A large selection of drawings produced by NYC fashion sketch studio André in the 1930s-40s now feature in an extensive online archive, courtesy of FIT and the New York Public Library.
The fruits of a two-year-long collaborative effort between The New York Public Library and Fashion Institute of Technology can now be enjoyed online, as the André Studios collection, fashion sketch drawings intended for manufacturers in the 1930s and early 40s, is now live and browsable by the general public. As reported by the New York Times On the Runway blog this week, André Fashion Studios ‘…operated as a subscription-based sketch firm in the garment district,’ selling ‘fashion drawings to manufacturers in the United States and Canada to aid production.’ Both FIT and the NYPL ended up with vast chunks of the studio’s archives and decided to pool resources when they discovered that together their many pieces created a more complete puzzle.
Visitors to the site can browse by the separate collections or, more usefully, by garment type and keyword, making 30s-era research that much easier. What’s more, the over 5,000 drawings can be saved, printed, emailed, or shared via social media outlets directly from the site itself, truly rendering the archive useful for today’s designers and 30s enthusiasts.
Some of our favorite sketches found during a preliminary search through André Studios 1930-1941: Fashion Drawings & Sketches in the Collections of the Fashion Institute of Technology and the New York Public Library feature below.