Welcome to VFG's workshop on Hattie Carnegie. This afternoon we will be focusing on Ms. Carnegie's legacy as a fashion stylist, or editor. Later this afternnon, we hope to be joined by Carnegie fan and expert Amy Wiggins, who runs a website devoted to Ms.Carnegie. I'm sure Amy can give us a lot of insight on Hattie Carnegie, the woman. A note about references: My favorite references are primary ones - items written during the time being studied. A delightful little book - <I>Fashion Is Our Business</i> by Beryl Williams was used extensively in my writing of this workshop. It's a great little book that profiles several important designers of the 1940s. If you do not have a copy, then you need to find one! As always, I welcome your questions and comments. The purpose of the workshops is to learn a little, but also, to have a little fun and conversation while do so. So come along and learn how a poor immigrant girl from Austria became one of the great taste-makers of her time! <b>Hattie Carnegie ~ 1889 ~ 1956 The Early Years</b> Hattie Carnegie was born in Vienna, Austria in 1889. Her name was Henrietta Kanengeiser. In 1900, she immigrated to the United States, and settled with her family in New York City. There is a famous story that while on the ship to America, Hattie asked a fellow voyager about who the richest and most prosperous people in America were. The answer was, "Andrew Carnegie" and according to the story, young Hattie decided to change her name to Carnegie. Eventually the rest of her family dropped Kanengeiser and adopted the Carnegie name, a practice that was common among immigrants. By the time she was a young teenager, Hattie was already working. She worked at various millinery establishments, and at Macy's. But in 1909 she, along with friend Rose Roth, opened her own business, a tiny hat shop. It was called "Carnegie - Ladies' Hatter." They also sold dresses, which were made by Rose, as Hattie could not sew. Hattie did the hats. The place was a huge success, partly die to Hattie's sense of style and appearance, and four years later they moved to a larger place and were able to incorporate as a business. As the business grew, Hattie and Rose were able to hire workers who made the designs that Hattie developed. At this time, ALL fashion came from Paris, and so Hattie studied the Parisian styles, choosing only the best, and adapting them for her customers. And while she could neither sketch nor sew, Hattie was very good at communicating to her workers exactly what she wanted them to do. In 1919, Hattie bought Rose Roth's share of the business, and Hattie Carnegie, Inc. was born. This was also the year of her first buying trip to Paris. As I said before, during this time it was generally believed that all good fashion orininated in Paris. It was common practice for American specialty shops like Carnegie's and like Bergdorf Goodman to go to the Paris shows. They would buy dresses, bring them back to America where they would be adapted and/or copied for the American market. The best description of this practice is in Elizabeth Hawes's book, <I>Fashion is Spinach,</i> another vintage book that I highly recommend to students of fashion history. <img src=http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e270/fuzzylizzie/wscarnegie1.jpg> This ad was in the October 1921 <i>Harper's Bazar. </i> Notice the mention of adaptations, but also notice that she was importing "foreign creations". Carnegie continued this practice throughout her career. One could buy a Chanel at Hattie Carnegie, or they could buy her intrepretation of Chanel's work. Carnegie made as many as seven trips to Paris a year, and even kept an apartment there. At the height of her influence (the 1930s), Hattie Carnegie was buying as many as 75 dresses from each Paris collection!