Altina Schinasi: Know the Creator of Cat-Eye Frames, Altina Schinasi, as Today Marks Her 116th Birthday
Today, Google is celebrating the 116th birthday of renowned American designer, Altina ‘Tina’ Schinasi. Altina Schinasi is the woman behind the trendy ‘cat-eye’ glasses frames that gained immense popularity worldwide. Whether it was women or men, everyone started to embrace this stylish frame. You may have seen this type of frame somewhere, but do you know the famous designer behind its creation? Well, it is none other than Altina Schinasi, a talented American artist, designer, and inventor, who is renowned for her cat-eye frame designs. Today, Google is honoring Altina ‘Tina’ Schinasi on her 116th birthday.
Her Journey in New York:
Altina Schinasi was born on August 4, 1907, in Manhattan, New York. She attended high school there and later pursued painting, which led her to move to Paris for further studies. While in Paris, she decided to make a difference in the world. After completing her studies in Paris, she returned to New York and got admission to The Art Students League, where she had the opportunity to refine her skills.
Altina dressed windows for numerous Fifth Avenue stores when she was in New York. It was during this time that she got the chance to work with renowned artists such as Salvador Dali and George Grosz.
Inspiration for Frame Design:
While working as a window display designer, Altina Schinasi noticed that there were limited options for women when it came to eyeglass frames. This realization inspired her to create the ‘cat-eye’ glasses frame. To design this frame, she drew inspiration from the Harlequin Mask, often worn during the Venice Carnival in Italy. With this inspiration in mind, she crafted a unique frame that appealed to many. This frame was named the Harlequin glasses.
Recognition and Awards:
Altina’s design brought a significant change to the world of fashion. During the late 1930s and 1940s, the Harlequin glasses became the favorite frame for women in America. Altina Schinasi was honored for her design in 1939 when she received the Lord & Taylor American Design Award. Her work was highly praised by popular magazines such as Life and Vogue.
Altina Schinasi’s creativity and innovation left a lasting impact on the fashion industry, making her a celebrated figure in the world of design. Today, we celebrate her 116th birthday and remember her contributions to the world of fashion.”
Altina Schinasi made a significant impact on the eyewear industry during the late 1930s with her revolutionary designs. Her breakthrough came when she decided to create eyeglass frames that exuded glamour and charm, standing out from the uninspiring options available in optician stores at the time.
Inspired by the Harlequin mask, Altina Schinasi embarked on a mission to infuse her frames with whimsy, mystery, and romance. She ingeniously transformed the Harlequin mask’s essence into unique and alluring eyeglass frames, setting a new trend in fashion.
With her creative vision in place, Altina Schinasi set up production and skillfully negotiated deals with various department stores to market and distribute her stunning frames. Her efforts were recognized, and in 1939, she received the prestigious Lord & Taylor Annual American Design Award for her outstanding contribution to the industry.
Not only did Altina Schinasi receive accolades from industry peers, but her work was also praised by influential fashion publications such as Vogue and Life magazines. They credited her with revolutionizing the eyewear industry and elevating eyeglasses to a fashionable accessory.
As her fame and success grew, Altina expanded her operations to the West Coast, moving to California to cater to a wider audience and continue her creative journey.
Altina Schinasi’s dedication to combining fashion and functionality in eyewear left a lasting legacy, and her cat-eye glasses and Harlequin frames became iconic symbols of elegance and style. Her impact on the aesthetic of eyewear continues to inspire designers even today.