Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Eleanor Lambert 1903-2003

Eleanor Lambert was born August 10, 1903 in Crawfordsville, IN. After graduating from Crawfordsville High School, Lambert attended the John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. After eloping to Illinois with Wills Connor, she enrolled in the Chicago Art Institute with the intention of becoming a sculptor. However, the restless couple left for New York City where their marriage ended in divorce. She then married Seymour Berkson and they had one child together, renowned poet, Bill Berkson.
Lambert adjusting a model in New York City, 1964

Eleanor actually began her career as an advertising agent and opened her own agency in Manhattan representing mostly artists and galleries. In the 1930's she was the Press Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art and helped found the Museum of Modern Art.

In 1943 Eleanor was Press Director of the New York Dress Institute. She was responsible for founding the International Best Dressed List and The Coty Fashion Critics' Award. However, she is most notably known for founding New York Fashion Week. Presently, it is one of four major fashion weeks in the world, with the other three being in Paris, Milan, and London.

Eleanor Lambert was crucial in promoting American fashion world-wide: she is credited with putting it on the map. In 1959 she was asked by the US Department of State to present fashion for the first time in countries all over Europe, in Japan and in Australia. In 1962, she created the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Currently, fashion is a $1.2 trillion global industry with $250 billion spent annually in the United States alone.

Eleanor Lambert was 100 years old when she died on October 7, 2003 in New York City. Fashion historian, John Tiffany, wrote a book about her life, career, and contributions to the fashion world. The book is titled, "Eleanor Lambert: Still Here."

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