Collection of over 8,000 fashion design drawings produced by Creators Studios, a New York City Seventh Avenue fashion business that marketed ready-to-wear designs to clothing manufacturers across the country. The plates date from the 1950s-1970s and showcase the distinctive cuts, colors and fabrics that transformed American fashion. Stored for many years in a warehouse in bound volumes and loose sheets, the designs of the company were eventually donated to several New York City educational institutions with connections to the fashion industry, including the New York Public Library and Fashion Institute of Technology. A previous collaboration between the latter institutions resulted in the digitization of a substantial portion of sketches from Andre Studios, an earlier competing firm taken over by Creators Studios in the 1970s. Both collections offer a comprehensive resource for fashion historians, aspiring designers, and anyone interested in American popular culture.
Biographical/historical: Creators Studios and its competitors supplied sketches of current and upcoming fashion trends to manufacturers and other fashion industry professionals, helping them stay ahead of anticipated consumer demand. Very little is known about the business practices of these firms, but it is likely that copying and adapting existing couture and department store designs comprised a significant part of their production process. A house staff of artists culled ideas from runway shows and other fashion venues, which they then drew from memory or from quick sketches made on the spot. Focused entirely on women’s garments, Creators Studios each week mailed subscribers a “complete line of fashion sketches” depicting women’s coats, dresses, sportswear and suits. The company was established in 1957 and closed its doors in the early 1980s.