hussey Macy.

R. H. Macy was not an immediate success. He failed at several business ventures before he finally achieved his dream when Macy’s small but fancy dry goods store opened for business in 1858. He needed to choose a symbol for his new store, a trademark that people would remember and that would stand out. He selected a red star to symbolize his navy days and his service to America. He had a red star tattooed to his arm upon his enlistment to the service. He recognized the importance of the star, and he was also very superstitious.  He didn’t lose any time in having the red star placed on the sign. The star remains as part of the store logo to this very day.  The star revolutionized advertising

 

A SHINING STAR

Well that star shined over Macy’s. The first day sales totaled only $11.06, but by the end of the first year the books totaled $90,000. R. H. Macy made retail what it is today. He implemented the one price system, which meant that every shopper paid the same price for a said item. He not only began using logos as an advertising tool (The Red Star) He also used the newspaper to bring additional business his way. Advertising his store to the public and showcasing certain products each week with a creative advertising tag line.

He was very proud of the fact that he introduced products to the public such as tea bags and colored bath towels. Macy’s was the first store to promote women to management and executive positions. The first woman manager was named Margaret Getchell.

Margaret Getchell paved the way for many other women who had executive dreams including Hattie Carnegie.

R. H. Macy was never Hattie Carnegie’s boss. Macy died in 1877. Nine years prior to Hattie’s birth. When Macy passed away in he left the store to his daughter and his son to continue the family business.

R. H. Macy Jr. had a severe drinking problem, which was ironic because Macy’s was the first department store to obtain a New York State liquor license.

 Sadly, Macy’s son’s drinking problem practically ran his late father’s store into bankruptcy.

It was causing him to make irrational and irresponsible business decisions, he was alienating the employees and board members.

Isador Straus a German immigrant would save the company.

WHO WAS MR. STRAUS?

 

Isador Straus was born in Rhenish, Bavaria (Germany) on February 6, 1845.

Lazarus Straus settled his family, in Georgia when his eldest son was seven years old.

The young son was gifted so he enrolled and was accepted into a classical music course at Collinsworth Institute. Upon graduation his interests shifted.  Classical music study was no longer his first career choice.  Music literally became just a career to fall back on. His dream was to enroll at West Point Military Academy, but with the onset of the Civil War  He wanted to serve so he volunteered to sign up for the Confederate Army, but he was rejected because at sixteen they thought that he was too young to volunteer and they were concerned about his ability to be an effective soldier. Isador felt like his career options were running out, therefore he decided to work in his father’s store at least until the war officially ended

The south struggled throughout the war. Following the bloody and bitter five-year battle the south struggled to rebuild their economy. The south was a difficult place to survive. The war had destroyed the economy and many southerners were close to starvation.

The Straus family had now adopted a strong southern identity, but they made the difficult decision to relocate in one of the northern cities. Isador suggested New York City to his father who reluctantly agreed. When they settled in New York City, Lazarus again reopened his glassware business renaming it L. Straus and Sons. Since their births, Lazarus had hoped that his sons would wish to continue the business he built someday to encourage them he changed the name. L. Straus and Sons was a proven success in addition to glassware and earthenware they also specialized in china and porcelain.

STRAUS AS A LEADER

 

In 1874, R.H. Macy, who was a very busy man and discovered he needed management assistance. He asked the Straus to take charge and manage the department store glassware department. Shortly before his death,  Macy who had a reputation for buying out his competition bought out eleven of the neighboring buildings expanding the store an entire block.   Mr. Straus had many ideas to improve upon the business of his friend and former employer. He strived to keep Macy’s dream a reality. Despite his honorable intentions he still didn’t have complete authority to implement his improvements. He was equally distressed by the poor management decisions of R.H. Macy Jr. who took over the store after his father’s passing in 1877. The younger Macy’s poor management skills were at least partially attributed to his drinking problem. Mr. Straus purchased the department store from R. H. Macy Jr. who was more than happy to give up the responsibility in 1888.

Isador and Nathan took over the management of the store while brother Oscar, traveled overseas buying merchandise to sell in the store. Oscar Straus was involved in politics. He was a member of President Roosevelt cabinet in the Department of Commerce and Labor. He was also appointed as Ambassador to Turkey. That allowed him the opportunity to travel selecting interesting and sought after items to sell at Macy’s.

Isador and his brothers selected to retain the name Macy’s for two reasons, out of respect for their former employer and also because the name was internationally known.

Little Henrietta , Mr. Straus and Macy's

Henrietta Kanengeiser first walked through the Macy’s Department Store doors in 1902 at the encouragement of friends who wanted her to see the beautiful fashions and jewelry.

She was told that she should also inquire about any job openings.

She didn’t want to go into the store simply to dream. Henrietta couldn’t even afford to purchase a pair of socks from Macy’s, but as usual curiosity got the best of Henrietta.

She ventured into the Women’s Department and looked around at the stylish dresses and hats that she couldn’t possibly afford on a factory workers salary, till she stopped a dress that she didn’t like.

Offering unsolicited advice to the management and designers she gave her opinion,

 

“I don’t like this dress it’s far too plain, but would look fabulous with a fir collar and cuffs.”She wanted to know what everybody thought.

 

Mr. Straus became very annoyed at this young girl who obviously hadn’t any intention of purchasing a dress criticizing the merchandise.

He said,

“You can’t be serious, you don’t put a fir collar and cuffs on an evening gown!”

Mr. Straus now gave his opinion,

“You are a foolish girl, and you don’t work here.”

 

Not ready to be shown the door just yet, Henrietta scribbled her name on a slip on paper and shouted at Mr. Straus,

“If you don’t want to take my advice, then you can at least give me a job.”

 

Mr. Straus decided to try her idea, maybe out of admiration of her independent nature, maybe out of sheer annoyance and exhaustion from arguing with her. It was most likely a little bit of both. The dresses with the fur collars and cuffs sold unbelievably well. He located Henrietta and offered her a job in the women’s department.

Over the next several years, Henrietta and Mr. Straus would have many other battles of wills, but the initial distain for one another turned into a mutual admiration and respect.

Mr. Straus considered Henrietta a young prodigy and her ideas continued to make the department store money. She didn’t have a fancy wardrobe, so they fitted her with a few dresses free of charge, if she agreed to model them. She was offered management and millinery training. “Hattie” excelled at Macy’s and became an ambitious young lady. She put her education to good use when she opened up her own shop years later.

The Titanic

The year was 1912 and Isador Straus had been married to his wife Ida for over thirty years. The couple was very much in love. They were the proud parents of six grown children. The couple found an excuse to celebrate everything which really wasn’t difficult when they even shared a birthday.

Isador feeling over worked at Macy’s decided to take a relaxing vacation with Ida to Europe.

They also brought their staff with them. Traveling along with the couple was their butler and housekeeper. Also accompanying the couple on the voyage to Europe was their youngest daughter Beatrice. To conclude their wonderful vacation Isador wanted to travel back to New York in style, so they booked a first class cabin on the brand new ship The Titanic. The only person absent from the return trip was Beatrice who wanted to stay in Europe a little longer

They were pleased and very excited to travel on this ship that sea captains raved about. There was much talk about the unsinkable luxury liner.

A cold April night a tragedy happened, the ship hit an iceberg and slowly sank into the ocean. Most of the third class passengers drowned and the ones that didn’t drown froze to death in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. When the first class passengers first sensed their lives were in danger. The situation was chaotic. There weren’t enough lifeboats because the ship was said to be unsinkable People fought over the boats.

It was decided that women and children were to get into the available lifeboats first.

Isador begged Ida to get into a boat, but when she was told that her husband wasn’t going to be rescued she leaped out the boat and ran into his arms. Isador was recognized as the owner of Macy’s Department Store. He was told that he was important and that he should get to a lifeboat fast. In a act of bravery and unselfishness. Isador Straus said he was no more important than other man he was simply just more well known. He would let a woman who still remained on the ship take a spot in a lifeboat. That was very courageous. He gave up his life so another person could row to safety.

Ida and Isador Straus died in each other arms.

Mr. Straus, a very important mentor to Hattie Carnegie. Now I understand why he was.  Isador Straus was a true hero.

Hattie never forgot him. She was deeply saddened to learn of his passing because she owed so much to his kindness. The joint funeral for the couple was held at Carnegie Hall.  The lives and the unselfish sacrifice of this loving couple was honored by over 6000 attendees.

 

Did you know?

 

From the Cyclopedia:
He and his wife, a woman of sweetness and strength, were passengers on the SS Titanic on its ill-fated maiden voyage across the Atlantic. When the order was given for women and children to take to the life-boats, Mrs. Straus would not leave her husband. Straus was strongly urged to take a place in the boats with her, but refused to do so as long as any women remained on board. Mrs. Straus declined to be separated from her companion of forty years, so the aged couple went down with the ship. Straus' was a strong individuality, compounded of keen insight, sound judgement, high integrity, candid statement, and high executive powers. He was a man of simple tastes, democratic accessibility, and cordial large-heartedness

 

From THE CYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY (aka 'Appleton's), ed. J.E,
Homans. Volume X, p. 204. New York: Press Association Compilers, Inc., 1924:

He was a warm friend of President Cleveland and took an active part in the campaign which resulted in Cleveland's re-election in 1892. It is said that he was invited to become Postmaster General, but declined the honor. It was due to his influence that Cleveland set himself fairly behind the gold standard and called Congress in extra session (8/7/1893) for the repeal of that clause of the Sherman Act which compelled the Treasury to make monthly purchases of silver bullion for monetary purposes. Straus remained a Gold Democrat, losing his party enthusiasm when his party adopted the Free Silver platform under William Jennings Bryan's leadership...He served in Congress from 1/30/1894-3/3/1895, declining renomination. He also declined to be considered for the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York in 1901 and 1909.

REFERENCES

 Titanic the Musical

http://www.dodger.com/titanic/titanic-bio-keith.htm

 

 Isador Straus’ obituary

 

http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/item.php/3855.html

 

 The History of Macy’s

 

http://www.macys.com/store/about/history/index_my.jsp?bhcp=1

 

Ida and Isador Straus

 

http://members.aol.com/ken63728/cr7.htm

 

From Biography

 

http://home.interlynx.net/~dclarke/straus.htm

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            The Controversial Businesswoman Hattie Carnegie was well ahead of her time in many aspects.

She was direct and outspoken, when it was not acceptable for women to be that way.

She knew exactly what she wanted in life and she knew that she could not be passive to achieve her dreams.

 

As I have stated throughout this website,  Hattie was never a stranger to controversy, but she did protect herself and she could be fiercely private.

 

This site was a difficult time consuming project for me because Hattie was very successful in separating her personal life from her business persona and from her career, but some things followed her throughout her lifetime. She could not erase the label she was given to her. The label that she earned which was the label of a controversial businesswoman.

Hattie made no excuses, about some of the items she sold in her shop including the lacy, silky lingerie, which she promoted in her catalogs. She commented in a 1945 interview, that she believed that women dressed to please men, not to impress other women, and they should dress to make the man in their life happy. That was important to remember that the woman should always be noticed before the dress and the dress should complement the woman’s beauty to the extent that people will first notice

What a beautiful woman instead of what a beautiful dress when a woman enters a room.

Hattie was the first to raise hemlines above the knee, which just like the lingerie displeased many of her older, once loyal customers. When Hattie had the grand opening of her Jenue Fille shop. Many parents were concerned about the merchandise that she might be promoting in her new shop to their impressionable teenage girls based on some of the merchandise that she sold in her other shops. Hattie quickly eased their fears by telling them that all the clothing and styles were age appropriate, she personally felt that a young lady should be decently covered. If her customers wished to inspect some of the inventory they were more than welcome to browse but she defended her position on a few changes in the fashion world like that she still thought that nothing was wrong with the raised hemlines.

Aline Griffith who worked for Hattie Carnegie in the 1940’s and resigned to assist the allies during World War II,  authored a series of three books about her experiences before, during and after the war, she talked about her years modeling for Hattie in her first book titled

The Spy who Wore Red.” In this book, she mentioned how much her grandmother objected to a young lady modeling, dressing up and wearing all that make-up. She begged her grandmother not to talk to Hattie about her objections because it would embarrass her.

Aline may have been embarrassed but Hattie certainly was not. Here was a woman, who although it was not intended once conducted an emergency business meeting while she was at home taking a bubble bath.

Hattie was also known to bring several outfits to work with her everyday, because when someone would ask for a suit like the one that she was currently wearing she would go into one of the dressing rooms, change her outfit and pass her startled customer the suit that she was previously wearing.

One fashion magazine writer once got the shock of her life when Hattie went into the dressing room to change her outfit yet again, The writer was scheduled to interview her, Hattie had forgotten all about the scheduled interview that particular afternoon, When she heard her name being called she thought it was only one of her employees, she stepped out of the dressing room and was wearing nothing but her slip.

Hattie loved makeup and began wearing cosmetics when she was employed through Macy’s Department Store. The other girls taught her how to properly wear cosmetics. Hattie loved all the various shades and colors. Cosmetics were controversial during her teenage years, but she did not care. Hattie began her own line of cosmetics years later in 1946 and she offered her employees and her customers lessons in applying cosmetics and matching the shades.

Hattie was known to be very truthful and honest with her customers. She would risk the loss of a sale rather than have a woman walk out of her shop wearing an outfit she considered unbecoming on them. She offended many customers by being so direct.

Many salesgirls were shocked that Hattie would actually kill a sale just because she did not approve of the customers selection. Hattie would still give her salesgirl her commission because her customer was buying and it was Hattie who had killed the sale.

Hattie Carnegie wasn’t afraid to offer her opinions on a wide range of taboo subjects, including prohibition, smoking and divorce.

Hattie disagreed with prohibition; she thought the entire restriction was wrong. She confessed in later interviews that during prohibition she knew where to get alcohol, and enjoyed social drinking at parties, especially champagne proudly proclaiming t hat prohibition did not her stop nor her friends.

