A Fashionable Summer ~ Hattie Carnegie

Discussion in 'A Fashionable Summer 2005 (Asst. Designers)' started by fuzzylizzie, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes Registered Guest

    Thank you so much Lizzie!

    I also look forward to part two, as well.

    I am familiar with Schiaperrelli pink, but this is the first i have heard of Carnegie Blue. Hmmm....I also wonder whether she had a knack for finding super talented people to work for her (or they just flocked to her because of her profile), or did her influence make some of these designers with varying degrees of initial raw potential mold/harness it into what we know of them for posterity. An unanswerable, rhetorical question i know.

    Chris
     
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    That's one of the most beautiful drawings that I have seen of Hattie, Lizzie.
    Thank you Lin for sharing these with us. I love them.
    What is the current Hattie discussion. This is Amy 45 mins late but now accounted for
     
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    Actually, you would be correct on both counts, Chris.
    Hattie knew it when she saw talent and she could sense talent or a bright future for those she hired she was very selective when it came to employees, because they were a reflection of her and her business. Hattie did NOT tolerate laziness and had a fiery temper, if she didn't like you, you didn't last long on her payroll. However she was super loyal to those employees that she loved and would do anything to help guide them. By the 1920's Designers knew that working for Ms. Carnegie was a ticket to the big time
     
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    Hattie started out adapting Paris styles, but during the war when she was closed off from Europe was when Hattie really came into her own style wise. With her famous Little Carnegie suit
     
  5. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Trade Member

    That's really interesting, Amy. When I was doing the research for this workshop, I kept running into references to her fiery temper, but then at the same time, there were so many stories about how she was extremely kind. I was hoping you could give us some examples of both sides of Mc. Carnegie's personality.
     
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    Lets begin with her warm, kind hearted side.....

    This is the reason that I became a Major Hattie enthusiant


    HOW I CAME TO LOVE HATTIE CARNEGIE AND LUCILLE BALL


    By Amy Wiggin (Co-Creator of Hattie-Carnegie.com)


    My husband Brian and I were coming back from our Honeymoon trip to Disney World back in 1999. We were married in July but we postponed our Honeymoon till the following February.


    I needed a book for the plane ride home because it passes the time, so we went to the little Lucille Ball Museum at Universal. I happened to spot Lucille Ball's autobiography. Although I enjoyed the show. I was not a Lucille Ball fan, and I knew nothing about her real life. Brian was getting bored and annoyed that I couldn't make up my mind about a book. I decided upon "Love, Lucy" since it was Lucille Ball's Story in her own words.


    Let's just say, I loved the book and it warmed my heart. Upon reading that book, I found out that when she was a teenager, Lucille Ball was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was confined to a wheelchair for three or four years. When she did walk she utilized leg braces and crutches. Now I felt: "Here is a Hollywood star I can empathize with." Brian and I both have cerebral palsy. I could totally see myself and my husband when Lucille Ball spoke of her struggles with disability.


    In 1928, Lucille Ball collapsed in severe pain when she was modeling for famous fashion designer Hattie Carnegie. Hattie Carnegie who became not only just an employer to Lucy but also a surrogate mother of sorts was trying to get Lucy to go see a doctor for weeks. Lucy although in severe pain she declined going to see a doctor because she was really poor and there wasn't any such thing, as Medicare and/or Medicaid.


    The day Lucy collapsed on the floor, was the day that Hattie had a major fashion show going on. Joan Bennett, one of the famous actresses of the era that Lucy modeled fashions for, was in attendance that afternoon. Lucy got to the middle of the floor, had a crashing fall and was screaming and crying in pain. Hattie, spotting Lucy on the floor, went rushing to her side, and literally picked her up off the floor. Lucy was five foot seven and Little Hattie was barely four foot nine, but she managed to help Lucy up off the floor. Hattie said: "We are going to the doctor's NOW!!!!!! NO ARGUMENTS!!!!!!!" She left the fashion show in someone elses hands and accompanied Lucy to the doctors. Hattie took Lucy to her own doctor on the next block, staying at Lucy's side in the cab, trying to keep her calm as she screamed the entire way.


