Who was Altina Schinasi? Google Doodle Tribute and Her Remarkable Contributions

Do you know the person who most famously known for the trendy ‘cat-eye’ eyeglass frame design? Altina Schinasi was her name.

More recently, Google Doodle celebrated the life of US-based designer Altina Schinasi on Friday, August 4.  The doodle depicts Altina Schinasi inside glasses with cat-eye frames to commemorate American designer Altina Schinasi’s 116th birthday.

Who was Altina Schinasi?

Altina Schinasi was the Designer Of Cat-Eye Glasses. Altina Schinasi is best known for creating the iconic Harlequin ‘cat-eye’ eyeglass frame design in the 1940s. Apart from that, she was also well-known for her work in textiles, ceramics, and jewellery. 

Altina Schinasi was born on August 4, 1907 in New York, US. Altina Schinasi was the youngest child of Morris Schinasi. Her father was born in Manisa, Turkey and he was a Sephardic Jew, whose wealth stemmed from the international fine tobacco business. Altina’s mother, Laurette Schinasi née Ben Rubi, the granddaughter of Schinasi’s business associate Joseph Ben Rubi, was a native of Salonica, then in the Ottoman Empire.

Altina did her schooling in Horace Mann School and at the age of twelve she left home to board at Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

After she completed her graduation, her mother moved to Paris with her. There, her cousin, Rene Bensussan and Altina studied painting. Both spend more time with each other and Altina got great respect in art. After returning to New York, she studied with Samuel Halpert at the Roerich Museum.

Altina’s first job was with Peter Copeland after learning design. The Project on which Altina worked with Peter was ‘design windows for Fifth Avenue stores’. It was in this job that she found herself working alongside Salvador Dali.

She registers many patents for the inventions which she did in the field of design. She got breakthrough when she created and marketed the Harlequin eyeglass frame or the ‘cat-eye’ frame. In the late 1930’s that defined glamour.

Altina got an idea to make these eyeglass frames when she faced lacklustre frames in an optician’s window. Altina noticed them underwhelming and that was not romantic and whimsical. So she decided to create something romantic and whimsical.

Altina wondered, What could a woman wear on her face that would be romantic? What looks good on a face? What adds to a face? There must be some new way to design eyeglasses that looks attractive.

Altina won the Lord  & Taylor Annual American Design Award for her avant-garde transformation of the eyeglass frame into a proper fashion accessory In 1939.

Altina Schinas received prestigious awards, including the American Design Award from Lord & Taylor, a testament to her influence in the world of fashion and design.

Altina Schinasi got married in 1928 and her first husband name was Morris B. Sanders. They blessed with two sons, Terry Sanders and Denis Sanders, both of them become film directors.

Altina Schinasi Cause of Death

How did Altina Schinasi die | Altina Schinasi Death : Leaving behind all the arts, film and design, Altina passed away at the age of 92, on August 19, 1999 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The cause of her death was not readily available in the information provided.

Altina Schinasi’s life journey was a testament to the power of creativity, innovation, and perseverance. Many new creative minds gets inspiration from her.

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