Hattie was often the type who believed,

Do as I say, not as I do, when she found out a group of her young models were out drinking and partying at illegal speakeasies around New York. City, her motherly side surfaced when she lectured them about their behavior telling them that she was very upset and disappointed that they would do such a thing .

One of the girls defended herself by addressing Hattie’s behavior,

 

“You and Major Zanft drink?”

 

Hattie response was simply,

 

“That’s Okay, we’re old!”

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You've Come a Long Way, Baby

 

Hattie started smoking cigarettes when she arrived in America. It was just getting fashionable for young women to smoke; those fancy holders made it all the more glamorous and appealing because you could look chic with a cigarette in your hand. Hattie’s mother hated it when her daughter smoked and always made her put out the cigarette immediately.

Helen Kanengeiser (Carnegie) objections to her daughter smoking the cigarettes was not because the cigarettes were unhealthy because the dangers of smoking were not discovered yet. It was because it was unladylike.

Hattie’s mother attended the majority of the fashion shows. Helen (Henna) Carnegie was a little woman who had blonde hair and curls, and she looked like an older version of Hattie.

Hattie’s employees loved Mrs. Carnegie, watching Mrs. Carnegie lecture her daughter was priceless. They thought it was hysterical when she would catch Hattie lighting a cigarette, she would yell at her with that thick Austrian accent,

“Henrietta, put out that awful cigarette now!” And they would all laugh hysterically

HATTIE ALWAYS HAD A CIGARETTE IN HER HAND DISPITE WHAT HANNAH SHENA SAID.

 

 

 

 

 

HATTIE CARNEGIE and I in a BITSTRIP!

 

 

 

 

 

On the Day of her Divorce

Hattie felt that she needed to sign those papers and when she did so she was free.

Free from a tradition in her culture which she did not agree with “Arranged Marriages”

Even though she was born out of an arrangement she still spoke out against arrangements because she thought they were unfair to everyone involved.

“Why should a person be forced to marry someone that they didn’t love or only met if they strictly followed tradition on their wedding day.

 She tried to accept the tradition and did so for many years, divorce was so taboo, her husband did not believe in divorce, they compromised on trial separations. The couple would separate and Hattie would travel to Europe without her husband. Then they would reunite and he would travel with her, attempting yet again to make the marriage work, but it was to no avail. They eventually went to the courthouse and signed the papers. When she signed the papers, she told the public, that she did not hold any bitterness toward her ex husband, wished him well,  because she really did care about him, but she just did not love him. Eventually they both felt locked in to that marriage,  signing those papers meant freedom. She thought that divorce could be a positive step for a couple who were unhappy.

When she married Major John Zanft, Hattie was on her third marriage, she became the subject of gossip as to how long this marriage was going to last. She ignored the press because she loved John.  Hattie proved her critics wrong because this marriage lasted until her death.

John would often be called to Hollywood to assist with various projects. Many times Hattie had to stay behind in New York when asked how she felt about her husband traveling without her she surprised many people when she said, that he never gave her a reason not to trust him, so it did not bother her if he went without her. Hattie seemed secure in his love for her and she was not the least bit jealous. She trusted him.

 

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HATTIE CARNEGIE: AMERICAN STYLE DEFINED

FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY OF NEW YORK CITY

THE 1996 EXHIBITION WHICH CELEBRATED THE 110TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF MS. CARNEGIE

Hattie Carnegie who reigned as the undisputed fashion leader for almost three decades was celebrated with an exhibit which was titled: Hattie Carnegie: American Style Defined which was featured in the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology from (February 16th through April 27th of 1996).

Between the two World Wars when French Fashion reigned supreme and most designers labored in anonymity, Hattie Carnegie’s summoned up an instant image of the highest quality.

The first exhibition to honor this extraordinary woman included over 100 garments and just as many accessories.

Her shop at 49th street off of Park Avenue was once a mecca for stylish women who sought the “CARNEGIE LOOK”

Hattie’s luxurious shop with the boiserie paneled walls, exotic Coromen-del screens and glittering mirrors, complemented her elegant custom made clothing and accessories. Long before the French began pret-a-porter. Hattie Carnegie who was ever the business woman, had a high priced ready-to-wear line in her “Blue Room”

Socialites such as the Duchess of Windsor, Mrs. Randolph Hearst, and theater and movie stars such as Tallulah Bankhead, Constance Bennett, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich and Gertrude Lawrence, were among her most devoted of clientele. By the time of Hattie Carnegie’s passing in 1956, she had succeeded in building her business into a multi-million dollar empire which included wholesale companies, made to order work-rooms, several factories, and her own line of costume jewelry and perfumes.

Born in Austria, Henrietta Helen Kanengeiser first came to America as a young teen with her parents and five siblings. Her first professional job in the industry was at the age of fifteen when she was able to gain a treasured job thru Macy’s Department Store, it was during her eight year tenure at Macy’s where the young girl first developed her business skills and acquired the knowledge that she would need of the fashion industry. In 1909, she decided to open up a shop and went into business with a friend, and another Macy’s co-worker, by the name of Rosie Roth. It was around this time when Hattie decided to bring herself good luck with her new shop that she would change her last name legally to Carnegie in honor of another successful immigrant whom she greatly admired by the name of Andrew. The rest of her family, followed suit and changed their name legally to Carnegie shortly after Henrietta, now known as "Hattie" had done.

Despite being the daughter of a tailor and artist, Hattie surprisingly never learned how to sew, cut nor draw patterns. She was a teacher and director to several talented designers,that included Pauline Trigere, Norman Norell, Travis Banton, Jean Louis, Claire McCardell, and Pauline Potter, later known as Rothschild. Successful actress and comedienne, Lucille Ball, was educated about proper style and grace, when she modeled Carnegie creations at the shop, and was considered Hattie's young prodigy for a few years as a teenager. 

The exhibition was curated by Rose Simon of the Museum at F.I.T. included selections from the museums rich holdings, contributions from major museums across the country and overseas, and Carnegie treasures unearthed from private collectors.

Little “Carnegie Suits,  sophisticated evening dresses, military uniforms designed by Hattie Carnegie on loan from the Museum, and a group of bridal gowns, and even a charming flower girl dress complete with a little bonnet. Photographs of the brides in their dresses were included in the exhibition. The clothing was represented in settings that evocated the high style that Hattie Carnegie promoted in her designs and within her shop. In addition, the exhibition included original design sketches,, photographs of Carnegie fashions shot for Harpers Bazaar by Louise Dahl Wolfe, and photographs and the exhibition concluded in a special way: REMEMBERING HATTIE Those closest to her, shared their memories of the Hattie they knew and loved. Guest Speakers were members of her family, former models, clients and friends.

Said, Dorothy Twining Globus, the Director of the Museum at F.I.T .Despite the tremendous impact Hattie Carnegie had on the fashion world, she remains somewhat of an enigma, and an unknown outside of the fashion world” With this exhibition they succeeded and re-examined and reintroduced a fashion icon to new generations to appreciate. They honored a remarkable woman who truly defined “American Style.”

At the time when separate fashions were necessary for specific times of day and special events-lunch, afternoon, cocktail hour, the theater and the gala_

Hattie Carnegie dressed women from “Hat and Hem” For her understated, yet classic efforts, she received many awards. The most famous includedThe Neiman-Marcus Award in 1938, and the Coty Award in 1948.

Article About the Hattie Carnegie Exhibition was featued in the Volume III, Issue 4 of The Lady's Gallery Magazine about Fashion, Culture and Antiques.

 

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 Nursing Aide is Vital to Hopkins' Fiancee

    New York Times-July 10th 1942

Ms. Louise Macy, the fiancee of Harry L. Hopkins , aide to President Roosevelt will carry a package of loyalties with her when she moves into the White House next month..

Taking time off yesterday from her duties as a nurses’ aide. At Memorial Hospital at 444 East 86th Street.

Ms. Macy discussed her wedding plans and her marriage.

Her loyalties have to do with her nurses’ aide job and two former employers. As soon as she and Mr. Hopkins return to reside in the White House after their July 30th wedding. She will sign up for volunteer work at the Washington hospital. She said, her wedding gown, a simple one because the ceremony will take place at noon, will be from Hattie Carnegie, who gave her, her first job as a saleswoman in 1933,

She also decided that Harpers Bazaar for which she was formally the Paris editor would be the only magazine to have a photo of her in her gown before the wedding.

Ms. Macy said that she will refuse to dress twice in the morning before nine o’clock, therefore she plans to emerge from the Presidential residency in her nurses’ uniform over which she will wear a trench coat. because of a regulation that the uniform must not be worn on the street.

Ms. Macy will shop her work at Memorial Hospital later this week, she was looking forward to the arrival of Mr. Hopkins, and planned to make one more trip to Washington before the wedding.

Her wedding trip, she declared, will last only a week, and will probably be interrupted anyhow,

She thought that Mr. Hopkins’ daughter, Diana was too young to serve as an attendant at their ceremony, but that she would be there, in a new dress, and would look absolutely adorable

Jeune Fille Fashion Show-Hosted by Hattie at the Waldorf-Astoria

        New York Times- May 25, 1944

All the requisites for a well dressed summer were on view yesterday at the showing of the “Jeune Fille fashions by Hattie Carnegie.

Her presentation which took place on the Starlight Roof at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bounded in clothes for country and town that were notable for their good taste, versatility and budget appeal for the young teenage girl shopper. Prices in this shop range from ten dollars to forty-five dollars.

Costumes that were marked for double duty took the spotlight. Tailored town dresses , for example, were transferred into sun back dresses simply by the removal of a bolero.

For the woman who finds a small print with a large hat is her favorite costume, there was a series of dresses with black and pastel combinations.

Active sports clothes featured lovely hand painted effects. There were pique bathing suits available in one or two piece styles, decorated in this manner, and a blue sun back dress had blue hand painted motifs on the pockets.. Summer evening came in for their attention in a group of black sheers.

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Spring and Summer of 1942: Wartime Fashions

New York Times Archives

Hattie Carnegie fearlessly faces the dress-during-wartime issue with a sophisticated collection that is guaranteed to meet the requirments of the super exiquisite in taste. She blazes forth with colors. Here are a few of her latest colors: Passion Pink, Jealous Green, Frosted Daiquiri and True Blue.

It is Hattie's philosophy that in order to keep their heads high and their courage up that women will not want to lower their standards of dress except to conform with the regulations of the government.

 Her Spring silhouette decidedly endorses the pegtop skirt. It has the advantage of economizing fabric yet providing a graceful drape. She showed it in three delightful suits, a wood violet, frock ensembled with a stem green jacket, a purple bougainvillaea boldly paired with a yellow and purple plaid blouse and a jealous green wool with the cutaway jacket exposing a boldly printed bodice.

The hats that went with each outfit added just the correct note of color and chic, Prints too, emphasized this wide at the top, narrow at the hemline silhouette. It was at it's best in a green-Persian print worn with an enormous yellow cartwheel hat.

Just to prove that she likes the ultra simple as well as the ultra-sophisicated. Hattie included a group of shepherds checks that had a debutantish air in the midst of the togs. A surah of the check made with a jeune fille bodice and a full pleated skirt was presented with a little black alpaca jacket. Never forgetting the hats, a checkered matching beret was paired with a big bag completed the youthful picture of fashion.

Summer coats to cover silk dresses whether print or plain. Hattie loves and approves of black faille or alpaca.

Hattie stated her opinion, "They are like dark shadows that are cast over brilliant colors, and the dresses they are worn over provide a startling note of color."

Two fabrics in particular the amber and dairquiri colored crepe,  reminded Hattie Carnegie of her idol, the fabulous, Madeleine Vionnet who invented the bias cut which Hattie adored. They are figure revealing and very graceful.

The don't dress for dinner vogue is certain to reach new heights this Spring and Summer. To meet this demend there were innumerable costumes. in the main there were black:taffeta dresses with pink or blue bows at the neckline, and gloves to match: organza suits with short jackets over dresses with bodices and flaring skirts of lace.

For evening, Hattie showcased glamour. Black lace and bare shoulders, done up with a cloud of pale blue tulle, a hot pink jacket accompanied on a turquoise blue gown, so life like they looked as if they were ready to take flight.

The southern belle was present in New York as a model in a white organza gown speckled with hand embroided black leaves took center stage, and lastly the shows finale featured a black satin gown with a few ostrich feathers for highlight and beauty.

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Feathers Featured in Hat Collection

No Descriptive Name

New York Times Archives-August 20, 1943

A new hat line burst upon the fashion world yesterday. It was born at Hattie Carnegie's. No descriptive name can really be given to this hat. The silhouette is flat on the top and it is really crownless, and sweeps back from the hair and face almost like a windblown look. Hattie decided to call her new creation by the name of "Mercury", but someone should tell Hattie that this name is not all together accurate because the (God of Motion) had upturned wings in his helmet. Chez Carnegie the wings turn down over the hair.

Most dramatic of Hattie's winged creatures were made of feathers. The pancake flat features were set directly above the brow; at the back the wings were split casting an aerial look.The first hat show was in flamingo red, followed by colors of pale blue and black. The split winged theme was further explored in the huge tassels of uncurled ostrich feathers placed on either side of lowback, velvet shapes.

Shining black coque feathers curled into the nape of the neck in much the same treatment.

Hattie's entire collection presented a great lightness because her extensive use of feathers.Ostrich plumes rose in clusters at the front of crowned hats. The glistening fronds of ostrich feathers, shot off in all directions, sometimes with the backward windblown look. Sometimes standing high having a feather duster effect. Coque feathers did miraculous things because they rested close to the head.

In one model that was like a rounded open band, pale blue and pink feathers striped the side of the little creation. A tiny black matching feather muff went with it; the colored feathers were used on one opening and they were spread fanlike over the muff.

Throughout the entire show there was not a single large hat to be seen. Tiny bonnets called the "quarter bonnets were perched onto upswept coiffures. They were of velours velvet and sprouted tips of ostrich feathers. One was made of Hattie's favorite turquoise blue and black. Other hats were so tiny they practically blended in with the hair. Green and flame feathers tipped hat pins that were stuck with a casual air on the front of green velours which were made on the famed Tyrolean lines.