    After many hours of waiting and just as many tests, Lucille finally had a diagnosis. The doctor stated that she had rheumatoid arthritis and would probably be confined to a wheelchair for life. He suggested special injections plus other medications for Lucille, which she took daily. It was very courageous because they were experimental. Lucille Ball also volunteered to test durable medical equipment, and in this way she was assisting the Columbia University School of Medicine.


    Lucille was extremely worried about the medical bills that were adding up daily. She didn't have the funds to pay. Hattie Carnegie and Major John Zanft paid all of Lucille's medical bills for her when she got sicker and the injections took a while to work. Lucille didn't want to take anymore charity, so when she decided her only option to go home to Jamestown, NY. Hattie paid for her train ticket.


    While Lucille was recovering in Jamestown Hattie sent her a telegram:

    Dear Lucille,

    Please Get Well Soon! Don't worry about a thing. Your job is waiting for you when you return.

    Love, Hattie

    Hattie kept her word to Lucy. She was given her job back with the needed modifications because she wasn't really walking when she returned to her job at Hattie Carnegie Inc. Hattie allowed Lucy to remain seated during photo sessions. If she did have to stand she was permitted to lean against furniture, podiums, walls etc. This was done so successfully one couldn't tell Lucy was sick unless they knew her personally. She wore long dresses and coats to hide the metal braces and orthopedic shoes when she had to stand up and pose for photo shoots..


    The following quotes are from "Lucy in the Afternoon"


    While Lucy was struggling at acting school, she worked as a model for Hattie Carnegie, one of the top fashion designers of the time. "Hattie was a great lady, she really cared for all us girls, I used to model clothes for Joan Bennett when she came into the shop, because Hattie thought we looked alike." Lucy stayed on as a model with Hattie Carnegie till tragedy struck.


    "I was working one afternoon it was just after lunch, There was a big fashion show and Hattie's shop was packed. Everybody was there including Joan Bennett, and I made my first entrance, I got into the middle of the floor, and all of a sudden it was like two hot pokers were stuck through my feet and right up my legs. Well down I went. Right in front of everybody. I've never felt pain like that in my entire life. All these high class dames just looked at me as if I were crazy......lying on the floor screaming and writhing in pain. Hattie came over and picked me up. God, she was a great lady. Hattie let the show go on but took me in a cab to see her doctor. Hattie tried to calm me, but I screamed all the way there. The doctor told me it was rheumatoid arthritis."


    "I was devastated, I wanted to stay in New York, but I had no money, and no one to take care of me. Hattie Carnegie paid all of my medical bills and my transportation back to Jamestown." "Even though I had residual pain, as soon as I could move again. I headed back to the railroad station and back to New York. The first day back in New York was one of the coldest days.I had four layers of clothes and it still didn't keep out the chill, and my legs were killing me." "Hattie was as good as her word and I was given my job back."

    Hattie taught Lucy how to dress, how to stand and how to walk with grace again . Lucy never forgot Hattie's kindness.


    Did she want to be a Goldwyn Girl? Lucy couldn't give an answer right away. "I went right to my surrogate mother, Hattie Carnegie, Who told me: "Lucille, Child, When opportunity knocks you must open the door."


    Lucy got a job in "Roberta" with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. She walked down a staircase in a fashion show wearing a white satin dress and white ostrich feather cape. Lucy remembered how Hattie taught her to walk and turn. She stood out in the sequence and was offered a seven year contract.


    Reference - Lucy in the Afternoon


    After learning and researching all I could about this time period in Lucille Ball's life, I began collecting anything and everything Lucille Ball. I often mentioned the fact the Lucy was the first disabled model and she couldn't walk when she was a teenager for a few years. I happened to mention Hattie Carnegie's kind hearted attitude towards a young Lucille Ball to a friend of mine, and she mentioned to me something that I never thought of before- that it kind of said something about the designer that Lucille Ball worked for, being so accepting and modifying her modeling job in the 1920's. This was many decades before the American's with Disabilities Act.

    Hattie Carnegie was the top designer of the time. People were knocking down the door to work for Fashion Queen Hattie Carnegie. She could have taken the easy way out, and fired Lucille and found a replacement, but instead she thought of a way to make it possible for Lucille to continue modeling. I was very impressed by Hattie Carnegie's kindness towards Lucille Ball and the more I thought about the situation the more I wanted to find out about who Hattie Carnegie was as a person.

    I began to type in Hattie Carnegie's name into the search engines, including Ebay. I totally fell in love with her clothes and jewelry, and decided I wanted to begin collecting Hattie Carnegie. Imagine how my poor husband felt when he found out that I could get Hattie Carnegie Collectibles, as I was already collecting Lucy. In addition to beautiful clothes and jewelry. I also began collecting magazine articles on Hattie Carnegie.

    Hattie's birth name was-Henrietta Kanengeiser, who was born on March 15th 1886 in the Austrian countryside. Hattie had a very interesting life. She was the second oldest child of seven children. Because of extreme poverty Hattie had to drop out of school at 12 to help support her family. Two years later, Hattie and her family left the only life they knew in Austria for America. When she was 16 Hattie began working at Macy's Department Store. This would be the beginning of a fabulous fashion career. It was at Macy's where she was given the nickname "Hattie".


    Hattie was 16 when she met and fell in love with John Zanft. He was three year's older and soon would be enlisted in the Army. Because of her parent's Austrian-Jewish heritage, they had plans for her future and had already chosen the man they wanted her to marry. It wasn't John. Just about the time Hattie was going to tell her parents she loved and wanted to marry John, Hattie's father died. She was heartbroken. Since John was being shipped out she decided, out of respect for her parents, she would marry and learn to love the man they chose for her. Twenty years later Hattie and John would rekindle that romance and get married.


    Hattie Carnegie had such a fascinating life, and I have come to really love her- NOT just for the Lucy connection, but for who Hattie was as a person, and a designer. I love her designs, and I think Hattie Carnegie is one of the greatest designers who ever lived. Hattie Carnegie's contributions sadly are very under-rated for a lady who was so beloved and celebrated in her time. Hattie considered herself a teacher above all and trained two generations of designers. Hattie Carnegie was even a receipient of The Congressional Medal of Freedom in 1952. It is the United States Military's highest civilian honor. Hattie was presented with many other well deserved awards as well. I really enjoy researching Hattie Carnegie. What a wonderful lady she was!!!!!










    *****

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  7. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Trade Member

    Do you suppose that somehow Ms. Carnegie saw how special Lucy was; that she was somehow destined for greatness?

    I knew that Lucy suffered from this disease, but didn't know the connection with Hattie Carnegie until I started the research.

    Just curious, did any other famous models get their start at Carnegie?
     
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    Yes, Hattie was very motherly toward Lucy, and she taught her so much about style and elegance.
    This story of their friendship is so personal and important to me because I have cerebral palsy . The fact that Hattie cared so much to make modifications to her modeling job warmed my heart. I love as a disabled person to wear her designs proudly like a peacock. Hattie also had a hearing impaired model and they devised a sign system, so Hattie could direct her on the catwalk.

    Your second question......
    Celebrities who modeled or posed for Hattie ads

    Pauline Goddard , who was Charlie Chaplin's wife, Joan Fontaine, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Sophia Loren and Betty Furness.
     
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    I'm very impressed by Hattie's kindness NOT only towards Lucy but toward her other employees as well.
    I have spent a lot of time researching her in my personal time.
    Hattie spend quite a bit of time overseas checking up on her shops over there.
    She was very well known in Paris.
    One of the young girls she had met and befriended while on a business trip there. Decided she wanted to travel to the United States to start a new life.
    The girl was reportedly having a difficult time upon arriving in America.
    She needed a job, and was very hungry, she didn't know what she was going to do.
    A mutual friend of her's and Hattie's suggested she ask Hattie for help.
    The girl was too proud to take charity. Hattie knew this and being in the same situation once herself offered the girl a job at her shop in New York City.
     
