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HATTIE CARNEGIE Timeline & Calendar

1883-Hattie's first love and future husband John Zanft was born in New York City

March 15th 1886-A Baby Girl was born to Isaac and Helen Kanengeiser in the Austrian countryside

They named their first born daughter-Henrietta

1891-Henrietta begins to get interested in clothing/hats and wants to follow in her fathers footsteps- Her father was a tailor.

1898-Twelve year old Henrietta drops out of school, along with her older brother to help her poor family. She works cleaning floors and washing dishes.

1900-The Kanengeiser's home burns to the ground. Mr. Kanengeiser, seeing a better future in America, takes his family to New York City. He was informed many jobs for tailors were available. It was around this time, the Kanengeiser's began to look into arranging a future marriage for Henrietta.

1900-Henrietta finds more jobs for housekeeping in America. Her younger siblings go to school and she also finds factory work. Hattie desires to own a clothing shop-for right now it's an assembly line only.

Near the end of 1901-Henrietta goes into Macy's Department Store to look at their clothing and jewelry.  On the advice of a friend, after giving the management some unwanted advice, asks the management for a job.

1901-Macy's hires Henrietta first as a salesgirl. They offer her a free wardrobe if she takes a modeling job. She becomes Macy's young prodigy. They are so impressed by her they advance her a promotion. She is offered free millenary training and taught to create hats.

Henrietta is now called "Hattie" by everyone but her parents.

1901-Mr. and Mrs. Kanengeiser are pleased their daughter obtained such a wonderful job, but her father is not pleased that Henrietta has started dating. This was contrary to her culture. She was also instrumental in starting a new trend-hemlines above the knee.  Around this time, the Kanengeiser's seventh and final child is born in New York's Lower East Side. Hattie chose her name. "Rose". 

1908-1910-During this time, Hattie marries Ferdinand Fleischman.

1913- Hattie Carnegie and Rosie Roth are now successful enough that they relocate the shop nearer the carriage trade.

1917-John Zanft is serving in World War I. Hattie is continuing to build a successful business while helping America on the homefront.

1919-Hattie saves up her money, bought out Rosie Roth's share and finally has her dream come true her own business.   Hattie begins to make frequent trips to Paris around this time. She meets her favorite designer Madeleine Vionnet.

Late 1919-Hattie is designing hats under the HATENGIE LABEL. Hattie's new line of costume jewelry is labeled with the mark HC in a diamond

1922-Hattie's arranged marriage to Ferdinand Fleischman ends- The couple separate temporaily and get back together- after trying several years to make the marriage work. They separate amicably- deciding they can't live with someone they don't love. 

1923-Hattie marries again on the rebound- This particular marriage only lasts a matter of months and never mentions his name- Hattie said he couldn't be counted as a husband at all. He was cruel to her.

Hattie is writing fashion and style advice columns for Vogue and Harpers Baazar.  Her monthly column is quite successful and runs about ten years.

Hattie is selected spokeswoman for Dodge Cars and Trucks (Please see the advertisement below.)

1923-Hattie relocates the business one final time to 42 East 49th Street.

By this time, Hattie is selling many items; furs, costume jewelry, lingerie, sweaters, blouses, slacks, accessories, hats, perfumes, dresses and her little Carnegie suits.  Movie stars, royalty and other socialites become loyal clientele.

1925-Hattie Carnegie begins the first Ready to Wear clothing line.

1925- California based- I. Magnin Department Store is the first in a line of 100+ clothing stores to purchase rights to her collection.  New York Designer Hattie Carnegie begins to acheive fame coast to coast. This was an intelligent business deal for little Hattie.  She is now financially secure.

1928-Early Summer- Hattie is on a business trip to California. She rekindles the flame with her teenage sweetheart, John Zanft.  John was there on a business trip.  The two discover they are still very much in love.

1928- August 22nd- Major John Zanft asks Hattie to marry him and the two elope, marrying  in Philadelphia by Magistrate Charles Rooney. Two weeks later they have a religious ceremony preformed by Rabbi Nathan Kraus of Temple E-manu-El.

1928-Hattie Carnegie hires a 17 year old Lucille Ball as a model.

1928-Hattie is the very first designer with a successful Ready to Wear label called " Hattie Carnegie Originals". Her Second Label is called "Spectator Sports" and designed by Bruno.  Hattie's Baby Sister Rose assists with the Spectator Sports clothing line.

1930's Designers who worked for Hattie during this time were Norman Norell, Jean Louis, Claire McCardell and Travis Banton.

Hattie Carnegie was a household name in the 1930's and earned many awards in this decade.

1931-Thanks in part to a charcoal sketch from Hattie Carnegie Inc. Lucille Ball is chosen as The Chesterfield Girl- and still works part time for Hattie Carnegie.


1932- After four years Lucille leaves Hattie Carnegie Inc. to become a Goldwyn Girl.

1939-World War II begins in Europe. A heartbroken Hattie begins to lose many beloved friends and relatives due to the Halocaust.  After 142 trips back and forth to Europe, her overseas travels end. She is frightened to even return to her beloved Austria and also misses her many friends in Paris.

1940's Staff Designers of Hattie's during the 1940's are Gustave Tassell and Pauline Potter and later Baroness Philippe de Rothschild.

1941-Hattie opens her new shop within her shop, The Jeune Fille Department for the younger customer on a budget. The younger generation now loves Hattie too.  With the success of that store Hattie decides to open "The Blue Room".  Hattie sells her own and also other manufacturers "Ready to Wear" clothing lines.

1942-For the next five years, Hattie is chosen Life Magazine's Designer of the Year.

1943-John Zanft buys Hattie a beautiful 160 acre estate in Red Bank, New Jersey.  He names it for "Four Winds" in honor of the perfume that Hattie created.

1945-Hattie Carnegie receives the Neiman-Marcus award. Ironically, she brought out their talents.

1946-Copyrights her name-A copyright symbol begins to appear on her costume jewelry pieces next to her signature.

1946-Autumn-Hattie Carnegie Perfumes and Cosmetics is established.

1948-Winner of the COTY American Fashion Critics Award. (as an Editor)

1951- Hattie Carnegie designs The Women's Army Corps Uniforms-They are adopted for wear on New Year's Day-1951.

1951-Hattie redesigns the habit for the Society of Christ.  This was a Catholic order of the Carmelite Sisters.

June 1st 1952-Hattie is awarded the Nation's Highest Civilian Honor- The Congressional Medal of Freedom.  She won the award for designing the WAC's Uniforms and her many other charitable contributions for the United States of America.

February 22nd 1956-A very sad tragic day. Hattie Carnegie dies one month short of her 70th birthday of cancer in New York City. Major John Zanft is at her side.

Hattie leave behind a multi-million dollar fashion empire, employing one thousand employees, wholesale companies, made to order workrooms, factories, jewelry and perfume operations.

Little Hattie was a Fashion Leader. For almost three decades and trained two generations.

November 19th 1960-Major John Zanft- Hattie's beloved husband dies, in New York City at the home they shared, of a heart attack.

February 16th-April 27 1996-The Museum of Fashion and Technology featured a Hattie Exhibit in honor of the 110th Anniversary of The Birth of Hattie Carnegie.

October 3rd 2003-Hattie-Carnegie.com is begun. The First Tribute Site Dedicated to the Life, Career and Memory of Hattie Carnegie.

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