Altina Schinasi, the 116-year-old inventor of cat-eye frames, is honored by Google with a Doodle.

Google marks the 116th birthday of American designer Altina Schinasi ‘Tina’, best known for creating the ‘cat-eye’ eyeglass frame.

For her 116th birthday on August 4, the Google search engine created a Doodle to honour American designer Altina Schinasi “Tina”, who is most recognized for creating the well-known “cat-eye” eyeglass frame. Born on this day in 1907 in Manhattan, New York, to immigrant parents, Schinasi pursued her love of painting as an artistic endeavor after graduating from high school in Paris. The streets of Manhattan served as Schinasi’s artistic launching pad.

Altina Schinasi, the 116-year-old inventor of cat-eye frames, is honored by Google with a Doodle.

 

Altina Schinasi  worked as a window dresser for numerous stores on Fifth Avenue while honing her artistic abilities at The Art Students League in New York City. During this period, she had the privilege of working with and learning from legendary artists such as Salvador Dali and George Grosz, whose influence played a pivotal role in shaping her creative vision.

When Altina Schinasi was working as a designer of window displays, she came up with the revolutionary concept for the “cat-eye” frame. She noticed that women’s options for spectacles were limited to spherical frames with boring shapes, so she set out to create a new and unique option for them.

She had the idea for eyeglasses with pointed ends that would draw attention to and enhance the wearer’s face since they were inspired by the seductive shape of Harlequin masks worn during the Carnevale celebration in Venice, Italy. Altina Schinasi persevered in her pursuit despite receiving numerous rejections from big manufacturers who thought her invention was too unorthodox, cutting paper prototypes of her revolutionary design.

Altina Schinasi, the 116-year-old inventor of cat-eye frames, is honored by Google with a Doodle.

 

Her breakthrough came when a nearby business owner saw the potential in her design and asked for a six-month exclusivity agreement. The Harlequin eyeglasses became popular among women in the US in the late 1930s and early 1940s as a fashion statement.

Due to her creation, Altina Schinasi received a great deal of praise, including the renowned Lord & Taylor American Design Award in 1939. Her impact to the fashion business was also acknowledged by reputable magazines like Vogue and Life.

She also started making movies, creating the captivating documentary “George Grosz’ Interregnum” on the renowned artist and former instructor George Grosz. It got a lot of praise, was nominated for an Academy Award, and won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1960.

Altina Schinasi kept pursuing new artistic endeavours as the years passed. In her senior year, she penned her book, “The Road I Have Traveled,” which provides readers with a glimpse inside her extraordinary life narrative. She also worked as a volunteer art therapist, applying her artistic skills to the benefit of others.

Altina Schinasi, the 116-year-old inventor of cat-eye frames, is honored by Google with a Doodle.

 

You should give credit to Altina Schinasi for whatever cat-eye sunglasses you may have worn in the past. The American sculptor, artist, and filmmaker is credited for creating the iconic Harlequin eyeglass frame that gained popularity in the 1930s. The market for women’s sunglasses is still dominated by harlequin frames, also referred to as cat-eye frames, because its appeal never really went away. Thus, the Google Doodle for today honors Altina Schinasi, the designer of these frames.

Manhattan, New York was the place of Altina Schinasi’s birth on August 4, 1907. Today would have been her 116th birthday. Born into an immigrant family—her mother was from Salonica and her father was a Sephardic Jewish Turk—Schinasi attended The Art Students League in New York to pursue her artistic education. She began working for various retailers on the renowned Fifth Avenue as a window dresser.

Salvador Dal was hired to create two windows for Bonwit Teller, and Schinasi had the chance to work with him as a window dresser.

Altina’s cat-eye design is still influencing global fashion accessory trends today, over a century after its invention. “”Happy birthday to the person who had many different kinds of visions!” According to Google’s blog article.

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