There were sailors and homburgs with brims which were lightly treated to fit the mood of the collection. A little red homburg was trimmed with black bows, that nestled in the manipulated brim. Other brimmed hats were rolled up at the side. A pine green sailor perched on an amusing snood of checkered pink surah that fell into a long point that was held into place by a green tassel.

The stocking snood came into the picture at various instances. Several times it was used in the veils of certain hats. The tassel was tossed lightly over the shoulder of the model.
Hattie Carnegie's third part of the collection featured the pillbox hat. The hats were velvet and were in many colors and shades including black and a shade that Hattie called"American Beauty" which was absolutely outstanding.

Hattie's American Beauty was scrolled with jet and sequins for cocktail hour and evening wear.

For evening wear silk capots were presented. A pale blue moire and a pink brocaded silk were fashioned with large hoods, and large scarf ends that could be tied or simply draped over the shoulders.

Throughout the collection it was evident that considerable attention was paid to the coiffure. The hair was combed flat at the front and high at the sides where it could be swept into the curves of the small shapes.

 This season, good grooming will be an important part of wearing Carnegie's custom made chapteaux.

 


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HATTITUDE

 

Hattie Carnegie's temper was as well known in fashion circles as her little Carnegie suit.

Her petite stature might have fooled some people momentarily that she was passive that was until someone made her angry.

Hattie would seldom shy away from a confrontation. She was also very direct and outspoken. Sometimes her outbursts were uncalled for and totally irrational, sometimes they had a purpose because she was a little lady trying to make it in the business world when the business world was an unaccepting and extremely cold place for a woman in charge, not only that Hattie's beloved father Isaac, didn't even take her dreams seriously when she was growing up and she treasured her fathers opinion.

Other times, I tend to believe that Hattie's anger was a defense mechanism.

Hattie had a difficult and challenging life from the very beginning. She was born into extreme poverty and was expected to be a little adult and to take on the responsibilities of an adult even before she even officially became a teenager, because this was engrained into her at such an early age she grew up expecting those around her to take the same serious approach to life.

Hattie Carnegie was a teacher above all, she may not have have carried a wooden ruler to slap knuckles, but she had unlimited access to pins and she could stick a person just like they were a homemade voodoo doll.

Lucille Ball noted this in her biography, "Love, Lucy" that when she would tire and become restless during fittings she was start to joke around. Hattie would stick her with a pin to bring her back to reality, then she would pretend that it was accident,  but Lucille knew that it was attempt to get her to listen to direction.

Hattie actually thought that Lucille was a riot, but she would never admit it to her and she would often turn away, so Lucille would not see her laughing at her antics.

Aline Griffith described her modeling experience in this way. Hattie was very strict and she wanted her employees to be prompt and she didn't like to accept excuses for tardiness.

Aline had been late to work all week. After the third day this happened Hattie told her that if she was late one more time that she was going to be in trouble, and she best be on time tomorrow because they had an important photo shoot and it was going to take all day.

The following day was a cold, rainy, muddy March morning and Aline knew that she was going to be late yet again, and she knew that Hattie wasn't going to be happy.

To save time she decided to hail a taxi cab, she arrived at the shop in record time. She was going to make it, she was in such a hurry that she practically threw the money at the taxi cab driver, but when she getting out of the taxi cab she lost her footing and fell face down in a mud puddle.

The beautiful light blue dress that she was wearing for the upcoming photo shoot was totally ruined, she panicked because Hattie was going to be furious, not only was she late, but the dress that she changed into at home to save time was now ruined.

She was prepared for the worst.

Hattie came down the staircase, she spotted Aline who was standing there looking pitiful awaiting her punishment.

At first Hattie stared at her in stunned silence than she did something unexpected and completely out of character she burst out laughing. Hattie was still in hysterics when she commented,

 "Aline, No self respecting girl would show up to work like that, you can go and change into a different dress we will wait."

 Aline was relieved, she was saved another day.

 

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A LITTLE WAC

John Zanft may have once been in the army, but it was Hattie who had the temper of a drill sergeant. John would often defend Hattie's employees, by telling her that they were just kids. Ironically though,  he didn't feel that way about the kids that he dealt with on a daily basis at the reformatory.

The kids at the reformatory hadn't any ambition they were there because they committed some very serious crimes, but society had decided. John Zanft wanted to save these kids from a life behind bars.

Hattie's employees were the opposite they were the best of the best kids with ambition and heart,  they were personally chosen by Hattie,  for their determination and skill. John sometimes thought that Hattie was too strict with the ambitious kids.

Hattie disagreed with her husband and defended her position by stating that if they couldn't take simple direction from her that they would never make in their chosen fields, they were ambitious because adults were strict with them. She was decidedly the hardest on those that she liked the best, believed in the most, but just as equally she cheered them on in their accomplishments.

One employee of Hattie's had this to say about the

"Tiny Dynamo."

Hattie is fiercely loyal to those employees, that she loves, she will never really fire them, but if she doesn't like you, you might as well leave because you will never get anywhere, if you get on her bad side."

Hattie would have a temper tantrum, fire an employee and before they could make it to the next block they would be rehired. She was quick to snap and lose her temper, but she would be just as quick to forgive, and the next day all would be fine in Carnegie's world.

When she lost her temper she would shout,

"You're Fired, Get out!"

The employee never cried or yelled back at her because they were used to it, many were actually happy.  

How could they be upset, they had the afternoon off and it was a beautiful day in New York.

Hattie cheerfully plead guilty to her temper. It's a simple fact that she was proud of it. She would always say that she was tough on her employees, she expected a lot from them, but that was because they were gifted and she wanted them to make the most of their talents.

She often took a group of aspiring designers with her on her trips to Paris. The designers were eager to go. Hattie would pay their tickets, but she wanted them to understand that this was not a vacation and they were going to learn a lot. When the designers appeared restless at the announcement, Hattie response was,

"You all best listen because you may be tested later."

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                  Hattie Carnegie Jewelry

When someone hears the name Hattie Carnegie, the first thought that comes to most, is hats, dresses, fashionable suits, and evening attire. During her lifetime, she was a household name but Hattie Carnegie was never credited as a jewelry designer.

It is documented, in a number of reliable sources that Hattie did not officially launch a jewelry line until 1939. Even at it’s onset in 1939, the jewelry line was secondary to the fashions. It was merely utilized as a complimentary item to a beautiful dress.

Hattie Carnegie actually always loved jewelry. She was most partial to turquoise and pearls.

Pearls would eventually become her trademark.

Major John Zanft bought her a beautiful three-strand necklace; it is rare to find a photograph of Hattie when she is not wearing those beloved pearls.

Hattie adored pearls so much that when John proposed to her he put the diamond ring back and selected a rare pearl ring encircled by diamonds for his bride.

I saw a picture of Hattie’s beautiful ring, but could not enlarge it enough to get a decent picture to place on the site.


Love and Encouragement

John made another wonderful contribution, not just to Hattie for buying her that pearl necklace and interesting wedding ring, but to all of us, who collect, enjoy and wear Hattie Carnegie jewelry to this day. He encouraged her to begin a jewelry line of her own when he saw that her jewelry box was overflowing with both fine jewelry and costume jewelry. She always mentioned to him that a nice outfit was made even more special with a beautiful necklace or bracelet to match. Hattie actually experimented with a piece of jewelry here and there when she incorporated her famous HC in a diamond mark in 1919, however she still did not have an official line.

Those early photographs of Hattie Carnegie models, included a young Lucille Ball, often wore matching necklaces and/or bracelets in the photographs, but the jewelry probably was not a Hattie Carnegie original, it was most likely from a well-known jewelry company of the day.

Hattie freely complemented these companies in her early advertisements because she did not sense a threat from them at least up until 1939 when she officially launched her own collection.

Hattie always wanted to be credited for her hard work, so it is very rare to find an unsigned Hattie Carnegie piece.

Hattie worked hard to achieve success, to her, having her name stamped on her work was not so much a sign of vanity or pride, but as a reminder to the once poor tenenment girl of how much she had achieved in the land of opportunity.

Companies such as Hattie Carnegie Inc. had to buy a number of pieces from wholesale jewelry companies to have their company logo or designer signature stamped upon the piece, so that is why a collector can locate a number of the same pieces or styles attributed to a specific designer or company.

Hattie Carnegie’s company did design custom made clothing that was hand made by her designers at her New York shop, this was not the case with the jewelry line that was never custom made within Hattie’s shop.

     Wholesale Jewelry Companies

She selected a few trusted wholesale companies to design her jewelry.

A jewelry designer that Hattie really liked was a man by the name of Jacques “Jack” Libuono.

I would have to assume that Hattie had a special fondness for Mr. Libuono,  because he loved the French designs that she herself was so drawn to.

Hattie also liked to purchase jewelry from the Kasnoffs.

The Kasnoffs had other famous clientele. Ironically, many of these companies were Hattie Carnegie competitors such as Weiss, Kramer, Coro, Capri and Revlon.

The Kasnoffs also sold jewelry under their own signature label of Florenza.

Hattie Carnegie’s brother in law often picked up the orders for her which Hattie Carnegie had herself,  had personally selected.

Hattie would carefully look at and examine every example,  she refused to be rushed.

Her employees and wholesalers were made nervous by this trait.

               Strictest of Standards

Hattie Carnegie held the strictest of standards with any item that carried her name because it was a reflection of her shop.

Hattie would not hesitate and was known to actually return a piece if it was not to her liking. Everything that was sold in Hattie’s shop had to appeal to her personal sense of style and if it did not it was to be scarped.

In additional to the traditional jewelry like the bracelets and necklaces. Hattie also sold hair ornaments, buckles and jewelry boxes under the names of either “Pooped Pussy Cat” or “Pooped Poodle”

The poodle name was in reference to her pet, a little black toy poodle. A poodle was also used as a logo for her company. I have only seen one ring that was designed with Hattie’s signature, although I am sure there must have been others.

              Treasured Collections

I love Hattie Carnegie jewelry; I am always pleased to acquire a new Hattie Carnegie jewel to wear.

Many people ask me why I choose to wear my valuable collection, but I personally believe that a collection is meant to be enjoyed by the collector. I do however have a few special pieces that I refuse to wear and are kept safely in a display case, but in all honestly, I myself refuse to have a collection of something that I love if it is going to sit there and just collect dust.

My husband does not understand why, if I was given a choice that I would rather have a piece of costume jewelry by Hattie Carnegie as opposed to the fine jewelry that is found in any number of jewelry stores.

My answer is that my Hattie Carnegie collection has as much endearing and sentimental value to me as his collection of New England Patriots merchandise does to him. He does not understand why costume jewelry collectors, such as ourselves, seek out their favorite designer and it is such a quest to locate that perfect piece or that we as collectors would be hundreds of dollars for a piece of “fake” jewelry.

For example, Months ago, I wanted a Hattie Carnegie lady bug. I bid on several lady bugs on eBay, and was outbid each time. I was getting discouraged. Brian just typed in ladybug and he spotted an adorable bug, but it wouldn’t do for me,  because it was NOT A HATTIE CARNEGIE.

My husband does not see the value of a designer piece. He just simply sees the item. To him, a lady bug is a lady bug.

By the way, I eventually got my treasured lady bug, but I paid a pretty penny for it.

Brian wants me to hock my collection to purchase a new computer. I do not think that is going to happen. Brian would not hesitate to pay a couple hundred dollars for an authentic signed photograph of Super Bowl champion and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, but when I mention paying a couple hundred dollars for a rare Hattie necklace or pin. His answer is,

“It’s not the same thing.”

Oh well, I cannot expect him to understand.

 

 

 

 

 

       My Favorite Hattie Jewelry Is:

My favorite Hattie styles are her animal pins, because they are so detailed and lifelike.

My own personal Hattie Carnegie zoo, you do not have to feed them.

I also love the sparkly rhinestone necklaces that glow in the sun almost like real diamonds, and the colorful glass pieces.

 

My Least Favorite Hattie Jewelry Is:

There are however , I few Hattie jewelry styles that I tend to avoid, especially the abstract designs.

 I just really do not care for abstract art or jewelry. I consider it ugly and also it is way too new age for me.

When I look at a painting, or in this case a pin.I want to know at first glance what it is, I do not want to guess or assume what something is supposed to be or to represent.

I guess,  I just prefer my mysteries to be printed in a novel, not featured on my lapel.

Another style that I don’t particular care for is plastic pieces, although I must admit that a few I have seen are very nice.  

I used to love plastic charm necklaces, and collecting the various charms when they were all the rage when I was growing up in the 1980’s. Lately though, I have been more drawn to the glowing rhinestone jewelry.

Discovered a Love For:

Other items that I used to not care for, but now absolutely love are the faux topaz stones. I think they are very beautiful..

I would also love to acquire a rare HC marked piece which I do not own yet.

Obviously, the above statements are my personal opinions about what I prefer; another collector could feel completely different from me. That is the wonderful thing about Hattie Carnegie jewelry, she was very classy, but she also was very open minded, fun loving and adventurous, therefore she left a wide variety of styles for the collector to select from for their personal collections that are a reflection of what they themselves love.

She was an intelligent businesswoman.

For examples of Hattie's beautiful jewelry in all styles.

Please refer to the Jewelry section

Hattie and Law-SUITS

Hattie was known for extending credit to her friends and associates. It earned Hattie a very loyal customer base. However sometimes this practice backfired. Hattie was involved in two well publicized lawsuits during the 1930’s that she filed against former customers. The first was filed against James J. Walker and his wife for $12,059 the remaining balance due on a $20,059 bill

Hattie’s second lawsuit was filed against Clarence Buddington Kelland for $3,313. When contacted about the matter by Hattie Carnegie Inc he ripped up the bill because he believed the husband should not be held financially responsible for the unreasonable debts of his wife and he claimed that Ms. Carnegie’s prices were high and very unreasonable.

