America,  Art

Altina Schinasi- Interesting memoirs

Altina Schinasi was a remarkable woman who had a lasting impact on the fields of art, design, and filmmaking. She was born in Manhattan, New York, to immigrant parents from the Ottoman Empire. Her father was a wealthy tobacco merchant who built a mansion on the Upper West Side. Altina developed a passion for art at an early age and studied painting in Paris and New York. She also worked as a window display designer for Fifth Avenue stores, where she collaborated with famous artists like Salvador Dalí and George Grosz12.

Altina is best known for inventing the Harlequin eyeglass frame, also known as the cat-eye glasses. She was inspired by the shape of the masks worn during the Carnevale festival in Venice, Italy. She found the pointed edges flattering to the face and created a prototype by cutting paper demos. She then approached several manufacturers, but they all rejected her design, thinking it was too radical. Altina did not give up and eventually found a manufacturer who agreed to produce her frames. She patented her invention in 1939 and received the American Design Award from Lord & Taylor2.

The Harlequin eyeglass frame became a sensation and a fashion statement for women in the 1940s and 1950s. Many celebrities and icons wore Altina’s glasses, such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn