Norman David Levinson.
Date of birth : April 20, 1900, Noblesville, Indiana.
Date of death : October 25, 1972, New York.
Occupation dress designer known for his elegant suits and tailored silhouettes.
The son of a haberdasher, from early childhood Norell had an ambition to become an artist.
After spending a short period at military school during World War I, he studied fashion design at the Pratt Institute.
He changed his name after moving to New York to study fashion illustration at the Parsons School of Design.
In 1922, he worked at the Astoria Studio, the Paramount New York studio where he designed clothes for Gloria Swanson and other stars of silent movies.In 1924, he worked as a costume designer on Broadway, making the costumes for the Ziegfeld Follies and the Cotton Club, as well as for the Brooks Costume Company and for wholesale dress manufacturer Charles Armour.
In 1928, he was hired by Hattie Carnegie and worked with her until 1941. During those years, he gained invaluable experience. While he was still working with Carnegie, he designed Gertude Lawrence's "modern clothes" for the first run of "Lady in the Dark".
Then he decided to work with Anthony Traina and the first Traina-Norell collection was launched in 1941.
As a result of the war, more attention was turned to American producers and Norell was to benefit greatly from the exposure.
By 1944, Norell had launched chemise dresses, evening dresses, fur coats, sequined evening sheaths, fur slacks and empire-line dresses.
Norell also taught at the Parsons School of design in New York, which he continued until 1972.By 1960, Traina retired, and Norell's name alone appeared on the label. Norell was well known for his classy simple wool dresses with a high round neckline, the sequined cocktail dress and various playful sailor motifs.
Today, he is considered by many in the world of fashion to be one of the foremost fashion designers in US history, having designed more than 20 distinctive styles, some of which influenced Parisian couture and became classics.
Norell was a founder and president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) the governing body of the American fashion industry.
The recipient of five Coty awards (1943, 1951, 1956, 1958, 1966), he was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame in 1956.
The house of Norman Norell has continued under the creative direction of Patrick Michael Hughes.
Link with Marilyn
Link with Marilyn
For her arrival in New York City where she lived from then on, and on Amy Greene's advices, Marilyn hired him to completely renew her wardrobe.With the help of John Moore, he made her beige muslin wedding gown for her wedding with Arthur Miller
He also made the white satin dress with thin straps for the party given for the setting up of the Marilyn Monroe
Productions, on January 7, 1955 ,