How Ellen Louise Curtis Demorest Changed The U.S Fashion Industry
Ellen louise. Curtis was born on november fifteenth. Eighteen twenty four in schuylerville new york to henry de curtis electra. Able she was the second of eight children was a farmer and the owner of a men's hat factory family lived a comfortable life made more lively each summer by dramatic influxes of tourists. Each year notable members of society would make their way to nearby. Toga springs ellen. Later wrote that the visitors turned typically dull surroundings into places that present the spectacle of a grand reunion of wealth fashion and beauty out of doors from a young age. Ellen was interested in fashion. after graduating from school. Ellen's father helped her harness her interest into a career via women's shop of her own. The millenary shop was quite successful and after a year. Ellen moved the shop to troy new york. And then to brooklyn in eighteen. Fifty-eight ellen married william jennings demorest a thirty six year old widower with two children. The couple would also have two children of their own a son in eighteen fifty nine and a daughter in eighteen sixty five. The family moved to philadelphia where they ran an emporium. It was there that ellen's career really took off as the story goes ellen and her sister kate or working on a system of dress making when they saw their african american made cutting address pattern out of brown paper ellen was inspired by the idea to create tissue paper patterns of fashionable garments for the home sewer some historians refute that the idea originated with ellen and her maid and instead suggest it was i had by a man who had become ellen's rival ellen's family moved back to new york and began manufacturing patterns. They also opened a women's store on broadway in the fall of eighteen. Sixty ellen and her husband became selling paper patterns and publishing quarterly. Catalog called mirror of ellen. Higher journalist and women's rights advocate jane cunningham croly to work for the publication. The magazine was filled with sewing tips and tricks pictures of accessories. Sheet music poetry and fiction. Each issue included a tissue paper pattern and sewing instructions. The magazine was well timed and circulation. Grew quickly a sewing. Machines were then becoming commonplace in middle class homes the magazine also featured contributors including writers julia. Wardhaugh louisa may alcott and robert louis. Stevenson ellen frequently made strong statements in the magazine and support of women in the workplace. She also took firm stance on domestic abuse prison reform and mental health treatment among other topics as the cadillac business. Thrived ellen and williams brick and mortar store on broadway. Grew to ellen and her sister. Kate adapted foreign styles into patterns and made samples for the store. The store is fashion. Openings became major social events ellen. And william store was also notable for the couple's hiring practices. They hired african. Americans at the store on equal terms as white employees long before integrated workplaces were a norm in eighteen. Seventy six ellen became a founding member of cirrhosis. the first professional women's club in the united states throughout that decade while most businesses were failing ellen and her family continued to do well according to historians up to three million patterns. Were mailed each year but ellen success didn't last forever in the eighteen eighties. Ellen's empire began to decline ellen and william had failed to patent their paper patterns a competitor ebeneezer butterick had done so successfully at first butterick stuck to men's and children's ware but by eighteen sixty seven he'd expanded to women's patterns to ebenezer butterick company remains the center of the paper pattern industry today in eighteen. Eighty five william demerist retired to devote himself to the temperance movement. that year. He ran for lieutenant governor of new york. On the prohibition ticket a decade later in eighteen ninety five he died that same year allen suffered a stroke and was left bedridden. She moved into the hotel renaissance new york where she died of a cerebral hemorrhage on august tenth. Nine eight she was seventy three years old ellen. Louise demerist took her love of fashion and made it accessible. To the everyday woman in revolutionizing the fashion industry she also committed herself to the betterment of opportunities for both white and black women though she failed to patent patterns. Her impact is still apparent today.