  10. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Trade Member

    Well, that really puts Carnegie as a woman before her time, I'd think.


    And I think that Joan Crawford especially would have looked great in Hattie's clothes.

    What about the temper. I read stories about her firing people over trivial things, about yelling at salesgirls for wasting time, and so on. Was she really so short-fused?
     
  11. bartondoll

    bartondoll Guest

    I'm coming late to this, and find it absolutely fascinating! Lizzie, your information on this amazing lady, (as with your other workshops) is
    wonderful.

    Amy, how kind of you to join us and share your knowledge of this
    incredible woman with us. I am particularly enjoying reading of her
    'personal side'.

    A big thanks to both of you!

    Sue
     
  12. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Trade Member

    Thanks, Sue. But Carnegie was such a fascinating woman, it would be pretty hard to mess this one up!!!
     
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    Thank you so much Sue.......

    Tempermental Hattie......

    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. (I wonder where Lucy learned those traits from. LOL!!!!)
    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 out figuring 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 girl's 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's were 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 girl's.
    Telling them, "Alright, I'm sorry I lost my temper, apoligized but 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!!"
    Lucy also stated that Hattie had a fiery temper. Hattie yelled at Lucy often and was very strict with her. Yet Lucy and Hattie loved and respected each other.
    Lucy stated in "Love, Lucy" That she and the other girls didn't take it personally when Hattie yelled at them because despite her bad temper. She loved them all and was kindhearted. I am amazed at the personality traits that Hattie and Lucy shared.
    Also when Hattie 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 around her.

    As you can probably tell I'm a major Lucille Ball fan too. There is a Lucille Ball section on my Hattie Carnegie site
     
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    Macy's and Hattie Carnegie

    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 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!" stating 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." which she accepted and stayed working there till she left to open up her own shop in 1909 at age 23
    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.


    Here is a SAD story about Isador Straus Hattie's boss at Macy's

    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 year's 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 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, and 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.)
     
  15. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Trade Member

    I love that story. Do you suppose she walked around in the store very much? She was a celebrity in her own right, though I know New Yorkers don't get excited about celebrities! You'd just think it would be a big deal, kind of like seeing Karl Lagerfeld in the local Chanel Boutique!

    Opps! Cross=posted. I meant the story about the 3 crybaby employees!
     
  16. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Trade Member

    Okay, if anyone has any additional questions about Hattie Carnegie, now is the time to ask them while Amy is here.

    I've got to go check on family, but I'll check back in later. Amy, please continue to share more about Ms. Carnegie!

    Lizzie
     
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    She was very short fused. Here are a few examples of her Hattitude

    Little Hattie could, and most definately did, have a bad temper. When she was in a bad mood, Watch out.

    An employee described Hattie in this manner: "Working for Hattie is much like sitting on a powder keg. You never know when she is going to blow up. Hattie is 4 feet 9 inches, and 90 lbs of pure dynamite."
    "Hattie has the ability to transform herself from a charming, little thing with a sweet glowing personality to a shrew with spines. If something angers her, or if she is stressed about an important business deal, Little Hattie seems tired and harassed. Severe nerves and stress make her stalk around like a caged lioness. She will quicklysnap at even her closest family, friends or associates. Her voice which is usually low and quiet, with a cute little accent becomes sharp and hard. After the stressful situation is over, She calms down and apoligizes just as quickly as she blows up, Hattie can't understand why people are still on pins and needles in her presence." In Hattie's eyes, she was just blowing off steam."

    Collier's Magazine-Hattie Carnegie 1949

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    Lucille Ball also mentioned in her autobiography Love, Lucy that Hattie Carnegie had a fiery temper.

