The American fashion designer Bonnie Cashin famously said “Chic is where you find it.” This designer icon paved the way for fashion and functionality in American fashion.
Her career in fashion truly took off in the 1950s but her designs reached the height of their popularity in the ’60s and ’70s. Cashin is known for introducing innovations into the world of fashion, like metal turn-lock closures and piping, which she developed on her search for practical solutions to clothing design.
Cashin emerged on the fashion scene in the 1950s when she opened her studio called “Bonnie Cashin Designs”. She wanted to embrace the new, independent woman in her designs and rejected the emphasis on extreme femininity prevalent during the decade. Cashin designed with comfort, functionality and practicality in mind.
Her designs, such as the roomy zipper less turtleneck and the popular leather tote, would become staples for the fashion industry. She embraced ideas like layering clothing for warmth and using heavier materials, like leather. Her unique designs and mindset helped popularize women’s sportswear.
Cashin incorporated her love of hardware when she collaborated with Coach, adding brass toggles to the brand’s handbags in the 1960s. Her influence is still present in American fashion. Her use of hardware in her designs and love of plaid is still incorporated into many contemporary styles, especially during fall. Cashin was famous for her love of simple, functional silhouettes, like ponchos.
For more on Bonnie Cashin, check out her vintage pieces on BackinStyle.com!
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