Google Doodle Pays Tribute To Altina Schinasi- Designer Of Cat-Eye Glasses

Google Doodle Pays Tribute To Altina Schinasi- Designer Of Cat-Eye Glasses


New Delhi: Today’s Google Doodle pays tribute to Altina Schinasi, an influential American artist and designer. Schinasi is best known for creating the iconic Harlequin cat-eye glasses in the 1940s. Apart from that, she was also well-known for her work in textiles, ceramics, and jewellery. Talking about the cat-eye glassses, they were inspired by Venetian masquerade masks, and have large, almond-shaped frames with upturned tips, thereby becoming symbols of glamour and sophistication.

This special doodle has been done in honour of Schinasi’s 116th birth anniversary. With her visually striking and dynamic designs comprising vibrant colours, geometric patterns, and abstract forms, her work was influenced by a variety of sources, including Native American Art, African Art, and Modernist Art. 

About Altina Schinasi:

Born on August 4, 1907, Altina Schinasi was an American sculptor, filmmaker, entrepreneur, window dresser, designer and inventor. She honed her artistic abilities at The Art Students League in New York City, where she worked as a window dresser for various Fifth Avenue stores. She also collaborated with a number of well-known artists who assisted her in developing her artistic skills and becoming a better artist.

Harlequin Glasses Frame or The Cat-Eye Glasses:

Schinasi’s breakthrough came early in her career when she designed and marketed the Harlequin eyeglass frame, which defined glamour in the late 1930s. After being unimpressed by the lacklustre frames in an optician’s window, Altina set out to create a frame that conveyed whimsy, mystery, and romance.

Altina chose the Harlequin mask as her starting point and began cutting them into the frames she imagined. Schinasi then went on to open an office where she oversaw marketing and distribution after setting up production and negotiating deals with department stores. She later expanded her operation to the West Coast after relocating to California.

Schinasi received the Lord & Taylor Annual American Design Award in 1939 for her transforming eye-glasses into a fashionable accessory. Additionally, she was credited by Vogue and Life magazines for revolutionising the eyewear industry and aesthetic. 


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