August 4, 2023: In a delightful homage to artistry and eyewear innovation, today’s Google Doodle is painting the search engine with vibrant nostalgia. The digital tribute takes a unique approach, celebrating not only the legacy of Altina Schinasi’s iconic cat eye glasses but also capturing a shared moment of fandom.
As internet users navigate to the search engine giant’s homepage, they are welcomed by a captivating illustration that encapsulates the enduring charm of Altina’s creations. This creative rendition encapsulates the essence of a true fan moment, a celebration of both a visionary designer and the indelible impact she’s left on fashion and style.
Sweeping a fresh breeze of creativity through the search engine today as Google Doodle pays rich tribute to Altina Schinasi, an innovative designer hailing from the United States. Remembering what would have been her 116th birthday, the doodle ingeniously portrays Altina within the contours of her iconic ‘cat-eye’ eyeglass frame, a testament to her enduring influence on fashion and design.
Born on the 4th of August, 1907 in the bustling heart of Manhattan, New York, Altina’s journey was a tapestry woven with artistic threads. Her parents, immigrants, instilled in her a sense of tenacity that fueled her pursuits. Her voyage meandered from the very streets of Manhattan to the vivid galleries of Paris, a journey that would crystallize her ardor for painting and design.
Altina’s roots were entrenched in her Jewish heritage, blossoming in the American soil of 1907. Her academic foundations were set at home until she spread her wings and attended Horace Mann School. Remarkably, at a mere twelve years old, she embarked on a new chapter, finding her place at Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
The course of Altina’s life took a momentous turn when her mother whisked her away to Paris, a city pulsating with creative energy. It was within this enchanting milieu that Altina imbibed the art of painting under the guidance of her cousin, the skilled Rene Bensussan. Parisian life infused her spirit with a deeper understanding of art’s essence. This enlightenment was carried back to her home shores, where she honed her craft under the tutelage of Samuel Halpert at the Roerich Museum.
From the tapestry of her experiences emerged a dazzling career. Altina’s initial foray into the design realm found her collaborating with Peter Copeland. Together, they embarked on a project that adorned Fifth Avenue stores with captivating window displays. An unexpected twist of fate had her working alongside the renowned Salvador Dali during this phase.
Altina Schinasi Harlequin Eyeglass Frame remains in fashion even today
As her journey unfolded, Altina Schinasi ‘s inventive spirit led her to secure patents for her design innovations. Yet, it was during the early stages that she etched her name into the annals of style history. Her groundbreaking moment materialized when she conceived and introduced the Harlequin eyeglass frame, affectionately known as the ‘cat-eye.’ This innovative creation, an embodiment of late 1930s glamour, captivated hearts and set trends ablaze.
The spark of the ‘cat-eye’ frames ignited when Altina Schinasi ‘s discerning eye spotted lackluster eyewear in an optician’s display. Driven by the desire for romantic and whimsical elegance, she embarked on a quest to redefine eyeglass aesthetics. “Can eyeglasses not be objects of allure? What could grace a visage? What could fuse romance with functionality?” These were the questions that danced in her mind.
The Harlequin mask, with its enigmatic allure, became Altina’s North Star. She meticulously carved masks onto the frames that danced in her imagination. With production established and partnerships forged with esteemed department stores, she ventured further, establishing an office where the realms of marketing and distribution bowed to her mastery.
In 1939, Altina’s brilliance was celebrated when she clinched the prestigious Lord & Taylor Annual American Design Award. The honor was a testament to her avant-garde metamorphosis of eyeglass frames into veritable fashion statements, a crowning jewel in her legacy.
Today, as we bask in the Google Doodle’s homage to Altina Schinasi, we are reminded of her indelible mark on design’s canvas. The ‘cat-eye’ frames, a symbol of timeless elegance, continue to adorn faces and echo her extraordinary journey from New York’s streets to Parisian galleries.