Carol Horn, Sportswear Designer, Dies at 86 – WWD

Fashion designer Carol Horne, whose signature elongated designs and kaftans made her popular in the 1960s, died Thursday at the age of 86.

The sportswear designer was receiving hospice care at Calvary Hospital at the time of her death, said her cousin Suzanne Horne and fashion publicist Sally Fisher in a joint interview.

Born in Brooklyn, Horn was an only child whose father worked in the home goods industry, and her elegant mother raised her to always look her best. She moved through multiple schools, including Calhoun School, Choate Her Rosemary Hall, Columbia University, Boston University, and Fashion Institute of Technology.

A lifelong Upper East Sider, she began designing junior sportswear at Bryant 9 before joining Benson & Partners and Outlander Sweater Co. 1974. The following year, Horn won the Coty Award for Designer of the Year. This is the predecessor of a similar award now called the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards. In 1983, Carol Horn Sportswear was introduced.

An avid traveler, Horne, who drew inspiration for her brightly colored designs from her travels around the world, especially enjoyed Asia, cousins ​​said. Instead of a designer mentor, Horn relied on travel as a waterfall of inspiration, according to Suzanne Horn, with Africa being one of her favorite destinations, as well as South and Central America. , there was also great interest in Guatemala. Horne flew to Italy’s Como and Florence for textiles, she introduced the caftan into her collection in the ’60s and, long before others, continued to appreciate the ease, practicality and utility of the caftan until the ’70s. I was aware of the comfort.

“I think she’ll be designing them today,” Fisher said, nodding to the silhouette’s longevity.

Former WWD fashion editor Bobby Queen recalled on Thursday that the rumpled gauze design Horn sourced from India made it particularly popular in the ’60s. The designer was integral to New York’s Fifth Avenue Henri Bendel, who at the time was a pioneer of multi-boutique specialty shopping. Saks Fifth Avenue was another of Horn’s important outlets. According to industry lore, Sachs buyers “tried to flatten the heavily puckered look before they knew the gauze was meant to wrinkle” the designer, Queen said.

Former manufacturer and now consultant Stuart Kreisler recalled on Thursday that there was an office and showroom next to the horn. “Her business was backed by Malcolm Starr, so she was very talented, and Gil Aimbes was her assistant, and she continued to be a great talent afterwards.” He had a real flair for sportswear.”

After retiring from fashion 25 years ago, Horn remained involved in the arts, working as a jewelry designer, painter and sculptor. At one point she worked with her Anthropologie to create a series of paintings for retailers and furniture. “She also made a chair, anything that has a canvas upholstered in it,” Fisher said.

Hawn was very much about living in the moment and enjoying life, and was not introspective about what the legacy she might leave behind. I think what I wanted was definitely her great style.But she really enjoyed life.She traveled all over the world.I don’t think there was a continent she didn’t travel. said Fisher. “She enjoyed horseback riding and the arts. She was always doing ballet.”

Known for being “always here”, Horn was a regular at Studio 54 and an acquaintance of Andy Warhol. The opening of La Coupole was one of her first of many nights she attended. The late fashion designer Giorgio Di her Santangelo was her dearest confidant, Calvin her Klein, Perry her Ellis and Cathy Hardwick were also friends. Horne, who was friendly with Irving Benson and his wife Diane, a maverick retailer, worked with them as well.

Her artistic inclinations and joie de vivre were evident in the colorful, vibrant textiles she used in Carol Horn Habitat and everywhere she designed. With her latest features, Hawn has embraced her big, teased hair of the ’50s, constantly changing hairstyles over the years while evolving with each passing decade.

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