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Claire Bodner

Despite having almost no training in either fashion or business, Claire Bodner ran a successful fashion design company that was featured in the top magazines and stores in the country. Bodner began working in the garment industry at age fourteen, first as a seamstress, then designing her own clothes and acting as a sales representative to department store buyers. In 1941 she created Ducaire Timely Separates, a company that made both day wear and high fashion for women, with innovations like elastic materials for form-fitting bodices. She oversaw every aspect of manufacturing, from fabric design through construction, and inspected every garment before it left her workshop. Her designs were featured in Vogue, Mademoiselle, and the New York Times, and sold at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. In 1949, she closed Ducaire and created a second company to sell ceramic table lamps. Forced to sell the business in 1957, she became a sales representative for H.G. Strong, Inc., a giftware company, where she helped develop the market for museum reproductions and African designs. After her retirement in 1967, Bodner became involved with B’nai B’rith Women and became president of the local chapter in 1973.

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Living in New York City during the years in which it was the center of American style, fashion designer Claire Bodner developed her signature styles, which became popular throughout the country.

Institution: Helene Tuchman

Date of Birth
1903
Place of Birth
Frysztak, Galicia
Date of Death
January 2, 1995

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Claire Bodner." (Viewed on October 2, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/bodner-claire>.

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