Anne Klein


Born as Hannah Golofski in 1923, Anne Klein is a well-known fashion designer . While studying art at Girl’s Commercial High School, she discovered her talent for design and found a job in the garment making industry once she was done with high school. In a year’s time, she got employed at Varden Petites. There she re-launched the firm’s collection and introduced new trends and cuts of prêt-a-porter line plus an elegant clothing range, for young and slim women, known as Junior Miss. Between 1937 and 1938, she studied at New York’s Traphagen School of Design to gain formal training in the field. With a background in arts, she did well in design school.

In the year 1948, she married Ben Klein, a manufacturer of clothes. Junior Sophisticates was a new company founded by her husband and there she confidently took the role of the head designer. Under her, the label saw good times and she transformed the variety of apparel available for small-sized women as herself. The label allowed such females to choose from an array of sophisticated styles; a choice they didn’t have before.

Klein was the first after Coco Chanel to adapt the clothing styles of men into the way outfits were designed and produced for women. She used ideas from menswear, such as jackets, suits and shirts to style them with a feminine touch. In the 1950s, she launched a range of clothes known as separates. These blouses, slacks, skirts and jackets could be put together to make several different combinations.

In 1960, when Anne and Ben ended their relationship, Anne’s association with her ex-husband’s brand also came to an end. Three years after her separation, she married again and opened her personal studio of design. Her specialty was to redesign the failing apparel lines of other brands.

Although Anne was no longer married to Ben, she continued to use his last name. In 1968, she established her eponymous company as the co-owner and director. The label was opened in collaboration with Gunther Oppenheim, known as the guru of fashion. The next decade saw an expansion of her business, over 750 department stores and boutiques in America shelved Anne Klein’s creations.

In 1973, she was among the ten eminent designers from America and France to receive an invitation for a fashion show aimed to raise funds for the renovations of Versailles. At this time, she approached Tomio Taki of Takihyo and convinced him to become one of the company’s partner with a share of twenty-five percent. Unfortunately a year after this honor, in 1974 when Anne was fifty, she died of breast cancer but her company remained intact and remained as a strong label in the world. The largest stake in her company after Anne’s death belonged to Taki and he had an influential say in the business.

Without a doubt, Anne was one of the most admired sportswear fashion designer in the United States. The clothes she made were not only fashionable but practical and smart as well.

After the designer passed away, her company was revived by Louis Dell’Ollio and Donna Karan until 1985. In 2001, Charles Nalon was appointed to transform the image of Anne Klein & Co., as much more modern and hip. Two years later The Jones Group took over the label.