BALTIMORE — In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Maryland Center for History and Culture is honoring homegrown fashion pioneer, Claire McCardell, whose innovative designs have left a lasting impact on the industry.
Known for redefining women’s clothing during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, McCardell’s practical yet stylish designs prioritized utility and catered to women of all backgrounds.
McCardell’s groundbreaking concepts, such as the inclusion of pockets, belts, and zippers, as well as the invention of iconic pieces like cat-eye sunglasses and pedal pushers, have continued to influence modern designers.
According to writer and journalist Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, McCardell is responsible for shaping what is considered “the American look.” The pioneering designer was one of the first to have her name featured on a label and the third to be showcased on the cover of Time Magazine.
As a feminist trailblazer, McCardell’s work has paved the way for esteemed designers like Donna Karan, Anna Sui, and Tory Burch.
Her vision of empowering women to lead independent lives, pursue their own career paths, and live life to the fullest is testament to her enduring legacy.
Through the lenses of fashion, the Maryland Center for History and Culture is committed to preserving the Claire McCardell story for those interested in learning about an inspirational entrepreneur who not only transformed her industry, but also had a vision for the modern American woman.
To explore the exhibit and celebrate Women’s History Month, visit the Maryland Center for History and Culture on Wednesdays through Sunday’s.