I recently received an email from Gregory Halvorsen who was requesting to use a biography of designer Anne Fogarty I had written some time ago. He explained that he and a partner were in the process of reviving the Anne Fogarty label, and they wanted to use my writing as part of their information packet.
You can read the old blog post that I wrote about Fogarty, so I’ll not say a lot about her here. One of the criticisms that is often used against women designers is that they tend to design for themselves. In the case of Anne Fogarty, that was definitely the truth. Luckily for her, they were also the clothes many young American women wanted. Her designs were a success from the time she began designing under her own name in 1950, until she retired in the 1970s.
The look she is most remembered for is her take on the New Look, with tiny waists and full skirts. Fogarty worked with this look throughout the 1950s, and into the 60s, but as fashion changed, so did she. Her work from the 1960s is a sophisticated take on the youthful fashions of the times.
At the high fashion level it is pretty common for names from the past to be revived. For instance, there have been several attempts to revive the Schiaparelli name, including one that is currently in process. As for American ready-to-wear, I can only think of a few examples of revivals, like Claire McCardell which was shut down by her family, and Lilly Pulitzer which has been a huge success.
I wish the new company well. They have re-registered the trademark and have incorporated in New York. They have also hired a designer, and a capsule collection is in the works. They plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign in June. It will be interesting to see what they come up with. In the meantime you can follow their social media:
My illustration is from Fogarty’s 1959 book, Wife Dressing, which has also been re-released.