It all began in 1928 when 17 women, gathered by Edna Woolman Chase, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, met for lunch in a modest midtown New York restaurant.

They had three things in common: Each held a job of consequence in the business of fashion, each held all the others in high regard and together they held a belief that fashion needed a forum, a stage, or a force to express and enhance a widening awareness of the American fashion business and of women’s roles in that business.

The Fashion Group®, conceived at an informal luncheon in 1928 became an organization in 1930, with a place, a purpose, by-laws, officers and women eager to be members.

Their first office space was donated by Louis Fairchild in his Women’s Wear Daily building on East 12th Street. The second office space was at 572 Madison Avenue, donated by Harper’s Bazaar. Then in 1934, from the minutes of the Board meeting of October 18: Discussion as to how to meet the rent of the contemplated space in 30 Rockefeller Center included a Fashion Group party using talent within the membership lampooning fashion, to be known as The Fashion Follies™.Today, The Fashion Group® offers membership to both men and women.

Some of those Founding and Charter members were:

  • Elizabeth Arden
  • Margaret Case
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Helena Rubinstein
  • Julia Coburn
  • Lilly Dache
  • Jessica Daves
  • Nan Duskin
  • Edith Head
  • Eleanor LeMaire
  • Claire McCardell
  • Clare Potter
  • Virginia Pope
  • Dorothy Shaver
  • Adele Simpson
  • Carmel Snow
  • Miss Tobé



FGI Mission Statement

The FGI mission is to provide our member network with a forum for discussion and connection across all sectors through programming focused on the industry’s most current and crucial topics, recognition of emerging talent and trends at the zeitgeist of innovation. To open access to industry leaders by offering a platform of resources for business development and career advancement at all levels.  We believe that providing a forum for professional development and career advancement unleashes creativity, innovation and advances the business of fashion.

Goals of The Organization

To advance professionalism in fashion and its related lifestyle industries.

To provide a public forum for examination of important, contemporary issues in the business of fashion.

To present timely information regarding national and global trends that have an effect on the fashion industries.

To attain greater recognition of men’s and women’s achievements in business.

To encourage men and women to seek career opportunities in fashion and related industries.

To provide activities and programs which enhance networking skills and encourage interpersonal contacts so as to further the professional, social and personal development of members.

The Fashion Group Foundation

The mission of the Foundation is:

To promote educational programs devoted to fashion and to the study of fashion related businesses through the creation and awarding of scholarships; establishment of internship programs; provision of career counseling services.

Organization and sponsorship of seminars and other educational activities on a national and worldwide basis.

To sponsor public service activities in which the fashion industry works, to serve relevant community needs and concerns and to stimulate and encourage membership and industry participation in such public service activities.


The Fashion Group International, Inc. is headquartered in New York City.


Fashion Group’s greatest treasure is the Fashion History Slide Archives that are the largest and most comprehensive anywhere in our world.

Beginning with its charter members in 1930’s, with such women as Edna Woolman Chase, Dorothy Shaver, Claire McCardell, Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, Carmel Snow and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Fashion Group has preserved its own history and made this Archive, the most authentic to be found in our industry.

Its records had been preserved in the original office headquarters in Rockefeller Center. The legacy continued in its subsequent location, the landmark Scribner Building, and in its present location, where this huge collection of slides and historic documents is organized and catalogued in the Fashion Group Archive Room.

Because of the overwhelming number of files catalogued, The New York Public Library in New York City has acquired and catalogued most of the Archives, with the exception of the slides. They call it “the core of a Fashion Information Center serving the information needs of one of New York’s major industries.”

Found in their prestigious Special Collections, home for Rare Books and Manuscripts, are The Fashion Group’s printed materials and documents, collected over 6 decades, such as Newsletters and Trend Reports, transcripts of meetings, manuscripts, and original texts of reports and speeches by fashion industry leaders, social commentators, economists, writers, artists, political personalities and stars of the performing arts.

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New York Public Library