Born in this month – March

March has so many notable fashion and design related birthdays. I could write a blog post for every day of the month showcasing one stellar fashion icon or grand designer. Let’s just look at a few notable births this month. Plus links for you to explore more.

March is the month that Barbie was born. Love her or hate her the girl’s got staying power. Barbie is actually German by birth. If you look at the German dolls and then the US Barbie it’s not so much that Ruth Handler invented Barbie but rather she saw the potential in the German Bild Lilli dolls and ran with it. Just say ‘in. Bild Lilli dolls in good to great condition can fetch upwards of 4000 dollars or more. 

Bild Lilli on the left - Barbie on the right
Bild Lilli on the left – Barbie on the right – Image from

Photographer Toni Frissell, born March 10, 1910. Famous fashion and WW ll photographer. Famous for her highly artful fashion photography and also her outdoor shots. One notable shot was for the cover of Vogue (one of three) with a woman surfing in Hawaii. This shot was a slight drive away from their more fashion and stylized covers.


Frissell enjoyed photographing models in outdoor settings and unusual places like underwater. Quite revolutionary for the time.

toni-frissell1939 underwater

Alexander McQueen born March 17, 1969. McQueen was the chief designer for Givenchy from 1996-2001. Known for his sense of the fantastical, shock and sheer beauty in his designs and outrageous shows, his  death from suicide in February 2010 leaves a great hole in the fashion world. When I think of his untimely death, I’m still mad. The world lost something great, unusual and amazing. Same as with Isabella Blow. 


Carrie Donovan fashion editor for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and the New York Times magazine was born March 22, 1928 and died in 2001.

carrie donovan

Joan Crawford born March 23, 1904 was actually born  Lucille Fay LeSueur. She was a popular actress during the 30’s only to be labeled “Box Office Poison. But Joan clawed her way back and won the Oscar for the brilliant Mildred Pierce.Unfortunately, many only know Joan from the movie Mommie Dearest, which set Faye Dunaway back a couple of decades. But, oh there is so much more to Joan.  Here is a fun blog about pre-code movies in Hollywood. It’s really worth it to her memory to check out a good bio on her. Just so much more to her.


Conde Montrose Nast born on March 26, 1873 publisher of such famous titles as Vogue,Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.

Guccio Gucci was born March 26, 1881. The one who started it all. The found of the House of Gucci.

Costume designer Theodora Van Runkle born March 27,  1928 and died November 4, 2011. Oscar nominated for Bonnie & Clyde, Van Runkle was actually a  self taught costume designer. Her career in costuming spanned over 40 years and included classic 70’s and 80’s  Hollywood movies and television.


Liz Clairborne born on March 31 and died June 26, 2007 was born in Belgium to American parents. Her company, Liz Clairborne Inc was the first company founded by a woman to hit the Forbes Fortune 500 list.

Plus, so many more!

Stay tuned to March 22 with a post for William Travilla


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