Snow, Carmel White

(1887-1961)
   Born Carmel White in Dublin, she was raised along with her six siblings by her widowed mother who eventually moved the family to New York. It was her mother's job at an upscale store, TM & JM Fox, that inspired Car-mel to pursue a career in fashion. In 1921, while accompanying her mother on a buying trip to Paris, she was introduced to Edna Woll-man Chase, the editor of Vogue, who offered her a job as assistant fashion editor. At age thirty-four, Snow joined Vogue, where she remained for eleven years, during which time she married George Palen Snow. In 1934, Snow defected to arch rival Harper's Bazaar and within a few months was promoted to editor-in-chief, where she made sweeping changes and built her reputation as "a little Irish firecracker." Snow is credited with revolutionizing fashion magazines and made stars of Parisian designers Cristobal Balen-ciaga, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and fashion photographers Cecil Beaton, Edward Steichen, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, and Richard Avedon. She also promoted the work of American designers, especially Bonnie Cashin. In addition, Snow was responsible for hiring Diana Vreeland as a fashion editor. Snow's reputation for being impeccably groomed (she always wore a hat) and consistently named to the International Best-Dressed List is coupled with her reputation as a "brilliant, alcoholic, mother superior." Snow was ultimately fired from Bazaar in 1958 after twenty-five years of service when an embarrassing public incident occurred, owing to her alcoholism. Anecdotes surrounding the life and times of Carmel Snow were documented in a book, A Dash of Daring: Carmel Snow and Her Life in Fashion, Art and Letters, by Penelope Rowlands.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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