The Legacy of Bonnie Cashin

11 years have gone by since the passing of legendary American designer Bonnie Cashin, one of the founding ‘mothers’ of modern sportswear and accessories, along with fellow countrywoman Claire McCardell.  While Cashin started her career as an illustrator and hollywood costume designer, she hit her true stride when she began designing sportswear and accessories in the 1950s, collaborating with companies like Bergdorf Goodman, Liberty of London, American Airlines, Samsonite and more, before taking the design helm at Coach in the 1960s. Remarkably independent and uncompromising, Cashin was revolutionary for her time by remaining a contractor with each company she worked with, allowing her the freedom to work on products at a variety of price points, a concept many designers and labels are scrambling to adopt in the 21st century as fashion enters a new, democratic era. Her oeuvre remains a timeless, inspirational archive for designers looking to create clothes for the modern woman today.

For more information on Bonnie Cashin, visit her foundation’s website.

Bonnie Cashin, left, and in her home, Home&Garden Magazine, 1969

Vogue cover illustrations, 1920s; Coach bag designs, 1960s

Various outerwear designs in collaboration with Sills, 1960s-70s

Handbag designs for Coach, 1960s

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