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Stella Hanania aka Miss Stella, was the in-house couturier for I. Magnin in Los Angeles. Born in Beirut, Lebanon (sometime between 1907 – 1911, accounts differ), she learned to sew in Parisian convents then made her way to New York – where she worked under Bernard Newman, in Bergdorf-Goodman’s custom shop. When Newman relocated to Los Angeles to open the custom shop at I. Magnin, Ms. Hanania went as his assistant. Taking over the position as designer when Newman returned to New York in 1947, designer Stella Hanania, or ‘Miss Stella’ as she was known to loyal clients like Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland, put her mark on fashion with Los Angeles’ sophisticated and wealthy couture buying clientele. She designed capsule wardrobes made for individual clients, with their own tastes and comfort built in. Sophisticated, classic, superbly made clothing was her trademark. When she retired in 1977, the last remaining department store custom shop was closed. She passed away in 1987.

“Ready to wear is only 70 years old.” – Stella Hanania, 1976

Written by Dolls n Trolls