    Hattie would get upset at young Lucille's antics, Hattie would in turn blow up at Lucille and she mentioned that she was fired by Hattie at least once a week, but Lucille would leave the shop laughing because she knew that Hattie would be calling to hire her back later that day.

    Lucille Ball stated that none of the employees took Hattie's outbursts to heart and they all loved her because Hattie really loved all her employees and was really kindhearted and meant well but she had a terrible temper.
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    The Spy Who Wore Red" -by Aline Griffith.

    It's the Autobiography of a former Hattie Carnegie turned spy for the allies during World War II
    It's an audiobook and I listened to the first three chapter's. It will take awhile to listen to as the book is 10 1/2 hour's long.
    The author was talking about her early career when she worked for Hattie.

    (Because Aline Griffith was born in 1923, she obviously wasn't employed there at the same time Lucy was, so sadly no mention of Lucille Ball.)
    She did however mention Hattie a few times so far.
    She talked about how beautiful Hattie's shop was, Very Classy and Fancy.
    She said, On one particular day, she was extremely late for work, Hattie told her because they were doing photo shoots to be there by 8 am in the morning, as it was going to be a long day for everyone to begin with.
    She had been running late every day and this was the third day this week, and she knew Hattie was gonna be VERY UPSET at her this time, and was not in the mood to listen to any more excuses.
    It was a damp, rainy, muddy March day.
    Aline decided to take a cab to get there faster. She was trying to think of a way to explain the situation to Hattie and not paying attention as she was getting out of the cab. she lost her footing and fell face first in the mud.

    When she walked in, Hattie was standing in the door, "She was shocked, "Aline, What in the h*ll happened to you?" and added, "In all my year's with this shop, I never had a model come to working looking like you." Aline thought she was gonna get a stern lecture. Instead Hattie just broke out in hysterics, at the sight of her standing there covered with mud.
     
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    Someone asked about Hattie's celebrity status.
    Hattie was very private and she is a mystery in many aspects, but I think that she also loved being recognized.
    People couldn't help but be taken by this eccentric woman.

    Hattie Carnegie Once Wore this Dress!

    Some of Hattie's employees were discussing her and said that many people treated Hattie Carnegie with sort of a "Movie Star Status" and it could be very comical watching people walk into her shop, and not only buy clothes and hats with a "Hattie Carnegie Label", but actually ask to meet Hattie Carnegie herself. Hattie was usually very nice about this and was happy to meet with people who admired her. Yet she could never understand why as she was NOT an Actress, Politician, Singer, Writer or Movie Star, None of the above that usually granted celebrity status but just a businesswomen. So she was shocked that people even admired her.


    Hattie's employees also said that Hattie was a very tiny women. Therefore tiny women thought Hattie catered to them in a sense, so they would flock to buy clothes at her shop.

    Many of these "Little Women" who were Hattie's size when they would buy a dress, they wouldn't just merely take the dress home, but a few people actually asked Hattie, if she herself would wear the dress that they just purchased out in public somewhere.

    Hattie was shocked at these requests and taken a back, but she usually said, "If you want, Give me a week." Hattie would do as she promised and wear the dress to some function or meeting that she had planned to attend.
    When the customer would show up a week later to claim the dress or hat. Hattie would tell them to which function or event that she wore the particular dress. The customer could then tell all her friends that not only did their dress come from Hattie Carnegie's shop, It not only had her label been sewn into it, but Hattie Carnegie actually wore the dress as well. (I wonder if they ever got a signed affidavit from Hattie that stated this.
    I laughed when I read that article, but it is totally 100% me.
    I think if Hattie were alive today, and saw my closets full of her clothes and jewelry and that she technically has a New Hampshire branch of her shop. Also if she ever saw this site" The poor woman would either be really honored or hire a bodyguard.
    Hattie Carnegie's Memory Lives On.

    .......................................................................................

