SCAASI, ARNOLD (1931– ), U.S. fashion designer. Scaasi was born Arnold Isaacs in Montreal, Canada, the son of a local furrier. Although he never graduated from high school, he became a celebrated designer whose custom-made tailored suits and glamorous gowns were worn by movie stars, society matrons, and at least five U.S. first ladies. He changed his last name, but he never denied his heritage, often describing himself as "a Jewish kid from Montreal." When he was still a teenager, the family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where Arnold fell under the spell of his aunt Ida Wynn, a prominent fundraiser for the Women's International Zionist Organization, who was equally well known for her chic French wardrobe. His interest in fashion piqued, he returned to Montreal to study design, then moved to Paris and apprenticed to Paquin, a prestigious couture house. He came to New York City in 1953 and began working with Charles James, a brilliant but eccentric designer. Around that time, Isaacs was assigned to create dresses for a series of automobile ads. Someone suggested reversing the spelling of his last name for added glamour and Scaasi was born. As his reputation for bold colors and sculptural shapes spread, he landed a red evening coat on the cover of Vogue magazine in December 1955. The following May, he launched a wholesale collection. He won a Coty Fashion Award in 1958 and opened a custom-design business in 1962. His dresses turned up at glittering parties from Manhattan to Los Angeles. In 1969, barbra streisand accepted her Oscar for Funny Girl wearing a Scaasi-designed sheer pant-suit that created a sensation. Scaasi's clients have included actresses elizabeth taylor , lauren bacall , and Mary Tyler Moore, soprano Joan Sutherland, sculptor louise nevelson , and social doyennes such as Brooke Astor. After already designing clothing for first ladies Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Lady Bird Johnson, he created a royal blue velvet and satin gown that Barbara Bush wore to her husband's Inaugural Ball in 1989. It was later donated to the Smithsonian Institution and Mrs. Bush became one of Scaasi's best clients. He has also designed clothes for her daughter-in-law Laura Bush, another first lady. In 1989, Scaasi introduced a women's fragrance. Later, to broaden his reach, he stopped doing runway shows and embarked on a series of licensing ventures for products ranging from lower-price dresses to sunglasses. With writer Bernadine Morris, he produced a book entitled A Cut Above in 1996, released to coincide with a retrospective of his work at the New-York Historical Society. In 1997, a decade after the Council of Fashion Designers of America honored him for "creative excellence," he won the group's Lifetime Achievement Award. It was presented by Barbara Bush. In 2001, a major exhibition of Scaasi's work was mounted at Kent State University in Ohio, and the following year, a similar presentation was staged at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. A memoir, Women I Have Dressed (and Undressed), was published in 2004. (Mort Sheinman (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Scaasi, Arnold — (1931 )    He was born Arnold Isaacs in Montreal, Canada, the son of a Jewish furrier. Although he never finished high school, he studied the trade at the Chambre Syndicale de la haute couture parisienne and apprenticed at the house of Paquin… …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • Arnold Scaasi — (born May 8, 1931) is an acclaimed fashion designer who has created gowns for First Ladies Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush, in addition to such notable personalities as Joan Crawford, Ivana… …   Wikipedia

  • Chronology — 50,000 BCE The first prehistoric human, Cro Magnon man, learned to survive in cold climates by fashioning clothing out of animal skins, tree bark, and foliage. Paleolithic cave paintings such as those found in Lascaux, France, indicate that early …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • List of LGBT Jews — The following is a list of some prominent LGBT Jews.Politicians* Roberta Achtenberg, former HUD assistant secretary [ [ sciences/achtenberg r.html Roberta Achtenberg] at Retrieved November 18, 2006.] * Karen… …   Wikipedia

  • Coty Award — The Coty American Fashion Critics Awards (awarded 1943 1984) were first announced in January 1942 by the cosmetics and perfume company Coty, Inc. to promote and celebrate American fashion, and encourage design during the Second World War.[1][2]… …   Wikipedia

  • Claire McCardell — (1905–1958) was an American fashion designer in the arena of ready to wear clothing in the 20th century. From the 1930s to the 1950s, she was known for designing functional, affordable, and stylish women’s sportswear within the constraints of… …   Wikipedia

  • Malan Breton — Photo: Shane A O neill, Born June 16, 1973 Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. Education Circle in the Square O …   Wikipedia

  • Loving Couples (1980 film) — The plot offers a comic spin on adultery. When Greg crashes his sports car, doctor Evelyn comes to his rescue, and the two soon are engaged in an affair. Evelyn s workaholic husband learns about it from Greg s live in girlfriend, scatterbrained… …   Wikipedia

  • Miss Universe 1972 — Date July 29, 1972 Presenters Bob Barker Venue Cerromar Beach Hotel, Dorado, Puerto Rico Broadcaster CBS Entrants 61 …   Wikipedia

  • L'Amour à quatre mains — Données clés Titre original Loving Couples Réalisation Jack Smight Scénario Martin Donovan Acteurs principaux Shirley MacLaine (Evelyn) James Coburn (Walter) Susan Sarandon …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”