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Guide to the Edith d'Errecalde papers, circa 1940s-1981

Collection Overview


Kellen Design Archives

Collection Identifier



d'Errecalde, Edith


Edith d'Errecalde papers, circa 1940s-1981


0.4 linear ft: 1 box, 2 oversize folders


Edith d'Errecalde (1905-2002) worked for Mainbocher in the 1940s and started her own sportswear company, Maxmil, in 1951. Later d'Errecalde worked for Evan-Picone and as fashion director for Cohama (Cohn-Hall-Marx). The d'Errecalde papers consist of photographs, sketches, news clippings, advertisements, press kits, correspondence, and notes and manuscripts for articles and lectures. D'Errecalde was a critic and lecturer at Parsons School of Design in 1969-1970.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Edith d'Errecalde papers, KA.0023, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Biographical note

Fashion designer and journalist Edith d'Errecalde Hadamard (1905-2002) was a critic and lecturer at Parsons School of Design in 1969-1970. Born in Strasbourg, France, she studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris before immigrating to the United States in 1939. In the U.S., she worked briefly for Charles James, and in 1941 was hired by the celebrated designer, Mainbocher, who she assisted for eleven years. D'Errecalde was in charge of Mainbocher's workroom and directed many of the fittings. The Duchess of Windsor and actress Mary Martin were two of the firm's best known clients. D'Errecalde also created original designs under Mainbocher's name.

In 1951, d'Errecalde started her own sportswear company specializing in tweeds, incorporating as Maxmil two years later. Evan-Picone hired her in 1955 to develop skirt and blouse designs to supplement its line of pants. In 1959, she became fashion director for Cohama, a division of Cohn-Hall-Marx, one of the largest textile companies in the U.S. During her fifth year there, she revolutionized the world of sportswear by introducing clothing that made innovative use of stretch fabric. After leaving Cohama in 1974, d'Errecalde continued to work in fashion through the end of the decade, focusing on the creation of sweaters and dress patterns. She was also a journalist for GAP (Groupe Avant-Premiere), a French fashion journal in the 1970s.


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Scope and Contents of Collection

The Edith d'Errecalde papers include newspaper and magazine clippings, fashion design drawings and sample materials, photographs, reports, and manuscript and lecture notes. The papers document her career as a fashion director, freelance fashion designer, writer, and editor for various fashion publications. Of note is a 1973 event announcement for " Beep," the "first audio-visual fashion magazine," and a report on her trip to China in 1979. Although the trip was undertaken recreationally, it gave her an opportunity to observe garment production and Chinese clothing styles. The collection also includes sketches and publicity materials -- clippings, fashion photographs, and a poster -- for a public health nurse uniform.

The collection covers an expansive range of d'Errecalde's work and professional activities. However, it does not comprehensively document her work for a specific company, and there are no materials representing her work for Charles James. There are no materials in the collection regarding d'Errecalde's personal life.


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Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Kellen Design Archives - August 3, 2010

66 5th Ave./
lobby level
New York, NY, 10011

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Edith d'Errecalde papers, KA.0023, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated by Alice V. Seymour, 2003.

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects


  • Clippings (information artifacts).
  • Manuscripts.
  • Newspapers.
  • Photographs.
  • Sketches.


  • Fashion designers.


  • China -- Description and travel.
  • Fashion design.
  • Fashion merchandising.
  • Fashion writing.
  • Uniforms.
  • Women's clothing -- United States -- 20th century.

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Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the Edith d'Errecalde papers, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/KA0023.

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Collection Inventory

Clippings, 1950s-1980 
1 1
k_4 7
Cohama: "Color Story" [seasonal color plan], circa 1972-1973 
1 2
Cohama: Press and promotional materials, circa 1964-1973 

Includes event announcement for Beep, the "first audio-visual fashion magazine."

1 3
Correspondence, 1950s-1970s 
1 4
Evan-Picone, 1950s-1960s 

Contains promotional materials, clippings, and a press kit.

k_4 8
Fashion photographs, 1950s-1980s 

Includes uniforms and bathing suits. It is unclear who commissioned these designs.

1 5
Jay Thorpe, 1940s 
1 6
Knitwear designs, circa 1978-1981 

Women's apparel designed by d'Errecalde, including Polaroid photographs from the 1980s paired with knitted samples and clippings from how-to publications.

1 7
Mainbocher, circa 1949-1950s 

Clippings from Harper's Bazaar,  Vanity Fair,  Vogue, and various newspapers.

1 8
National Cotton Council "Maid of Cotton" promotion, 1954-1955, 1960 

Includes correspondence with Margot Herzog, fashion director of the National Cotton Council of America, as well as fashion photographs and press clippings about the 1954 Maid of Cotton fashion show.

1 9
Portraits, 1960s-1970s 
1 10
Public health nurse uniform: Photographs and offprint, 1940s 
1 11
Public health nurse uniform: Drawings and poster, 1940s 
k_4 3
k_OSxx-2 6
Writings 1960s-1970s 

Articles, reports, and lecture notes about fashion design, particularly pertaining to color and fabric.

Articles, circa 1969-1970s 
1 12
Fashion report for Fall 1978 
1 13
Fashion reports and list of New York retailers, 1970s 

Includes report on a trip to China in 1979.

1 14
Manuscripts and lecture notes, 1960s-1970s 

Includes writings on color and advances in fabric technology.

1 15

Collection Guide Last Updated: 02/28/2017

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