Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mollie Parnis Designers to First Ladies

Born to a poor immigrant family in New York City before the turn of the century, she started working at odd jobs when she was 8 years old, and eventually built a multimillion-dollar dress business. But her interests ranged well beyond her Garment District cutting rooms. She became a skilled collector of art and of people and contributed some of her fortune to the beautification of New York and Jerusalem.

Dresses she designed were worn by First Ladies from Mamie Eisenhower to Betty Ford. Lady Bird Johnson became a a close friend and one year, one of Miss Parnis's designs was bought by four Kennedys in four separate cities.

In her office, Miss Parnis kept photographs of First Ladies wearing her designs posed with their husbands, as well as a signed photograph of Lyndon B. Johnson in a shirt she had made for him. To four Presidents, she was Mollie, but as often as she was invited to the White House, she said she could never get over the thrill of being in what she called "the President's house." Simple Beginning.

And this Coppery Brown and Black Silk Jaquard Mad Men BEAUTY can be yours, this week at cemetarian on eBay.