Mr. Kelland told the press My financial condition at no time would justify panty hose at $6.50, cloth coats at $450.00 and there wasn’t way was he was going to be made to pay $250.00 for a dress. He also added a few choice comments about Ms. Carnegie

Mr. Kelland had to pay the debt as Hattie was awarded a judgment in the 1933 case which included claims for chiffon handkerchiefs at $10.00 each, and boxes of talc for $7.50 per box.

Hattie was asked why she would wish to file suit against her customers when the Depression was so harsh on everybody.

Hattie defended her actions and replied,

“Well isn’t that the point,  I have employees to pay, and if all my customers refused to pay their outstanding balances, I would be unable to pay my employees who have families to provide for, Not only that, These customers are technically stealing from me,  and my employees.  I want to make an example of that type of customer, and this will not be tolerated by me."

On the other side of the coin, Hattie was also the defendant in a few lawsuits.

At one point prior to their marriage, and after World War I ended, Now newly reintroduced to civilian life but not ready to retire, John Zanft wanted to begin his own production company . So he borrowed a loan from Samuel Katz.

John ventured out to Hollywood with $11,000 in hand. John’s attempts at achieving his dream of founding an independent production company failed, and he resigned himself to working on the occasional project as an employee with other movie companies. He returned to New York City and resumed writing his column for the New York based Morning Telegraph. He filed bankruptcy when he begun to struggle financially. He promised Katz that he would pay his debt whenever he could manage to pay it.

Thanks to his friend William Fox who thought that John was a skilled and talented entertainment writer. He befriended John and offered him an opportunity that John could not refuse. He appointed John as Vice President of all the Fox Theaters in New York City. With this new found success , John was officially discharged from bankruptcy and paid Sam Katz $500.00 of the $11,000 that he still owed him. He asked Katz to be patient that he intended to pay the debt off in full as soon as he could manage.

John kept his word and eventually paid off the entire $11,000 dollars, that he had owed Katz.

John thought that was the end of his obligation to Katz, but Katz filed a surprise lawsuit against John that stated the he felt that John owed him an additional $605.27 of accrued interest that was never mentioned in the original document that John signed and agreed to pay upon.

John was sued by Katz for that interest amount.

On May 24th 1938, Hattie supported her husband, and spoke upon his behalf to the press outside of the courthouse. She said that her husband was being treated unfairly, and he had already paid the debt therefore he owed Mr. Katz……NOTHING! The judge agreed and ruled against Samuel Katz.

 

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KNOCK-OFFS

When Hattie Carnegie held any fashion show it was always with great ceremony. Yet the fanciest of invitations were sent out by her employees, just four times a year when she showcased her upcoming fashion line for each season of the year.

The seasonal shows in particular were the time the beauty and grace of the teenaged Lucille Ball begun to really shine. Hattie gave Lucille the special assignment of appearing as the bride at the conclusion of every show

These special shows were by invitation ONLY, and if you showed up at the door without your invitation, you were not allowed inside the shop. Hattie seldom made an exception to this rule. Contrary to popular belief , Hattie was not trying to be unfair to her customers by limiting the events attendance she was protecting herself from being the victim of what people in the fashion business refer to as a knockoff, but everyone in the industry was a victim and Hattie didn’t have an immunity to this practice.

Despite the precautions made by Hattie’s staff to protect their employer an occasional spy managed to sneak in restricted rooms. Once during a wholesale showing a employee spotted a department store dress buyer in the models dressing room, they turned the dress inside out noted the detail and counted the buttons. The dress was knocked off shortly after the show.

The definition of the term "Knocked off" is copying a garment _exactly by a name designer who operates in a lower price bracket. Knock-offs are still common in the fashion world even today.

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Ex-CONVICTS BREAK INTO HATTIE'S SHOP with a SHOEHORN

                    (Yes, this is a True Story)

                      Per: The New York Times: October 29, 1940

Two ex-convicts were captured at ten o’clock on the evening of October 28, 1940 after they had cracked open a window at the Salon of Hattie Carnegie at 42 East 49th Street, by the ingenious use of a shoemaker’s awl. They looted the shop of $5000 worth of furs. One of the pair was wounded.

The prisoners who said that they were Fred Lotte, 41 years old, of 692 Ninth Ave and Charles Bauman, 34 years old, of 356 West 34th Street, both longshoremen were being trailed by Detectives William J. Mulligan and John J. Hogan four three hours at the time of the robbery. The detectives were on a special assignment to put a halt to a series of robberies on the East Side of Manhattan.

The detectives stated that they saw the men punch a three holes at the point of a triangle in the window of H.L. Purdy, an optical goods store located at 506 Madison Ave near 52nd Street. Then the awl was inserted at the bottom of the window pane as a lever, the pane was raised, and the sides of the triangle were cracked between the holes because of the strain placed on the glass. The triangle that was originally cut was pushed in without shattering, however this action set off an alarm, upon hearing the alarm, the men retreated to a safe distance to look on as the watchmen came to the scene. The detectives said.

Abandoning this job, because they knew that they had been caught, they decided to repeat the awl trick, at Hattie Carnegie’s shop.

The detectives decided to catch them in the act this time, and they saw the men remove three silver fox stoles, and a silver fox jacket, they folded them neatly and placed them in a paper bag. Thinking that they succeeded in the robbery of Hattie Carnegie. The men decided to make their way to Park Avenue, and 49th Street, one walking ahead as a lookout and the other trailing behind carrying the bag of furs.

At the corner, they reunited, and entered the taxicab of Harry Smith of 214 Broome Street.

Hogan and Mulligan sprung to the doors of the cab throwing them open. Bauman then surrendered. Lotte leaped at Detective Mulligan sending him sprawling, and then he jumped from the cab and ran.

From the ground Mulligan fired one warning shot, then felled Lotte with a bullet wound in the left thigh

Both men were charged with burglary and with the possession of burglars’ tools. Bauman was locked up in the East 51st Street, station, Lotte in Bellevue Hospital. The former admitted to having served three penitentiary terms, the latter, a term in Sing, Sing, and another in the penitentiary.

The paper bag with the furs was found on the floor of the cab and returned to Ms. Carnegie.

Both men made a deal with the detectives to help clear up other burglaries in the area.

Hi, Amy.

What the robbers used wasn't actually a shoehorn...  It was an awl used

by a shoemaker.  Here is a picture of some awls:
http://www.indiana.edu/~libpres/manual/tools/awl.html
The shoemaker punches holes in leather with an awl before stitching
through the holes with some kind of thread or cord.

What a great story!  I'm glad you found this wonderful research
reference.

I hope you are well and that life is treating you kindly.

Fondly,
 Cheri

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according to the Jewish tradition regarding arranged marriages would become her first husband.  I don’t think that she was even aware that some twenty five to thirty years later she too would be a matchmaker.

 

 

 

 

Employees

 

 

Here is a very Special Hattie Carnegie Story that I have shared with permission.

 

Hi Amy,

You might like to know that my parents met because of Hattie Carnegie, in a way. My father, a photographer, had emigrated from Berlin to the US a few months earlier, signed a contract with Harper's Bazaar, and opened a studio in NYC. He spoke no English, just Hungarian and German, and so needed a secretary/assistant to translate for him.

I gather he was a little difficult to work for, ha ha, since he went through five secretaries in as many months.

Word went out in the fashion world that he needed a new one.

My mother's much older sister worked for Hattie, as a milliner. She suggested to Hattie that my mother could do the job for a couple of weeks: she was in her last year of high school, about to start her Christmas vacation, and though she didn't know German, she did
know Yiddish, which would be close enough.

She went to work for my father for "just a couple of weeks." But she loved the job, got along perfectly with him, and was being paid what was a fortune in those years, and so she never did
go back to school.

Nine years later she and my father married--and it never would have happened if not for Hattie!
Best,
Joan

Obviously, I found this story very interesting and had some follow-up questions.

 

Hi Amy,

You're more than welcome to use my story on your site. My mother went to work for my father in December of 1934. I don't know how long my Aunt Dotty worked for Hattie. My mother was 17 at the time, and Dotty was about 12 years older. Dotty would have been married to her first husband at that time, but they divorced, and when she remarried, she and her new husband, my Uncle Dave, opened a hardware store. I'm pretty sure that was right after the war, so assuming that Dotty stayed with Hattie until that happened, she would have been there into the mid-1940s. But I don't know if she DID stay, or how long she'd been working for Hattie when she sent my mother to my father's studio, and unfortunately no one from that generation of my family is still alive for me to ask. Really, all I know is what I wrote--that in the late fall of 1934, my aunt was working for Hattie. Wish I could fill in the blanks for you! You're welcome, Amy--it's my pleasure to give you another piece of Hattieana for your site. I'm glad it's something you can use. I look forward to seeing the story on your site.

Best,

Joan

http://www.acharmedexistence.com
gelatogrrl on EBay

"When you wear a charm bracelet, you're never alone."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

REMEMBERING HATTIE- An Employees Perspective

I have been corresponding with a wonderful lady who was employed with Hattie Carnegie from

August 1943 until December 1947. Her name is Shirley (Geary) Kerwin and she is eighty years young.

She has been kind enough to share her memories of working for Hattie Carnegie and has granted me permission to share her memories of her with the visitors of Hattie-Carnegie.com

Shirley found  this site via an internet search for Hattie Carnegie employees……

She wanted to see if I had a contact list of former employees, which I don’t  currently have, but thanks to her assistance and valuable information I now have an impressive list of names which could lead to locating some surviving employees or the relatives of former employees.

Shirley’s Story

Shirley actually landed her job in the same fashion that the majority of Hattie’s employees had. She simply walked into the shop and remarked that she would love to work there. Hattie seemed to admire this straight forward method because this was exactly how Lucille Ball and Hattie’s personal secretary Josephine Hughes obtained their jobs. It was also the same techique that shehad used to obtain her life altering job at Macy's Department Store  It helped in the quest for employment to flatter Hattie. Flatter her, and she would certainly find a job for you. Her biggest weakness was compliments, especially if a potential employee complimented the beautiful clothing and her lovely shop.

Hattie told Shirley if she wanted a job, she could start tomorrow. Shirley worked as a salesgirl in the lingerie department, her  direct supervisor when she worked in the lingerie department was Hedy Guttman. The salesgirls in every department wore black dresses, because Hattie thought that the color black was classy.

Shirley was just nineteen when she began working for Hattie.

Labeling

Each article of clothing had a price tag. Clothing was priced according to the particular shop it was manufactured for. Pricing depended on whether the item was on sale. Price tags were pinned inside the of clothing on a seam. Jewelry was sold in a box with the Hattie Carnegie Inc logo, the price tag was usually found on the underside of the box. The clothing did not have when it was sold. When the customer brought a dress, blouse or suit, the sales assistants took the article to Fanny who was the presser and labeler to have the Hattie Carnegie label placed on the article.

Shipping

After labeling the package went onto the shipping department where it was wrapped and shipped to the customer. The box was brown and white (with Hattie Carnegie Inc, often her poodle logo)

If the item was a gift, Gift wrap was Hattie’s favorite color light blue with a dark blue ribbon to compliment it.

 Special note:(Hattie’s perfume bottles are often seen on eBay still wrapped in the original wrapping.)

 

Sizing

Sizes were all color coded.

Size 10 was Red

Size 12 was Blue

Size 14 was Yellow

Size 16 was Green

Size 18 was White

They were just sizes, If a customer was not pleased with the way a dress looked, the customer had an option to see an in shop fitter. The fitter could make the dress fit perfectly.

Receptionist

After a year or so, Shirley was promoted to the position of front desk receptionist where she worked in the Ready to Wear Department, Shirley scheduled appointments for fittings. She would notify the tailor Mr. Speigel, or the seamstress Jenny when a customer came in for an appointment. There were other tailors and seamstresses on staff, but those were her favorites. She would also go up to customers who walked in and locate a salesperson to help them. If Hattie happened to be in that department and she received a call, Hattie’s personal secretary Josephine, would forward the call to Shirley’s phone in ready to wear. Shirley would then notify Hattie that she had a phone call. This was the job in which she really got to know Hattie on a more personal level.

Her direct supervisor during the time that she was the front desk receptionist was Irene Penn who was the ready to wear buyer . Shirley told me that Irene could be tough and harsh, but most of the time she was nice to her.

Celebrities

Shirley saw many celebrities when she worked for Hattie Among the celebrities that she came in contact with were Ingrid Berman who browsed but apparently never bought anything. Shirley told me that she couldn’t believe how big she was, she also saw the Duchess of Windsor, Joan Crawford and Mrs. Lou Gehrig.

Here is Shirley’s take on Zsa Zsa Gabor. She was very rude to her.

I had a problem with her.
Zsa Zsa came in during a sale. (During Sales there we had racks all over.) But normally there were no clothes to see.. just couches.. The salesperson would bring out suits, evening wear, or whatever was asked for , models would also show the clothes.
Zsa Zsa's sales woman was at lunch so she asked me to put away a dress for her. I told the sales lady Helen McCaffrey.. about it.. & she said "put it back on the rack,, she won't be back.."
Well she did come back, when I saw her I fled to the basement where we kept our coats. I guess Zsa Zsa was asking where the sales person was and said.. "Where is that little one with the big face. She has a dress for me!".

Rationed During the War……..

She also remembered that Marlene Deitrich bought an interesting dress that had a United Nations flag print and a coat with the lining that matched the dress. She bought this dress to wear overseas to entertain the troops.

During war time shoes were rationed, Hattie didn’t sell shoes, but she made recommendations. Her favorite shoes were Edoward shoes. They were leather backless shoes (mules) and slip on an ankle strap. Voila! shoes…. Slippers and mules were not rationed.

Some of Hattie’s employees from 1943-1948 whom Shirley remembered and their departments……..

Vice President- Major John Zanft ( Hattie’s husband)

------------------

General Manager/Financial Manager- Herman Carnegie (Hattie’s brother)

----------------------------------------------

Wholesale Department- Tony Carnegie (Hattie’s brother)

----------------------------

Jeune Fille Department-June Lillie

-----------------------------

Hattie’s Personal Secretary-Josephine Hughes

---------------------------------

 Sales

 

Rose Cohen

Ruth Klepper

Carolyn Eric

Lillie Long

Helen McCaffrey

Connie Marcus

Ethel Korn (Hattie’s niece) Ethel looked just like her Aunt Hattie, very tiny and blonde.

