Haskell, Miriam

(1899-c.1950)
   Born in Indiana to parents who were local merchants, Miriam Haskell later attended the University of Chicago for a brief period, made her way to New York City, and opened a gift shop in midtown Manhattan. Frank Hess, who began his career as a window dresser for Macy's, joined Haskell as a designer shortly after the opening of her shop. Each had their specific strengths: Hess as an artisan and Haskell with her keen sense of business. By the 1930s, Haskell had established herself in the industry as the owner of a costume jewelry company with a clientele of society women, movie stars, and royalty. Influenced by nature and incorporating exquisitely handmade beads from Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia, Haskell jewelry was built upon craftsmanship incorporating unusual metal findings and stamps. In the 1940s, Hess entered the military and Haskell continued to run the company. Due to her health, she sold the company in 1950 to her brother Joseph Haskell. The company took numerous turns over the next several decades and, in 1990, the owner for thirty-two years, Sanford Moss, sold the company to Frank Fialkoff. Today, the Haskell Company produces M. Haskell, Jewels of Haskell, Haskell, and several private label lines including the JLo line.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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