Search Our New Beta Online Collections!

Grace Ashley Collection

<< Back to search results

Search within this collection

Identifier: P0637

Title: Grace Ashley Collection

Description: Grace Ashley was a noted St. Louis fashion designer who helped develop the "Juniors" market in the late 1930s. Emerging as a designer in 1934, Ashley introduced the shirtwaist stud dress registered as the "Grace Ashley Jewelstud Frock." By 1937 she had become the first designer to trademark her name. She incorporated in 1946, and from 1936 to 1960 she operated a retail store in New York in addition to her St. Louis showroom. Her corporation dissolved in 1967. In addition to her design accomplishments, Ashley was well known as a model and a pioneer in the women's clothing business. In the late 1940s she was one of only two women presidents of major clothing companies. She was married to stockbroker Harry S. Papin Jr. For a summary of her impact on fashion see the article "Disarmingly Simple--Disastrously Chic" by Sharon Fivel in Gateway Heritage, vol. 16#3 (Winter 1995-96): 44-55. The Grace Ashley Collection contains photographs and advertisements including three mounted easel-back photo advertisements, sixteen mounted photos (most of them signed by photographer Jules Pierlow), seven large photos mounted on heavy cardboard, two advertisements from magazines, one printed fashion sketch, 68 unmounted photos, and one printed copy of a fashion sketch. There are also about ten photographs of her as a child and her family members. See also the Grace Ashley Scrapbook in the MHS Archives. Subjects include: fashion clothing; apparel; hats.

Rights: UND


Dates: ca. 1905 - 1940

Type(s): Collection

Maker/Creator: Jules Pierlow (St. Louis); Murillo (St. Louis)



| More

Disclaimer: We are working to create a web-based collection index. Information available through this website should be considered "draft only."