Ethel was the daughter of her younger sister, Madeline, who they often called Mary.

-----------------

Ready to Wear Supervisor

Irene Penn

---------------

Lingerie Department Supervisor

Hedy Guttman

--------------

Tailor

Mr. Speigel

-----------

Seamstress

Jenny (?)

------------

Fur Salon

Mr. Davis

--------------

Receiving

Irving Karshan

------------

Shipping

Phil (?)

-----------

Remembering Hattie

Shirley said she remembered that Hattie was very tiny and cute. She was always beautifully dressed, but despite the formal atmosphere she was very informal, usually insisting that employees refer to her simply as “Hattie” She often joked that, her mother was Mrs. Carnegie.

Shirley really loved working for Hattie. She was pleased that I brought back memories for her with my interest in her story

Hattie offered her clothes at a discounted rate.

She remembered Hattie as a heavy smoker who always carried a cigarette in a holder. Probably because she thought the holder was classy.

The shop was around the corner from her residence, she often walked to work. When she arrived she usually greeted the downstairs employees, before she gracefully ascended the beautiful gray carpeted staircase to her office.

Interesting Project

-----------------------

Shirley recalled that Hattie designed Margaret Sullivan’s wardrobe for the theatre production,

VOICE OF THE TURTLE- (which ironically Vivian Vance appeared in prior to her Ethel Mertz fame.)

I found it interesting that both Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance had a direct Hattie Carnegie connection.

Hattie apparently designed a very fashionable two piece gray and white suit with a turquoise lining and she wore a beautiful matching turquoise blouse underneath the suit jacket.

She kept with the color scheme when she also designed a purple jumper with specks of turquoise and another turquoise blouse.

I knew that Hattie loved turquoise (smile)

----------------------------

Cute Post Script from Shirley……….

PS.. I really don't have a big face as Zsa Zsa said...

If you know of other employees. that are around I’d love to contact some..

Thank you for this opportunity..

She also wrote in another email……..

There were a few other young girls there. Marie Kinston the fur model, Betty Rhinhardt the Jeune Fille model, Ethel Korn, Hattie’s niece, Joan Ludwig on appointment desk in custom made department. They might contact you, If they ever do. Please let me know. I am near 80 years old, so unfortunately most of the people I talk about are probably gone now.

THIS WAS SO SWEET

Former Hattie Carnegie Alumni Reunited to Remember their Former Employer in 1965

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

REMEMBERING HATTIE........An Employee Perspective

 Shoshana, (Hattie's Great Niece) commented on this article, so I decided to re-post it with her comments.....Thank you Shoshana!

On Saturday, November 30, 2013

 

Hi  Amy,

I've been trying to get enough time to answer this with a few pieces of information to round out some things you already know so I'm going to respond to your email inline.

 

On Wed, Nov 27, 2013

Hi Shoshana, Andrea and Laura:

 

I found this correspondence on the website from someone who worked for Hattie Carnegie from 1943-1947.

It was from about eight years. I had forgotten about it.

Very interesting from a lady who worked for her.

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Love,

 

  Amy.

 

 

REMEMBERING HATTIE- An Employees Perspective

I have been corresponding with a wonderful lady who was employed with Hattie Carnegie from

August 1943 until December 1947. Her name is Shirley (Geary) Kerwin and she is eighty years young.

She has been kind enough to share her memories of working for Hattie Carnegie and has granted me permission to share her memories of her with the visitors of Hattie-Carnegie.com

Shirley found  this site via an internet search for Hattie Carnegie employees……

She wanted to see if I had a contact list of former employees, which I don’t  currently have, but thanks to her assistance and valuable information I now have an impressive list of names which could lead to locating some surviving employees or the relatives of former employees.


Shirley’s Story

Shirley actually landed her job in the same fashion that the majority of Hattie’s employees had. She simply walked into the shop and remarked that she would love to work there. Hattie seemed to admire this straight forward method because this was exactly how Lucille Ball and Hattie’s personal secretary Josephine Hughes obtained their jobs. It was also the same technique that she had used to obtain her life altering job at Macy's Department Store  It helped in the quest for employment to flatter Hattie. Flatter her, and she would certainly find a job for you. Her biggest weakness was compliments, especially if a potential employee complimented the beautiful clothing and her lovely shop.

Hattie told Shirley if she wanted a job, she could start tomorrow. Shirley worked as a salesgirl in the lingerie department, her  direct supervisor when she worked in the lingerie department was Hedy Guttman. The salesgirls in every department wore black dresses, because Hattie thought that the color black was classy.

Shirley was just nineteen when she began working for Hattie.


Labeling

Each article of clothing had a price tag. Clothing was priced according to the particular shop it was manufactured for. Pricing depended on whether the item was on sale. Price tags were pinned inside the of clothing on a seam.


Shoshana- The pins used were tiny safety pins which could safely be removed without damaging the clothing.  Also, back then, the seams were made much wider so that a garment could be altered to make it larger, if necessary.  Today's seams are very narrow in comparison because companies are trying to cut costs in whatever way they can.  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amy- Yes, I agree.
The clothing of yester-year even with war rationing was of much better quality, and so classy.

My husband, even commented that the actresses were so beautiful in the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's. The actresses of today, have nothing on the beautiful classic woman.

 

Jewelry was sold in a box with the Hattie Carnegie Inc logo, the price tag was usually found on the underside of the box. The clothing did not have when it was sold. When the customer brought a dress, blouse or suit, the sales assistants took the article to Fanny who was the presser and label-er to have the Hattie Carnegie label placed on the article.

 

Shoshana-I didn't know this about the label.  All the things we used to get had the labels sewn securely at the neck.  Now, I wish I'd have saved some of them!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amy- Hattie had several different labels depending on which one of her shops that the item originated from.

 

Shipping

After labeling the package went onto the shipping department where it was wrapped and shipped to the customer. The box was brown and white with Hattie Carnegie Inc, (often her poodle logo)

If the item was a gift, Gift wrap was Hattie’s favorite color light blue with a dark blue ribbon to compliment it.

 Special note:Hattie’s perfume bottles are often seen on eBay still wrapped in the original wrapping.

Shoshana- I'll have to check this out.  At one time, there were three perfumes, pink, blue and white.  I don't think the white was very popular because I didn't see it after a while.  But we had unopened boxes of the pink and blue for a long time.  I'm not sure what happened to them.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amy-  I actually have a bottle of Hattie Carnegie White. It is VERY STRONG NOW! It has never been opened, but my Hattie and Lucille Ball collections, smell just like Hattie Carnegie White

 

Sizing

Sizes were all color coded.

Size 10 was Red

Size 12 was Blue

Size 14 was Yellow

Size 16 was Green

Size 18 was White

They were just sizes, If a customer was not pleased with the way a dress looked, the customer had an option to see an in shop fitter. The fitter could make the dress fit perfectly.



Receptionist

After a year or so, Shirley was promoted to the position of front desk receptionist where she worked in the Ready to Wear Department, Shirley scheduled appointments for fittings. She would notify the tailor Mr. Speigel, or the seamstress Jenny when a customer came in for an appointment. There were other tailors and seamstresses on staff, but those were her favorites. She would also go up to customers who walked in and locate a salesperson to help them. If Hattie happened to be in that department and she received a call, Hattie’s personal secretary Josephine, would forward the call to Shirley’s phone in ready to wear. Shirley would then notify Hattie that she had a phone call. This was the job in which she really got to know Hattie on a more personal level.

Her direct supervisor during the time that she was the front desk receptionist was Irene Penn who was the ready to wear buyer . Shirley told me that Irene could be tough and harsh, but most of the time she was nice to her.


Celebrities

Shirley saw many celebrities when she worked for Hattie Among the celebrities that she came in contact with were Ingrid Bergeman who browsed but apparently never bought anything. Shirley told me that she couldn’t believe how big she was, she also saw the Duchess of Windsor, Joan Crawford and Mrs. Lou Gehrig.

Here is Shirley’s take on Zsa Zsa Gabor. She was very rude to her.

I had a problem with her.
Zsa Zsa came in during a sale. During Sales there we had racks all over. But normally there were no clothes to see.. just couches.. The salesperson would bring out suits, evening wear, or whatever was asked for , models would also show the clothes.

Zsa Zsa's sales woman was at lunch so she asked me to put away a dress for her. I told the sales lady Helen McCaffrey.. about it.. & she said "put it back on the rack,, she won't be back.."
Well she did come back, when I saw her I fled to the basement where we kept our coats. I guess Zsa Zsa was asking where the sales person was and said.. "Where is that little one with the big face. She has a dress for me!".


Rationed During the War……..

She also remembered that Marlene Dietrich bought an interesting dress that had a United Nations flag print and a coat with the lining that matched the dress.

Shoshana-   This was often done with sets.  I love the idea/look and wonder if upscale companies still do this today.  The only one I know of is Burberry and their product line is limited.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amy- Shoshana, I LOVE matching sets too.


She bought this dress to wear overseas to entertain the troops.

During war time shoes were rationed, Hattie didn’t sell shoes, but she made recommendations. Her favorite shoes were Edoward shoes. They were leather backless shoes (mules) and slip on an ankle strap. Voila! shoes…. Slippers and mules were not rationed.



Some of Hattie’s employees from 1943-1948 whom Shirley remembered and their departments……..

Vice President- Major John Zanft
(Hattie’s husband)

------------------

General Manager/Financial Manager- Herman Carnegie (Hattie’s brother)

----------------------------------------------

Wholesale Department- Toni Carnegie (Hattie’s brother)

Shoshana- Don't forget, it Toni.  He was very sensitive about the spelling of his name.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amy- Oops, I thought that I corrected ALL the Tony's to TONI, but I guess that I missed one. Hopefully he already forgave me up there in Heaven.       You and Toni were both right,  Upon research, it did say, the masculine spelling of the name TONY, is TONI in Eastern Europe unlike in the United States.

----------------------------

Jeune Fille Department-June Lillie

-----------------------------

Hattie’s Personal Secretary-Josephine Hughes

---------------------------------

 Sales

 

Rose Cohen

Ruth Klepper

Carolyn Eric

Lillie Long

Helen McCaffrey

Connie Marcus

Ethel Korn (Hattie’s niece) Ethel looked just like her Aunt Hattie, very tiny and blonde.

Ethel was the daughter of her younger sister, Madeline, who they often called Mary.
---------------------------

 
Shoshana
: I don't remember this sister at all.  When you get on ancestry.com, check the Ellis Island records and the census records, or even the naturalization records to see if you can find a list of all the siblings.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amy: Hi Shoshana, During these past ten years, I have heard from direct descendants from the following siblings

Herman

Frances

Rose

Toni (Via you!)

and some descendants of the Kranczer's.......(Hanna's maiden name.)

I have not heard from the families of either Mary or Celia. Mary Korn is listed in several books and interviews, I have also heard of a great niece named Ethel. She would be your third cousin.

Hattie was definitely closer to her brother's than to her sister's or it appeared that she was. Celia and Mary are still mysterious to me. I hope to find out more.

Hattie mentioned in a 1945 interview that she had fifteen nieces and nephews, including Marilyn and Imogene, I have counted 11 nieces and nephews, perhaps the other four were via Major John Zanft's sister's. He had two sister's  Susan Zanft and Yetta Winters.  Here is hoping a Zanft descendant will also contact me at some point.

-----------------

Ready to Wear Supervisor

Irene Penn

---------------

Lingerie Department Supervisor

Hedy Guttman

--------------

Tailor

Mr. Speigel

-----------

Seamstress

Jenny (?)

------------

Fur Salon

Mr. Davis

--------------

Receiving

Irving Karshan

------------

Shipping

Phil (?)

-----------


Remembering Hattie


Shirley said she remembered that Hattie was very tiny and cute. She was always beautifully dressed, but despite the formal atmosphere she was very informal, usually insisting that employees refer to her simply as “Hattie” She often joked that, her mother was Mrs. Carnegie.

Shirley really loved working for Hattie. She was pleased that I brought back memories for her with my interest in her story

Hattie offered her clothes at a discounted rate.

She remembered Hattie as a heavy smoker who always carried a cigarette in a holder. Probably because she thought the holder was classy.


Shoshana- Many women of that era used cigarette holders because all the cigarettes than were made without filters.  Pieces of tobacco would wander out of the unlit end and land up on ones lip or teeth, very unladylike.  Also, a huge percentage of the population smoked in those days.  Cigarette companies would make packs available to the troops free of charge.  Later, airlines would hand out complimentary packages of 4 cigarettes to each passenger.  The advertisements in the late '40's and early 50's touted cigarettes for weight loss (reach for a --whatever brand it was, I forget--instead of a sweet.  And later there was the Marlboro man (who died of lung cancer).  Smoking was ubiquitous and allowed everywhere.  I'm sure Hattie's shop had ashtrays.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amy- I was really showing my youthful age, regarding the cigarette issue. I said to myself, "Wow, the cigarette's were VERY LONG back then. I am too young to remember "cigarette holders"
They outlawed "Television Cigarette Advertisements" in 1971.  I was born in 1972. I saw my first cigarette commercial, at the Lucy-Desi Convention in Jamestown, New York in 2001. Because they screened the Original, I Love Lucy opening with the Lucy and Desi stick figures dancing around a cigarette carton.

We learned that the "FAMOUS HEART OPENING" didn't even exist until syndication.......Who Knew?......LOL!!!!

The shop was around the corner from her residence, she often walked to work. When she arrived she usually greeted the downstairs employees, before she gracefully ascended the beautiful gray carpeted staircase to her office.


Interesting Project

-----------------------


Shirley recalled that Hattie designed Margaret Sullivan’s wardrobe for the theatre production,

 

VOICE OF THE TURTLE- which ironically Vivian Vance appeared in prior to her Ethel Mertz fame.

I found it interesting that both Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance had a direct Hattie Carnegie connection.

