Oleg Cassini became particularly well known as a designer
for Jacqueline Kennedy whilst she was First Lady of the
United States. Utilizing the technique and high
fashion fabrics of French couture, Cassini’s unique designs
for Jacqueline Kennedy ushered in a new era of timeless
simplicity based on clean lines and crisp forms and opulent
and luxurious fabrics. Cassini brought American design to
the world stage as the First Lady’s identity became
synonymous with sophistication and taste. The "Jackie look"
that he created was copied by women all over the world.
Oleg Cassini was an American fashion designer born to an aristocratic
Russian family with maternal Italian ancestry. He came to the United
States as a young man after starting as a designer in Rome, and quickly
got work with Paramount Pictures. In 1941, his first film was I
Wanted Wings, for which he created the look for its star, newcomer
After World War II, Cassini designed ready-to-wear dresses while
continuing to design for television, motion pictures, and Broadway
theatre. The head of Lord & Taylor, Dorothy Shaver, provided the
Oleg Cassini Collection the entirety of the store's Fifth Avenue store
front windows to launch the collection. Cassini also took his
designs "on the road" to his customers in trunk shows and special fashion
events in order to promote the new lines. The in store events evolved into
the emerging medium of television and Cassini displayed his product on
Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Dinah Shore, Phil Donahue, and Good Morning
America. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson provided nightly
recognition as Carson had a line designed for him by Cassini, which he
wore exclusively for the show.
Oleg Cassini died from complications of an aneurysm in Manhasset, New
York, in 2006.
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