Nettie Rosenstein

Nettie Rosenstein created tailored looks that fit a variety of body types and brought ready-to-wear fashion like the little black dress to American consumers. Rosenstein got her start early, learning dressmaking in her parents’ dry goods store and her sister Pauline’s dress shop. In 1916 she created her own custom dressmaking business out of her home, and by 1921 employed fifty dressmakers in her midtown Manhattan dressmaking firm. Her dresses, which were carried in the finest department stores, were wildly popular even in the worst years of the Depression, grossing $1 million in 1937. What made them unique were their precise and flattering fits—each design was adapted on five different workroom models to represent different body types. While her dresses were up-market, the many knock-off copies of her designs meant that women of every income bracket wore dresses influenced by her aesthetic. Rosenstein was honored with a design award from Lord & Taylor in 1938 and the Coty Award in 1947.

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Designer, Entrepreneur

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Nettie Rosenstein." (Viewed on August 5, 2020) <>.


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