Hattie apparently designed a very fashionable two piece gray and white suit with a turquoise lining and she wore a beautiful matching turquoise blouse underneath the suit jacket.

She kept with the color scheme when she also designed a purple jumper with specks of turquoise and another turquoise blouse.

I knew that Hattie loved turquoise (smile)

 

Cute Post Script from Shirley……….

PS. I really don't have a big face as Zsa Zsa said...

If you know of other employees. that are around I’d love to contact some..

Thank you for this opportunity..

She also wrote in another email……..

There were a few other young girls there. Marie Kinston the fur model, Betty Rhinhardt the Jeune Fille model, Ethel Korn, Hattie’s niece, Joan Ludwig on appointment desk in custom made department. They might contact you, If they ever do. Please let me know. I am near 80 years old, so unfortunately  most of the people I talk about are probably gone now.

THIS WAS SO SWEET

Former Hattie Carnegie Alumni Reunited to Remember their Former Employer in 1965.

 Nursing Aide is Vital to Hopkins' Fiancee

    New York Times-July 10th 1942

Ms. Louise Macy, the fiancee of Harry L. Hopkins , aide to President Roosevelt will carry a package of loyalties with her when she moves into the White House next month..

Taking time off yesterday from her duties as a nurses’ aide. At Memorial Hospital at 444 East 86th Street.

Ms. Macy discussed her wedding plans and her marriage.

Her loyalties have to do with her nurses’ aide job and two former employers. As soon as she and Mr. Hopkins return to reside in the White House after their July 30th wedding. She will sign up for volunteer work at the Washington hospital. She said, her wedding gown, a simple one because the ceremony will take place at noon, will be from Hattie Carnegie, who gave her, her first job as a saleswoman in 1933,

She also decided that Harpers Bazaar for which she was formally the Paris editor would be the only magazine to have a photo of her in her gown before the wedding.

Ms. Macy said that she will refuse to dress twice in the morning before nine o’clock, therefore she plans to emerge from the Presidential residency in her nurses’ uniform over which she will wear a trench coat. because of a regulation that the uniform must not be worn on the street.

Ms. Macy will shop her work at Memorial Hospital later this week, she was looking forward to the arrival of Mr. Hopkins, and planned to make one more trip to Washington before the wedding.

Her wedding trip, she declared, will last only a week, and will probably be interrupted anyhow,

She thought that Mr. Hopkins’ daughter, Diana was too young to serve as an attendant at their ceremony, but that she would be there, in a new dress, and would look absolutely adorable

Jeune Fille Fashion Show-Hosted by Hattie at the Waldorf-Astoria

        New York Times- May 25, 1944

All the requisites for a well dressed summer were on view yesterday at the showing of the “Jeune Fille fashions by Hattie Carnegie.

Her presentation which took place on the Starlight Roof at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bounded in clothes for country and town that were notable for their good taste, versatility and budget appeal for the young teenage girl shopper. Prices in this shop range from ten dollars to forty-five dollars.

Costumes that were marked for double duty took the spotlight. Tailored town dresses , for example, were transferred into sun back dresses simply by the removal of a bolero.

For the woman who finds a small print with a large hat is her favorite costume, there was a series of dresses with black and pastel combinations.

Active sports clothes featured lovely hand painted effects. There were pique bathing suits available in one or two piece styles, decorated in this manner, and a blue sun back dress had blue hand painted motifs on the pockets.. Summer evening came in for their attention in a group of black sheers.

----------------------------------------------------------

Spring and Summer of 1942: Wartime Fashions

New York Times Archives

Hattie Carnegie fearlessly faces the dress-during-wartime issue with a sophisticated collection that is guaranteed to meet the requirments of the super exiquisite in taste. She blazes forth with colors. Here are a few of her latest colors: Passion Pink, Jealous Green, Frosted Daiquiri and True Blue.

It is Hattie's philosophy that in order to keep their heads high and their courage up that women will not want to lower their standards of dress except to conform with the regulations of the government.

 Her Spring silhouette decidedly endorses the pegtop skirt. It has the advantage of economizing fabric yet providing a graceful drape. She showed it in three delightful suits, a wood violet, frock ensembled with a stem green jacket, a purple bougainvillaea boldly paired with a yellow and purple plaid blouse and a jealous green wool with the cutaway jacket exposing a boldly printed bodice.

The hats that went with each outfit added just the correct note of color and chic, Prints too, emphasized this wide at the top, narrow at the hemline silhouette. It was at it's best in a green-Persian print worn with an enormous yellow cartwheel hat.

Just to prove that she likes the ultra simple as well as the ultra-sophisicated. Hattie included a group of shepherds checks that had a debutantish air in the midst of the togs. A surah of the check made with a jeune fille bodice and a full pleated skirt was presented with a little black alpaca jacket. Never forgetting the hats, a checkered matching beret was paired with a big bag completed the youthful picture of fashion.

Summer coats to cover silk dresses whether print or plain. Hattie loves and approves of black faille or alpaca.

Hattie stated her opinion, "They are like dark shadows that are cast over brilliant colors, and the dresses they are worn over provide a startling note of color."

Two fabrics in particular the amber and dairquiri colored crepe,  reminded Hattie Carnegie of her idol, the fabulous, Madeleine Vionnet who invented the bias cut which Hattie adored. They are figure revealing and very graceful.

The don't dress for dinner vogue is certain to reach new heights this Spring and Summer. To meet this demend there were innumerable costumes. in the main there were black:taffeta dresses with pink or blue bows at the neckline, and gloves to match: organza suits with short jackets over dresses with bodices and flaring skirts of lace.

For evening, Hattie showcased glamour. Black lace and bare shoulders, done up with a cloud of pale blue tulle, a hot pink jacket accompanied on a turquoise blue gown, so life like they looked as if they were ready to take flight.

The southern belle was present in New York as a model in a white organza gown speckled with hand embroided black leaves took center stage, and lastly the shows finale featured a black satin gown with a few ostrich feathers for highlight and beauty.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Feathers Featured in Hat Collection

No Descriptive Name

New York Times Archives-August 20, 1943

A new hat line burst upon the fashion world yesterday. It was born at Hattie Carnegie's. No descriptive name can really be given to this hat. The silhouette is flat on the top and it is really crownless, and sweeps back from the hair and face almost like a windblown look. Hattie decided to call her new creation by the name of "Mercury", but someone should tell Hattie that this name is not all together accurate because the (God of Motion) had upturned wings in his helmet. Chez Carnegie the wings turn down over the hair.

Most dramatic of Hattie's winged creatures were made of feathers. The pancake flat features were set directly above the brow; at the back the wings were split casting an aerial look.The first hat show was in flamingo red, followed by colors of pale blue and black. The split winged theme was further explored in the huge tassels of uncurled ostrich feathers placed on either side of lowback, velvet shapes.

Shining black coque feathers curled into the nape of the neck in much the same treatment.

Hattie's entire collection presented a great lightness because her extensive use of feathers.Ostrich plumes rose in clusters at the front of crowned hats. The glistening fronds of ostrich feathers, shot off in all directions, sometimes with the backward windblown look. Sometimes standing high having a feather duster effect. Coque feathers did miraculous things because they rested close to the head.

In one model that was like a rounded open band, pale blue and pink feathers striped the side of the little creation. A tiny black matching feather muff went with it; the colored feathers were used on one opening and they were spread fanlike over the muff.

Throughout the entire show there was not a single large hat to be seen. Tiny bonnets called the "quarter bonnets were perched onto upswept coiffures. They were of velours velvet and sprouted tips of ostrich feathers. One was made of Hattie's favorite turquoise blue and black. Other hats were so tiny they practically blended in with the hair. Green and flame feathers tipped hat pins that were stuck with a casual air on the front of green velours which were made on the famed Tyrolean lines.

There were sailors and homburgs with brims which were lightly treated to fit the mood of the collection. A little red homburg was trimmed with black bows, that nestled in the manipulated brim. Other brimmed hats were rolled up at the side. A pine green sailor perched on an amusing snood of checkered pink surah that fell into a long point that was held into place by a green tassel.

The stocking snood came into the picture at various instances. Several times it was used in the veils of certain hats. The tassel was tossed lightly over the shoulder of the model.
Hattie Carnegie's third part of the collection featured the pillbox hat. The hats were velvet and were in many colors and shades including black and a shade that Hattie called"American Beauty" which was absolutely outstanding.

Hattie's American Beauty was scrolled with jet and sequins for cocktail hour and evening wear.

For evening wear silk capots were presented. A pale blue moire and a pink brocaded silk were fashioned with large hoods, and large scarf ends that could be tied or simply draped over the shoulders.

Throughout the collection it was evident that considerable attention was paid to the coiffure. The hair was combed flat at the front and high at the sides where it could be swept into the curves of the small shapes.

 This season, good grooming will be an important part of wearing Carnegie's custom made chapteaux

What Hattie's Will Stated......

Mrs. Hattie Carnegie-Zanft, Fashion Editor who was known professionally as Hattie Carnegie, left an estate that was estimated to be in the millions, as was learned yesterday as her will was filed for probate.

Mrs. Carnegie-Zanft died on February 22. She was 69.

She left her husband, John Zanft one half of her estate. The other half she left to her brothers and her sisters.

Her brothers and sisters are Herman and Tony Carnegie, Mrs. Rose C. Apisdorf, Mrs. Celia C. Meyers, Mrs. Frances C. Barnett and Mrs. Mary C. Korn.

Her will named as executors and trustees, both her brothers, and her nephew Harold C. Apisdorf who was also the estate’s attorney.

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The End of an Era

New York Times: Originally published on November 26, 1964

Hattie Carnegie, the specialty shop at 42 East 49th St. that was a cradle of American Fashion for thirty years will go out of business next year. Leaflets mailed to charge account customers last Monday, were the first indication that the retail division of Hattie Carnegie was being discontinued.. Reports of the imminent demise of the wholesale apparel and the accessories division of the corporation founded by the creator of the “little Carnegie suit” has been circulating within the fashion industry in recent months.

But the statement issued yesterday by Edward Isaacs, chairman of the board of Hattie Carnegie Inc, emphasized that the store was being closed to enable the expansion of the wholesale operations.

Leading New York stores were reluctant to carry, costume and precious jewelry, perfumes, millinery, ready-to-wear and hosiery manufactured by the wholesale division of the corporation due to the presence of Hattie Carnegie’s original competitive outlet.

The entire inventory of the Hattie Carnegie shop valued at more than two million dollars, will be sold at drastically reduced prices. Hattie Carnegie’s shop will cease to exist sometime on or around March 1.The Southampton L. I. branch was closed after Labor Day. The fate of Hattie’s Palm Beach branch has yet to be decided upon.

Mr. Isaacs said that a Hattie Carnegie wholesale gift and boutique division would be established early next year, and that plans will continue for the promotion of Hattie Carnegie’s name in related lines such as furs, handbags, hats and gloves were going to be in the offering.

Prices in the ready-to-wear division will be scaled downward. Women will be paying anywhere from

$90-$250 for a suit or a dress with a Hattie Carnegie label as opposed to paying $160-$900.

Before her death in 1956, Hattie Carnegie was the high priestess of fashion for the American Woman Famous women such as Clare Boothe Luce, and the late Gertrude Lawrence were valued costumers.

Starting in 1909, as a milliner, her business partner, Rosie Roth was the dressmaker, she soon moved to larger quarters above a deli and a Chinese restaurant on the corner of Broadway and 86th Street.

Hattie bought out Rosie’s share of their business in 1919.

In 1926, Hattie Carnegie had enough money that she bought a permanent home for her business, a large brownstone and the address was changed to 42 East 49th Street.

The business that she left behind at the time of her death is estimated to be worth about 8 million dollars, a year. Members of her family continued the operation for a while, however all have since retired with the exception of her niece, Claire Carnegie-Laux who was in charge of Hattie’s millinery department.

article in, so here goes......

 
Miss Nelson Has Nuptials
 
September 11, 1983
 
New York Times Archives

Elizabeth Louise Nelson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward H. Nelson of Fairfield, Conn., was married yesterday to Robert Andrew Welke, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Welke of Wyckoff, N.J. The Rev. Gary A. Ritts performed the ceremony at the Greenfield Congregational Church in Fairfield.

Barbara Jane Nelson was her sister's maid of honor.

The bridegroom's father was the best man.

The bride is marketing representative with the business systems markets division of the Eastman Kodak Company in Stamford, Conn. She graduated from Skidmore College and is a member of the Junior League of Greater Bridgeport. Her father is president of Business Development Services Inc., management consultants, and founder of Management Resource Group, a consortium of business and professional school faculty members providing educational services to industry; both concerns are based in Fairfield.

Mrs. Welke is a granddaughter of Mrs. Martin J. Ryan of Fairfield, the late Mr. Ryan, Mrs. C. Edward Nelson of Bridgeport, Conn., and the late Mr. Nelson. Mr. Ryan was president of Buckley Brothers Inc., a deepwater terminal in Bridgeport and petroleum products distribution concern that he sold to the Shell Oil Company; president of the Stratford Land and Improvement Corporation in Bridgeport, and an owner of Hattie Carnegie, the fashion store in New York, Southampton, L.I., and Palm Beach, Fla.

Mr. Welke, an alumnus of New England College, is manager of the accident and health department of the Employers Reinsurance Corporation in New York. His father is president of the General Deck Company, a steel brokerage concern in Wyckoff.

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What a Beautiful Salon-Miss Hattie had

 

 

 

 

 

To Avoid Knockoffs Hattie Fashion Shows were Invitation Only Affairs

 

Josephine Amstel(NEE) Hughes was Hattie's Personal Assistant for Years

 

Original Sketches by Hattie Carnegie Inc Sketch Artist Frederic Wilkins-1934

 

 

  Hattie Carnegie Advertisements

 

This is my very favorite

 

 

Hattie Carnegie for Revlon

Hattie Carnegie for Dodge Cars and Trucks- a brand new car for less than $700.00 This was 1926

 

 

 

 

"INSPIRED STYLING!"

