It all began in 1928 when 17 women – including Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Arden and Edith Head – and gathered by Edna Woolman Chase, then Editor-in-Chief of Vogue – met for lunch at a modest midtown New York restaurant.
They had three things in common: Each held a job of consequence in the business of fashion, each held the other women in high regard and together they held a belief that fashion needed a forum, a stage and a force to express and enhance a widening awareness of the American fashion business and of women’s roles in that business.
The Fashion Group, conceived at an informal luncheon in 1928 became an official organization in 1930; with a place, a purpose, by-laws, officers and a multitude of groundbreaking, iconic women eager to become members.
Their first office space was donated by Louis Fairchild in his Women’s Wear Daily building on East 12th Street. The second office space was at 572 Madison Avenue, donated by Harper’s Bazaar. In 1934 there was a proposal to move the organization’s headquarters to 30 Rockefeller Center. Listed in the Minutes of the Board meeting of October 18, 1934: Ideas emerged on how to meet the rent of the contemplated space by creating an annual Fashion Group event using talent within the membership to lampoon fashion – soon to become fondly known as The Fashion Follies™.
Today, The Fashion Group offers a plethora of exciting benefits and programs to a growing membership of more than 6000 men and women across the globe from Paris to Sydney and Toronto to Seoul.
Some of Those Founding and Charter Members Were:
Elizabeth Arden Margaret Case Eleanor Roosevelt Helena Rubinstein Julia Coburn Lilly Dache Jessica Daves Nan Duskin Edith Head Eleanor LeMaire Claire McCardell Clare Potter Virginia Pope Dorothy Shaver Adele Simpson Carmel Snow Miss Tobé