October Treasure of the Month

Bonnie Cashin Sketch Collection

At Special Collections and FIT Archive

Bonnie Cashin Sketch- "Noah Coat". "Noh coat in the thickest most marvelous stand-alone wool- made for us alone" Signed by Cashin. Fall 1966 or Spring 1967. US.NNFIT.SC.81.1.1.21.27

Bonnie Cashin, born in Fresno, California in 1908, had a very successful costume and clothing design career spanning sixty years. Cashin began designing for herself at an early age, working as an ‘apprentice’ for her mother Eunice, a custom dressmaker and dress shop owner. Moving back and forth from California and New York, she had designed for dance companies, film in Hollywood, uniforms for the WWII effort and ready-to-wear. By the time Cashin left Hollywood and came back to New York in 1949, she had been designing for over twenty years.

Bonnie Cashin Sketch- "Crusader" ensemble. "Pantaloons for the crusader." Leather dress #1269 over wool jersey, jersey head covering, open only where slashed for the eyes and the length of the face and slim pants #1270 which are jersey from the waist down to just above the knees and leather down to the ankle flaring to cover shoes; signed by Cashin. Fall 1966 or Spring 1967. US.NNFIT.SC.81.1.1.21.6

Bonnie Cashin Sketch- Dorothy Liebed Skirt. Full skirt in Liebes plaid linen and suede camisole #1874 "Suede camisole Liebes plaid linen- and bare feet- at home" Signed by Cashin dated "Aug. 1964" US.NNFIT.SC.81.1.1.16.2.29

In 1951 she started Bonnie Cashin, Inc declaring herself independent from the garment industry. She began working with Philip Sills, of Sills and Co. in 1952, for the 1953 fall season. By then she was known for her ability to use design ideas and take inspiration from her extensive travels and unusual sources, far removed from the fashion world, as well as her creative use of unusual textiles. Cashin designed for many other businesses while she was working with Sills. Cashin received both the Coty Fashion Critics Award and Neiman Marcus Award in the same year, 1950. She went on to receive a second and third Coty Award in 1961 and 1968. In 1972 she was inducted into the Coty American Fashion Critics Hall of Fame. She also received the Leather Industries American Handbag Designer Award in 1972 and 1976.

Bonnie Cashin Sketch- Ensemble with Liebes Lurex. "Athena" sketch using Liebes Lurex; signed by Cashin. US.NNFIT.SC.81.1.1.6.1.8

Bonnie Cashin Sketch- "accessories wardrobe". Bonnie Cashin "Cash and Carries" for Coach. Collection of totes, wallets, clutches and key cases, "The Compleat Accessorie Wardrobe". US.NNFIT.SC.81.2.1.2.14

The Department of Special Collections  and FIT Archives acquires, preserves, and provides access to a wide range of primary research materials in their original formats, including archives, scrapbooks, oral histories, fashion sketches, illustrations, books, journals, and other items. Subjects include the apparel industry, fashion and regional costume, textile design and the textile industry, the FIT Archives, and, to a lesser extent, art, architecture and interior design. Department personnel are committed to supporting research by FIT students and faculty as well as designers and researchers from the apparel and textile field, other industry professionals, and scholars.

In order to view these original works or other Special Collections material please email us at fitlibrary.sparc@gmail.com for an appointment.

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One Response to October Treasure of the Month

  1. Renee Harrison says:

    It’s wonderful to view this sophisticated blog. Thanks for putting it together.
    Renee Gladstein Harrison, former adj. asst. prof. at FIT

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