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First American in Paris

Here’s a photo from the July 27 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a woman who became the first American to present a fashion design collection in Paris.

Elizabeth Hawes (1903-1971) started her fashion career working at a dress shop in Paris that sold illegal copies of the latest designs. In 1926, she became a fashion correspondent and columnist for The New Yorker. In 1928, she moved over to designing clothes, working for a firm in Paris before moving to New York to start her own firm.

In subsequent years, she divided her time between designing clothes and writing about the fashion industry. She advocated ready-to-wear clothing and clothing that people wanted, rather than what was deemed fashionable. In 1939, she wrote a book titled Fashion Is Spinach.

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