Professional Fashion in Cincinnati
Posted On: 04/26/2017 - 11:55am, Posted By: Other
This post was originally written by Dorothy Lingg, who has since retired from her position as the Helen Steiner Rice Archivist.
The Fashion Group of Cincinnati, a chapter of the Fashion Group International, began its preliminary organizing and researching in 1957. They submitted their tentative programs and a slate of officers to the New York City headquarters on October 26, 1959. The New York City headquarters accepted them as a chapter of their international, non-profit, professional organization and the Fashion Group of Cincinnati held its first meeting on January 22, 1960. Cincinnati was the 30th such group formed in the United States and it coincided with the 30th anniversary of the charter group in New York City.
The group's purpose is to maintain and improve the level of art, good taste in fashion, and knowledge throughout the industry by means of example, education and the dissemination of current information. Its primary function is to encourage cooperation among those who work in fashion and related fields, thus benefiting members of the industry and, through them, the public at large.
Betty Wood was named the first Regional Director in Cincinnati and Dorothy Toerner was named Assistant Regional Director. The members included executives from stores such as Shillito's, Pogue's, McAlpin's, Mabley & Carew, Jenny's, Rollman's, Henry Harris, Gidding's and other businesses such as The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Cincinnati Post & Times-Star, W.K.R.C., and Pan American Airlines.
Membership was drawn from qualified individuals possessing a cultural and educational background in fields influenced by fashion. They had to be sponsored by an existing member and supply references from two members and a business associate. Membership was then established after payment of initiation fees and membership continuance was based upon payment of annual dues.
The Cincinnati group presented a fashion show each year from 1961 to 1980. The shows were usually held in February or March and many of them were held at the Netherland Hilton Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. The first show was a millinery show and it was held on March 1, 1961.
The group worked closely with the Cincinnati Art Museum and the proceeds generated from the fashion shows enabled the Art Museum to build a costume wing and study room for the pleasure and education of all citizens. In March of 1976, Mayor Bobbie Sterne awarded the Fashion Group a Proclamation in recognition of their efforts on behalf of the Cincinnati Art Museum.
The Cincinnati Chapter is no longer active today.
The records in the Fashion Group collection span the years of 1958 to 1986. Anyone interested in fashion design might find these records fascinating as the fashion trends, hem lines, neck lines, colors and fabrics changed drastically for men and women over the thirty year period. The styles ranged from the conservative and classic styles of the 1950s, to the chic, silky, linear and more sophisticated lines of the 60s, to the polka dots and layered look of the 70s, to the vibrant, sequined and bare shouldered fashions of the 80s.