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Business News/ Technology / News/  Google Doodle honours Altina ‘Tina’ Schinasi; American artist, designer known for ‘cat-eye’ frames

Google Doodle honours Altina ‘Tina’ Schinasi; American artist, designer known for ‘cat-eye’ frames

Google Doodle celebrates Altina Schinasi, the American artist and inventor known for revolutionizing eyewear with her iconic cat-eye frame.

Google Doodle honours Altina 'Tina' Schinasi, American artist and designer known for her iconic 'cat-eye' eyeglass frames.Premium
Google Doodle honours Altina 'Tina' Schinasi, American artist and designer known for her iconic 'cat-eye' eyeglass frames.

Today's Google Doodle commemorates the life of Altina "Tina" Schinasi, a renowned American artist, designer, and inventor, known for revolutionising eyewear with her iconic Harlequin eyeglass frame,  widely recognised as the "cat-eye" frame. Born on August 4 in 1907 in Manhattan, New York, to immigrant parents, Schinasi's artistic journey began in Paris and culminated in her creative contributions to the world of fashion and film.

After completing her school education, Tina Schinasi pursued her passion for painting in Paris, where she developed a profound appreciation for the arts. Upon her return to the United States, she honed her skills further at The Art Students League in New York, all while working as a window dresser for several stores on Fifth Avenue. During this time, she had the opportunity to collaborate and learn from illustrious artists such as Salvador Dalí and George Grosz, which significantly influenced her artistic vision.

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'Cat-eye" eyeglass frames

The idea for her iconic "cat-eye" eyeglass frames took root during her tenure as a window display designer. Observing that women's eyeglasses were limited to round and mundane designs. Inspired by the distinctive shapes of Harlequin masks worn during Venice's Carnevale festival, she crafted pointed and stylish frames that accentuated the wearer's face. Her initial prototypes were made from paper, showcasing her innovative design. Nearly a century after its inception, Altina's visionary cat-eye design continues to influence fashion trends worldwide.

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However, the journey to success was not without its challenges. Major manufacturers initially rejected her bold design, deeming it too unconventional. Undeterred, Schinasi persisted and found a local shop owner who believed in her vision and offered an exclusive deal for six months. The Harlequin glasses quickly gained popularity, earning Schinasi widespread recognition. By the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s, the cat-eye frames became a fashion sensation among American women, with accolades pouring in, including the prestigious Lord & Taylor American Design Award in 1939, and features in renowned magazines like Vogue and Life.

Apart from her remarkable achievements in fashion, Schinasi also made a foray into the world of filmmaking. In 1960, she produced a documentary titled "George Grosz' Interregnum," centered around the celebrated artist and her former mentor, George Grosz. The documentary garnered an Academy Award nomination and secured the first-place position at the Venice Film Festival.

Even in her later years, Altina "Tina" Schinasi continued to leave an indelible mark on various fields. She penned her memoir, "The Road I Have Traveled" in 1995, sharing her extraordinary life experiences. Moreover, she volunteered as an art therapist and crafted unique portrait chairs and benches, aptly named Chairacters.

Altina's Google Doodle's reach spans regions of United States, Argentina, France, Ireland, and India.


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Published: 04 Aug 2023, 07:02 AM IST
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