    She was Very Prideful

    Occasionally someone will want to buy the dress that Hattie was wearing on a given day, so Hattie always made it a point to bring extra clothes to her shop and would often go home wearing something totally different than she was wearing that morning because the customers would buy the outfit she was wearing.
    This situation was of great delight to Little Hattie,when she said, "I fitted that dress, That's one of my shop originals, and everyone in this place wanted to buy that dress, and that's the way it is," Then shaking her head forlornly will add, "I'm only one woman,and I have all these figureheads around here. Do you think anybody buys what they have on? It's all on my shoulders." -

    Collier's Magazine-March 16th 1949

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    What Type of Shop is this Anyhow?

    One Afternoon Hattie's husband John went into the shop to ask her about something. He noticed that his wife was wearing yet another totally different outfit than she had worn that morning, and he saw her at lunch and she was wearing something different at that time as well

    This time, John commented upon seeing his wife in a third totally different outfit within a span of a few hours, "Hattie, Don't tell me you are taking your clothes off in the shop again!"


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    Drama Queen
    Hattie Carnegie always wanted to be certain that people loved her clothes and jewelry, so much so that she would inquire indirectly about customers purchases,

    She would say to a woman she saw often, "Dear, That dress or that necklace is so beautiful and it looks so fabulous on you, Could you tell me where you bought it?"

    The woman would reply, "Ms. Carnegie, Remember I bought it here just last month."

    Hattie, the little drama queen, would dramatically put her hand on her forehead, "Oh my, I must have forgotten."

    Customers would often play along to humor Hattie, simply because they knew that she loved compliements and they wanted to humor her.
     
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    Hattie and Major John Zanft

    Hattie finally married John Zanft on August 22nd 1928 when she was 41 year's old and he was 44 year's old. Hattie spoke lovingly about her husband John Zanft who she stated she first met and fell in love with when she was a 16 year old girl working at Macy's Department Store and how he used to come into the store, just to see her.
    (He got to where he memorized her work schedule.)
    Her friend told her, "He really loves you, It's obvious if he is hanging around the women's department."
    Her future husband, John was 19 year's old at the time and was seriously considering enlisting in the Army. (which he eventually did)
    Hattie continued, "I just loved him so much."
    Hattie and John had a difficult courtship though, and fought to be together, because Hattie's family wanted her to marry someone else. (Even though she was in love with John and they were dating.) Hattie felt guilty, because she wanted to honor her father's wishes, as he had recently died. She told her story to John, and couldn't hold back her tears. Since he had just enlisted, he was in the Army, and was gonna be shipped out. He was worried if anything happened to him, Hattie would be alone, so as much as they loved each other they made the heartbreaking decision to break up once and for all or so they thought.
    Hattie was then stuck in what she considered, a loveless, unhappy marriage (Even though her husband treated her well.) She admitted the marriage didn't feel real and she soon discovered that she couldn't endure life with someone she didn't love, so the marriage, that was arranged via her parents wishes ended in divorce.
    About twenty years later, Hattie was out in Hollywood to assist with some fashion work, and by then John Zanft was working on special assignment for one of the movie studio's, either Fox or MGM (I will have to reread the article, I'm guessing it was Fox, but I am not sure.)
    Well they rekindled the romance they had so long ago, and he proposed to Hattie almost immediately as he wasn't going to lose her again.
    Hattie was elated, because she was not only able to reunite with the person, she never stopped loving, but just to know he felt the same about her, and missed her all those years.
    So at 41 years old in 1928. She married the man she loved since she was 16 years of age. Hattie and John appreciated each other more because of their long separation and Hattie added, "The day that I married John was the happiest day of my life."
    The marriage lasted, and they were married for 29 years after that initial separation when they were teenagers.
    Hattie died at their townhouse in New York City of cancer in 1956, in her husband's arms. She was a month shy of her 70th birthday.
    I just love this story, because it's a rarity with celebrity couples that a marriage actually lasts. (Especially since Hattie and John worked together and were so young when they first met.)
     

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