Countess Alexander aka Jennie Minnasian, (b. 1914-) was born in Providence, RI.. She went to Paris at age 15, where she studied design and then apprenticed under Jean Patou.
She returned to America in 1939, due to the outbreak of WWII. She married her husband, Victor Alexander, in 1940. Reportedly, he was the son of a Turkish Pasha, a title equivalent to that of a European count, thus the name of the business, Countess Alexander.
She opened her business with one sewing machine in New York on the 4th floor of a non-elevator building on E. 47th St. It was difficult to persuade buyers to climb the stairs, but eventually, Countess Alexandra’s clothes were carried by more than 200 high-end specialty shops and department stores across the US, including Hattie Carnegie and Bergdorf Goodman.
By the late 1960s, Countess Alexander had 60 employees and turned out about 8,000 dresses a year. Prices for a Countess Alexander dress in 1969 ranged from $250 – $2000.
Written by coutureallure
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