Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Hawes’

#ThrowbackThursday: Elizabeth Hawes – the Red Cross, pants, and changing the face of fashion

April 4th, 2013

By: Elissa Blattman, NWHM Intern

In the spirit of our recent exhibit, “From Ideas to Independence: A Century of Entrepreneurial Women,” this Throwback Thursday post is all about boundary-pushing fashion entrepreneur, Elizabeth Hawes.

The Pittsburgh Press, March 4, 1940 (click on image to read full article)

Elizabeth Hawes was born into an upper class family in New Jersey in 1903.  Even by age 12, when she was commissioned to make dresses for a shop in Pennsylvania, she knew she wanted to be a fashion designer.  She studied at Vassar College and Parsons School of Design, worked in a Paris fashion copy house, and wrote about fashion for The New Yorker.  In 1928, she opened her clothing firm, Hawes Inc., which originally made expensive custom outfits for women affluent enough to afford them.  Though she produced clothing for the wealthy, Hawes often mocked high fashion by introducing a bohemian influence to her designs and including styles for full figured women.  She also believed women’s clothes should be comfortable and nonrestrictive, which meant a shift toward free flowing outfits and even – as shocking as it may sound – pants for women. Read the rest of this entry »