Hattie Carnegie was born in Austria-Hungary as Henrietta Kanengeiser. Despite no formal fashion training Hattie started out as a milliner and owned a successful shop in East Tenth Street in New York named “Carnegie-Ladies’ Hatter”. From there she went on to open a dress shop in New York on the Upper West Side and then her famous Hattie Carnegie boutique where she carried not only her own line “Hattie Carnegie Couture” Collection, but Paris couture imports from Chanel, Vionnet and Dior as well as a costume jewellery line, cosmetic line, and even a chocolate line.
Hattie Carnegie was an extremely clever businesswoman and entrepreneur. Her dress designs were a huge success and she developed powerful links with some of the important fashion ladies of the time like Joan Crawford, and the Duchess of Windsor. In particular they adored her stylish costume jewellery. Hattie Carnegie enjoyed enormous success and went on to design the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) uniform in 1950, but it is her beautiful jewellery that is her legacy today.