 

 

 

Miss Hattie Carnegie whose smart gowns set the fashion for many of New York's most brillant social affairs says, "The new Dodge is a triumph of inspired styling, It has beauty........sleek design.......and luxury."

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INSPIRED STYLING!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, Miss Carnegie-but Dodge has so much more! Many who see this new bigger Dodge for the first time can scarcely believe that it actually costs just a few dollars more than the lowest

priced cars.

it offers so much in luxury. So much in comfort and driving ease......in safety and economy. It has many surprising new features that are not even found in even some of the highest priced cars.

Any Dodge dealer will be glad to explain the fasicinating "Show Down" Plan way of comparing automobiles, point by point.

DODGE BROTHERS CORPORATION- 1926

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hattie Carnegie for Cafe Rico

 

 

Two Articles from Palm Beach Daily News Featuring Toni Carnegie.

 

Toni Carnegie Pays a Visit to Poinciana.

Palm Beach Daily News

 

January 19, 1963.


Abel "Toni" Carnegie. Brother of Hattie Carnegie. Unfortunately the photo isn't that great because it is from a newspaper.

The Palm Beach Daily News on January 19, 1963.

 

 

Toni Carnegie, the motivating influence and head of Hattie Carnegie Inc. New York and Palm Beach paid a fleeting visit this week to the Royal Poinciana which proved all too short. His farewell words to the Carnegie director Evelyn Livingston were, “I’ll be back for a week in February, and will be on hand for the Hattie Carnegie fashion show at the Everglades Club on February 27. Meanwhile, I have to go to Paris.”

Mr. Carnegie is a brother of Hattie Carnegie, fashion genius of the firm which for years spelled feminine elegance in New York and in the major stores all over the nation where her clothes were sold.

After Hattie’s death, her two brothers guided the business in continued success. Herman has retired while Toni Carnegie mans the helm of the fashion empire which his sister founded.

Last year the firm heeded to popular demand and revived the wholesale output of originals and custom made clothes will be sold again in major stores across the country, a practice that they abandoned a few years back when the firm decided to confine it’s designs to the two Hattie Carnegie salons in New York and Palm Beach.

“The total look of the fashionable woman” is a keynote of the business. Carnegie perfume and colognes are favorites with fastidious women.

Carnegie jewelry is perfectly accessorized in color and style to the season’s styles, and Carnegie hats have come into new fashion prominence under the fashion éclat of Claire Carnegie Apisdorf, niece of both Hattie and Toni Carnegie, present head of Hattie Carnegie Inc.

Miss Evelyn Livingston, director of the Palm Beach Salon, is steeped in the tradition of fashion elegance. Prior to assuming management of the Royal Poinciana Plaza Salon, Miss Livingston traveled the world for Hattie Carnegie, buying and directing fashion showing of the Carnegie collections.

 

Season is Being Extended for Hattie Carnegie

 

Palm Beach Daily News

  April 23, 1963.

 

Hattie Carnegie will remain open until Saturday, May 4 when the Royal Poinciana Plaza Salon will write finis to what officials declare has been the most profitable winter season in Palm Beach history.

The salon’s director Evelyn Livingston attributes the success to the elegance of Hattie Carnegie couture, the extended Palm Beach season which prompted them to open earlier last fall, and to an usually fine post-holiday business is due largely to the firm’s two new vice-presidents, Irving Karshan  and Murray Mayer in continuing the in-flow of new fashions and furs right up to the present.

Mr. Mayer director of furs and vice-president has spent considerable time in the Palm Beach salon this season, and terminated his spring visit only recently.

Vice- President Irving Karshan, merchandise director only recently returned to New York, after a visit here.

In discussing plans for the 1963-64 season which will be Evelyn Livingston’s fourth consecutive year as the manager of the Palm Beach salon has surmised that the Royal Poinciana Plaza store will open earlier next fall than in any other previous year in order to serve the growing number of Hattie Carnegie clients who are now year round resident’s or come to the resort early in November.

Hattie Carnegie has been a part of the Palm Beach scene since the early 1930’s, where the salon’s founder, Hattie Carnegie opened her shop in the Paramount Building on North County Road.

Later Hattie moved to Worth Avenue and she held the position of one of the famous little streets most important shops until the 1950’s when Hattie Carnegie Inc. moved to the Royal Poinciana Plaza where it continues to play a leading role in haute couture.

Toni Carnegie, brother of Hattie now heads the firm as president and is active in all departments. This year has been especially busy in re-establishing the wholesale division which for many years placed Hattie Carnegie originals in fine stores throughout the country.

Mr. Carnegie visited the Palm Beach salon at mid-season this year.



Hattie Carnegie, Irving Apisdorf, Fashion and Jewelry………the 1920’s


A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO WENDY HARMON- GRANDDAUGHTER OF IRVING APISDORF

 

The year was 1919,   the Roaring 20’s were just around the corner. Despite Prohibition, it was an era of fun and what could easily be termed in the fashion world as, the NEW MODERN LOOK

 It was ten years before in 1909, that Hattie Carnegie and her friend Rosie Roth opened up their first shop in a rundown neighborhood. They rented the upper floor from their friends who owned the building where they decided to set up shop.

These friends were Golf Pro’s, but also had a sporting goods store, so that they could have their business open and churning in much needed revenue year round.  They offered the girls a very reasonable rent. Hattie and Rosie shared the building with not only the sports store, but also with a laundry mat, a deli and a Chinese restaurant.

 

Hattie also befriended the Chinese family that ran the restaurant downstairs. She would often eat her lunch at the restaurant, chat with her friends, all the while admiring all the interesting décor they seemed to have all around the restaurant.

Hattie was very taken with the Oriental style and the culture of all the Asian countries, in particular China.  She also thought the Chinese script was a true art, so beautiful; all of this impressed the young girl.

She was just out of the Macy’s incubator, but those eight years of vocational education gave her an insight into all that was beautiful and elegant. She paid attention and she learned all that she could.

Rosie and Hattie decided to pool what they had which was in all actuality, very limited resources back then, starting a business out of that rundown building. Rosie was a seamstress. Hattie was the resident milliner (hat maker) and model. Millinery and modeling were two out of the three trades that Hattie had easily mastered at Macy’s Department Store.

The girls were very successful. By 1919, the store was doing exceptionally well, but even so the girls began to quarrel.

Rosie had gotten married, she wanted to settle down and start a family. Hattie was married too.

Her husband Ferdinand Fleischman was a florist. He owned a flower shop within the city. Unlike Rosie,  Hattie and Ferdinand were wrapped up in and extremely invested their respected businesses.

Hattie wanted to take every opportunity available. She had a personality that dictated that she be a leader and be in charge.

Rosie was happy with the way things were. She enjoyed a small shop, a shop that didn’t take up all her personal time.

Hattie bought out Rosie’s share of the business. In 1919, Hattie Carnegie Inc. was born.

 

In 1925, I. Magnum expressed interest in the creations of Hattie Carnegie, ideas that she was able to spoon feed to a staff of designers she had hired to carry out the technical work. It is well known in the fashion industry that Hattie could not sew or sketch, but she was very creative and she could easily explain what she wanted to others. After they sketched her ideas, Hattie fine tuned them with her editing skills

Hattie told the staff at I. Magnum they could have her ideas, if they ALSO PLACED HER NAME ON THE LABEL.   The staff was shocked at this request. This was not done……..Hattie Carnegie FOR I. Magnum.

 

The higher executives at I. Magnum wanted to purchase her clothing line, so they allowed her to do this.

 

Hattie Carnegie did NOT know this at the time, but her request invented a new business trend, that many would follow and is still popular today. Her clothing line went national. 

By the end of the end of the 1920’s Hattie Carnegie was a wealthy woman. Her clothing line was found in clothing stores all over the United States. This was where her third learned profession came into play……..Saleswoman!

 

 The girls of Hattie’s generation were commonly referred to as the Gibson’s. She was the classic Gibson Girl as a teenager.   Hattie embraced the modern look. She was only in her early 40’s at the time, so she wasn’t too old to pull the look off, but  she was old enough to look mature while doing so.

The new generation that came of age when Hattie Carnegie first opened her business were called Flapper’s.    The word Flapper referred to a little bird, leaving the nest, venturing out alone for the very first time…in reference to the awkward way that a young bird first learns to fly.

 

Hems were raised to above the knee for the first time ever. Short sleeves which came into vogue a decade earlier were kept, but dresses lost the old fashioned puffy sleeves.

 

Cloche (bell) hats were gaining in popularity in the 1920’s. They were a takeoff of the turban hat that Hattie herself loved.

 

Designer Madeline Vionnet was a lady that Hattie wanted to emulate and she did. At first Vionnet was bothered by this, but then surprisingly offered Hattie her blessing and told her to go for it.

 

The bias cut, a diagonal cut that Vionnet herself had invented was all the rage in the 1920’s. This cut would be adapted and reinvented over and over again in future decades.

Sequins, feathers, and headbands were popular wardrobe accessories. Many wardrobes combined all three for the ultimate Flapper look.

The robe style dress was popular. In my personal opinion, it looked like a sleeveless tee-shirt with a long skirt which is probably where they got the term “ROBE”   from.

 

The 1920’s also introduced fashion accessories; Costume Jewelry was a hit, and helped to dress up an outfit. Clips and pins begun to accent pretty dresses. Fancy watches were worn as a fashion statement instead of just for the purpose of giving the wearer the time of day.

 

Faux jewelry started to become mass produced as new materials were invented. One of the most widely used being plastic. Metal was also being used.

Costume jewelry was easily produced with the new technology available. Fine jewelry was copied into costume jewelry. A lady with any budget could look and feel wealthy.

 

Geometric shapes were fun to wear and became conversational pieces.

 

 Hattie’s sister, Rose Carnegie-Apisdorf, had three children. They were named Harold, Claire and Irving.   All three of them worked for Hattie Carnegie.

 

Irving who was born in 1908, started working for his Aunt Hattie when he was still a teenager.

 

The young man had a natural talent for sketching and drawing.   

Hattie wed Major John Zanft in 1928.  John told Hattie that he thought that she should expand her business into the market of costume jewelry.

With that they asked Irving to create some sketches, come up with some ideas that could be crafted into jewelry

 

Irving knew that Aunt Hattie loved Oriental designs.  Oriental décor was scattered around her apartment on Fifth Avenue So he created some Oriental themed sketches, and helped his aunt establish a line of Oriental costume jewelry. All this had began because early on Hattie shared a building with a Chinese restaurant

I have known for a long time now hat Hattie used “Jobbers” for her jewelry line, but not always apparently.  I am honestly thrilled to find out that some of this jewelry was actually “Authentic Carnegie” As in……. IRVING APISDORF- Hattie's very own nephew.

 

Irving Apisdorf immeddiately proved to be a valuable asset to Aunt Hattie’s business. He could often be found sitting behind his desk hard at work with a sketch pen in hand.  Hattie had so much faith in her nephew that she eventually made him the manager of her jewelry department.

 

Irving created many of the famous Carnegie pins that collectors still vie for today. He also assisted in creating the “Safety”   The back on the pins that stopped them from falling off the clothing and getting lost.  Most vintage costume features these “Locks”

In addition to creating his own designs. Irving was also on the lookout for buying opportunities, When the Coro Jewelry line officially went out of business

(Coro originally went by the name of Francois) Irving jumped at the chance, purchasing several molds for his aunt.

One of these molds was the famous dragon. Which can be seen at this link.    


http://www.rubylane.com/item/754119-SMT000140/CORO-Francois-Spectacular-Dragon-Rhinestone

 

In the 1960’s, after both Hattie and John had passed away.   A NEW generation of Carnegie’s took over.

 

Toni Carnegie, Hattie’s brother was still President, but her nephew Irving Apisdorf became Executive Vice President and Hattie’s niece, Claire Carnegie-Apisdorf was appointed as Vice President.  Claire Carnegie-Apisdorf was previous employed as a clothing and hat designer in Hattie’s custom made department.

 

 

References

 

1920's Fashion and Music and Jewelry

 

http://www.1920s-fashion-and-music.com/1920s-jewelry.html

 

Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/mwojdak/1920s-fashion/

 

History of Women's Clothing

http://museum.nist.gov/exhibits/apparel/history.html


 

The Costumer’s Manifesto- Costumes.Org

http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/1920links.html

 

Coro (Francois) Dragon


 http://www.rubylane.com/item/754119-SMT000140/CORO-Francois-Spectacular-Dragon-Rhinestone



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HATTIE'S OPINIONS ON FASHION, HATS, JEWELRY, SHOES and FURS


Circa 1926 and 1944

 

 

 

 

 

HATTIE GAVE ADVICE ON HATS………. For 1926- Ladies Home Journal

 

 

 

 

Reader’s Question

 

  What are the colors for hats this year?

Should my hat match the color of my suit?

 

Hattie’s Answer

 

I think that it is a matter of personal taste as to the hat matching the suit. With a black suit a purple, a light blue or a bright red hat can be more becoming than one that is all black. When I say “red” I mean the beautiful peony reds which are fashionable this year. The all black or all-white is extremely popular, however with a navy blue or black suit, an evergreen colored hat or the deep forest or seal brown is very chic

For the trimming on dark hats, I love tango yellows, or perhaps light orange.

There are many colors to select from, neutral or more intense, but remember when you can only afford to buy one hat black is the best choice, any desired bright note can be introduced in the hat’s trimming. Intense colors should be used in small areas only, and must be chosen carefully when they come in direct contact with the features

When a bright color is used for a hat a bright velvet facing can make it more becoming.

 

HATS FOR SPRING-1926 LADIES HOME JOURNAL

 

Hats for this Spring will be large or small but the small hat plays the biggest part. The most generally accepted type fits the hat closely. It is the exact depth of the head from the top to the eyebrow. The small brim comes just over the eyes or can be turned up in the front, back or the side front.

Paris has new crowns high and square, or high in back-the so called gigolo crown. The close bell shaped crown, often fitted to the head with a crosswire plait when the hat is of felt or velours, retains it’s vogue.

Hats with broad brims or cowboy type are new for sports or for the country. The large hat of crinoline or fine straw will be worn to some extent with afternoon frocks. The French draped turban…..will keep your hair in place while you attend the theatre, will not need to be removed during the play.

The small hat can be trimmed with decorative pins, metal or even leather ornaments, feathers, narrow grosgrain ribbon, velvet bindings and touches, occasionally with flowers. In felt or velours the brim is frequently cut and the ends are crossed in the back. The turban can be trimmed with ornamental pin, while the large hat would look chic with some ribbons or flowers.

This Spring the hat may match the costume, harmonize with it, or form a smart contrast.

 

 

 

HATTIE RECOMMENDED VIVID COLORS FOR 1944

 

 

 

Hattie thought the colors of pink and purple were a great complement to one another. She also loved patterns like checks and fabrics such as silk.

She also felt that gold and black looked nice together for a night on the town.

White organdy and lace dress with a pink taffeta sash is a feminine favorite

A dress in lilac purple with a dark purple design to accentuate the dress

Hattie Introduced a Line of New Colors for the Autumn of 1944……

They included Staccado Pink, (a dark pink) Nocturne Purple, (a very dark purple) Rundo Green (bright green) and Trumpet Yellow (gold colored yellow)

She also loved to match a jacket with a dress the fabric of the dress was utilized in the lining of the jacket.

Handbags and purses were also of great importance. She had a purse to match every outfit seen at her fashion shows.

One could select a large pouch or a tiny little box version modeled after the French market basket.  These little boxed versions came in many fabrics and textures such as tweed, fur, silk or beads.

 

 

Hattie also recommended belt jewelry for the season.  Belt Jewelry is jewelry that is worn around the waist.

Hattie’s jewelry tastes were very wild and brought out a sense of fun with the conservative outfits.

 

HATTIE’S OPINION ON SHOULDER PADS

 

Depends upon the outfit or the dress…..in soft dresses of shantung crepe and sheer fabric the shoulder pads are eliminated, in her wool suits shoulder pads are introduced. She stressed the molded shoulder which meant that the pad was narrower and had a slight slope to it.

 

New in weekender costumes is a dress with a petticoat on top. A print dress for instance would have a very full black taffeta skirt opened in a v-formation down the front to show the printed frock underneath it. This outfit comes complete with a matching jacket.

 

CARNEGIE BLUE

 

Hattie’s favorite color was light blue, in fact she always wore a bit of this shade each day. It might have been a chiffon scarf or her gloves……a little bouquet of light blue flowers. The blue, a soft, Heaven-blue shade was seen about her salon and her home. Packages were always wrapped in this shade, her jewelry; cosmetics and perfume were always placed in blue boxes.

 

Hattie’s love of the color blue was so well known by her family, friends and customers.

Her staff and her customers started to refer to the blue shade that she so loved as (Carnegie Blue.)

 

 

  THE DAY A REPORTER PUT HER FOOT IN HER MOUTH

 

Hattie was a very fussy person, her models had to look just so- she never allowed them to wear their own slippers or slippers even to match costumes- while modeling whether it was a suit, an evening gown or an afternoon dress all of them were blond, satin, simple high heeled pumps.

 

A reporter named Dorothy Parnell from the New York Times was covering a Hattie Carnegie Fashion Show, she didn’t realize that Hattie was sitting right next to her- a model walked by in a tweed winter suit, wearing those satin slippers, Dorothy unknowingly nudged Hattie and remarked, “Can you imagine that anyone would wear a heavy tweed suit with satin pumps.”  A few minutes later another model passed wearing a black silk afternoon dress, and too, she was wearing those blond slippers. Dorothy  than again said to her neighbor, ”Such poor taste  showing evening slippers with those daytime clothes, but maybe the shoes didn’t arrive in time for the show.

Then Hattie introduced herself, she was not offended and she actually laughed.

Hattie said, “I suppose that I should explain myself. It is a phobia of mine, and I hope that customers that come in here to buy don’t have the same reaction you had. First of all I have them wear those slippers because the blond tone is innocuous. I want people to look at the garments, not to be distracted by shoes, you see I’m selfish. This also saves the models from having to buy a lot of shoes. They can save their own shoes by wearing these all day at work in the salon. And while I have been dressing the models this way for a long, long time you are the first person to ever mention the incongruity of a winter coat with satin slippers.

WHAT WAS HATTIE WEARING THE DAY OF SAID FASHION SHOW

 

On this day, Hattie was wearing a percale suit in her famous “Carnegie Blue” accessorized with a white blouse with blue buttons, some red sports shoes and a red handbag, to make sure the ensemble came together, she also sported a silk scarf with light blue and red flowered print.

Hattie and Dorothy became fast friends after this. Eight years later, Dorothy was in New York and she had found herself standing by the display window of Hattie’s salon, admiring the dresses. Hattie going into her salon tapped the reporter on the shoulder. “This model is wearing black slippers with her black dress.  I do hope that you notice. Hattie laughed, “But my models are still modeling in blond slippers.”

 

 

HATTIE’S WARDROBE

 

Hattie liked to wear trim little suits, she liked to combine a striped skirt with a plain jacket. She loved luxurious fabrics especially woolens. She also liked to wear black suits and elegantly cut silk frocks and she adored dinner pajamas. She loved shoes and confessed to owning more shoes than outfits. She loved platform soles because they made her a little taller.

She thought that furs added allure to her personality. She had a silver fox coat that reached the floor, and kept her warm in New York City Winters. She had another coat in the magnificence of mink. She loved diamond necklaces for nightwear, and by day she loved diamonds and topazes. Pearls were by far her favorite.

HATTIE CARNEGIE OPENS FLORIDA SHOP IN 1932

 

Hattie Carnegie Shows Intriguing New Modes at her Shop in the Paramount Building

 

Palm Beach Daily News

 

February 5, 1934


 

Hattie Carnegie Inc, importer of intriguing new modes and creator of many fascinating models, has included in her collection for Palm Beach wear, her most beautiful gowns and smartest accessories.

New materials are the printed moires, for afternoon wear, printed triple sheer, a smooth printed and crinkled crepe that resembles the old time “China Silk” marquisette, crisp and cool- looking with the slightly stiffened  lace of the Spanish type.

An evening gown from Hattie Carnegie’s resort shop is made of chiffon in a bright Kerry green. The front is cut high and drapes and ties over the shoulder with the pointed ends of a cowl drapery in a white chiffon, which is applied as a draped yolk in the back. The skirt is long and full and has a train formed of a oblong panel with a similar triangular white insert at the bottom.

 

White triple sheer printed with brown polka dots and small stylized flowers in red and light yellow with a rather low, front neckline below which the material is draped and twisted through a center slit. Little triangular shoulder  capes in which the arms are thurst give the plesing dropped shoulder effect. The skirt has a slight train.

Crisp white marquisette printed with scattered field flowers, pastel blue corn flowers, crimson poppies and daisies makes an evening gown of new style and great charm. There are volants over the shoulders, on one side extending down to the waist line in a lovely old fashion that is seeing a revival.

The neckline is square in the front with a low V in the back. The skirt is slim and long in the back at about knee height is a pleated godet section is inserted to form a train, the top lopping over in two dog ears.

The gown is quaint, and yet is as modern as today.

An evening organdie prrinted in trefoil design in pastel red and green on white is as simple as can be with it’s rounded neck and long lovely lines. Narrow rows of knife plaiting edge the neckline and the arm holes and the bottom of the trained skirt, and a double row runs down the front and continues around to the back, just below the hips, giving a old-fashioned overskirt effect. And to complete this Godey-print effect there are mitts of material to wear with it……Mitts!-------Actually! Little thumbless and fingerless mitts with a frill of plaiting at the top. These mitts are shown with a number of Hattie Carnegie’s dresses, some of them coming well above the elbow. Looking like a pair of long sleeves that somehow lost their moorings. This organdie frock is so quaint and cunning. There is a cherry colored bow at the throat and a belt of material faced with white kid.

Another delightful evening gown at Hattie’s is made of black lace, but not soft, silky lace. No indeed, this lace  has character to it. It is of the shadowy Spanish but is crisp and lightly stiffened. The bodice is plain with a high front and V-back  bordered with a circular ruffle about five inches wide. The skirt has a ciruclar flounce that droops and widens from a point high in the front and extends to form a train, which is edged by a similar circular ruffle.

Afternoon frocks at Hattie’s are feminine and adorable. One is made of crepy crinkled silk that resembles old fashioned “China Silk” printed with Chinese looking flowers in bright red and royal blue. It has a turn over collar and a gilet front edge with a triple row of knife plaiting. Four big Sapphire colored buttons close the gilet. The above the elbow sleeves are finished with the plaiting. There is a blue velvet bow at the neck, and a belt of the same velvet. This should be worn with a cocky little tam and gaunlet gloves of blue velvet to match.

An afternoon coat and dress ensemble of the new printed moire has a tight fitted coat closing with one red silk button. The dress is totally plain with a rounded neckline rather high in the front and almost to the waist in the back finished with French piping. The jacket has a turnover collar with wide plaited frills  in the place of lapels. Short sleeves are finished with the same plaiting. The material shows one of the new printings, white flowers with a red sketch line apparently on a dark background of dark blue. Only a little of the blue is shown, yet what there is visable is clearly a background, a very new and unusual way of printing a design. With this you might wear one of Hattie’s new white panamas, quite large with a cockade of blue and red at the back to match the colors of the print. And you would choose the new perforated doe-skin gloves and perhaps the new bag of white pigskin to be smartly turned out.

These pigskin bags are a Hattie Carnegie speciality and made in her own workroom back in New York.

Among the very frminine things are the negliges, one of the dusty pink jacquared, with a gridle of pansy blue. It has a surplice front with long pointed triangular sleeves with tiny pleated epaulette at the shoulders.

Among the hats are huge beach flats with open crowns, the new Breton sailors and the tiara turbans in which a band of material stands up exactly like the tiaras that so many women are wearing. There is a smart turban of emerald green straw cloth with a braided edge and accompaning white linen gloves with similar braiding at the gauntlet wrist.

The secret of many of Hattie’s smart turbans is the insert of veiling which is used on the cutout models. The hair shows in between tucked and rolled sections as in a turban of  striped rough cotton.

Hattie Carnegie’s own perfumes in their smart flat pyramidal gold and black bottles are favorites with many women. Her other tolietries have the same delightful odors.

Bathing suits at this shop include many models, among them the suits of silk jersey and a new neckline that opens as low as you like, and buttons in sections to suit your idea of a proper suntan.

There are also many smart sweaters in various weights and colors.

 

 

 

Shop Upgrade of 1935

 

Palm Beach Daily News

January 14, 1935

New fitting rooms have been added this season to the attractive shop of Hattie Carnegie Inc in the Paramount Building. The rooms that are located on The southern side are light, airy and comfortable, adding greatly to the facilitation of this exclusive shop.

Hattie Carnegie gowns are worn by women of the most exquisite taste, and no wonder-for some of the loveliest gowns ever seen have their orgin in her shop. Among the beautiful evening gownsin her resort collection is a simple little model of satin in a new rose –orchid shade. The skirt is plain in frontand beautifully fitted and widened at the back by a flounce set at knee height. The bodice is low both front and back with a circular ruffle at the top and braided shoulder straps. Interest centers at a long spray of orchids arranged at one side.

Organdies have gone glamourous with embroidery of silver and gold. At Hattie Carnegie’s there is one frockof the palest pink organdie with an open work crossbar pattern of Silver embroidery posed over a pink taffeta slip. The front crosses over and turns back into reverse, the back is the same only much lower. The skirt fits closely over the hips and then flares widely. The wide belt is of silver kid.

 

Among the new beach things at Hattie Carnegie’s is the very new long beach dress. Of natural linen, it has a jacket top that fits tightly at the waist. There is a beautiful silk scarf in crimson and white. You can flit confidently from cabana to bar in this frock for it’s very simplicity makes it smart.

Nothing in the way of clothes is safe from this clever businesswoman of women’s fashion. You might think the poor old fisherman would be allowed to wear his time honored outfit, but no we borrowed his oilskins, do them up in brown with big white polka dots and we make beach clothes out of them.

You slip the fishermen’s top over your wet bathing suit-this top covers this whole affair.

Hattie Carnegie perfumes are found on the smartest dressing tables, and the containers are as lovely as the fragrances. This year Hattie introduced new suntan powder in a shade just right for sun-bronzed skin, which can be blended for lighter tones. It comes in a black and gold container in a lovely clear crystal box that can serve many purposes once the powder is gone. Crystal is so much in favor this season. Among the jewelry novelities that Hattie as imported to her Palm Beach shop are bracelets and ring sets in crystal. One shows beautiful engraving, another is clear and transparent. A bracelet and clip set uses crystal and pearls. Then there are crystal leaves in smoke color and clear, imported especially by Hattie Carnegie. Also those amusing little mask rings and bracelets shown by Chanel and exclusively Hattie Carnegie in this country. There are exquiste evening bags embroided with novelty sequins in silver, black and Schiaparelli tortoise; and flat cigarette cases, in enamel and semi-precious stone medallions, the box just the size to hold the tin flat fifties of your favorite smoke. And to go back to crystal, this year Hattie Carnegie has some unique crystal table decorations; a caviar bowl and clever candleholder of square crystal prisms set at unusual angles and some other things that you will not see elsewhere for sometime.

Another exclusive Hattie Carnegie importation are hand-blocked native skirts from the East Indies and the South Seas. They are incredibly attractive and very primitive shaped like a bag with the side sewn up. You tie them artound your waist. Please be warned…..They are very expensive. They are also very amusing and uncommon.

The up-to-date hostess who is looking for something unusual in trays will find the new cocktail trays of inlaid wood at Hattie Carnegie’s just the thing that she is seeking. They are inlaid in several patterns and add a very modern touch to the bar.

HATTIE CARNEGIE LUNCHING AND RELAXING AT THE RONEY PLAZA CABANA CLUB ON A VERY SUNNY AFTERNOON IN MIAMI, FLORIDA

DECEMBER 27, 1938

 

 

 

 

 

  

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