Mary McFadden

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Mary McFadden (on the left) with Valerie Monroe Shakespeare, in 1999
Mary McFadden (on the left) with Valerie Monroe Shakespeare, in 1999.

Mary McFadden[1] (born October 1, 1938)[citation needed] is an American art collector, editor, fashion designer, and writer.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

McFadden was born in New York City, and spent her childhood on a cotton plantation outside Memphis, Tennessee.[4] When her father died, the family moved to Westbury, New York, and she was sent to the Foxcroft School from which she graduated.[5] She went on to attend Columbia University, the Ecole Lubec, the New School for Social Research, the Sorbonne, and the Traphagen School of Fashion (1956, Costume Design).[2][6][7]


She has lived on Park Avenue in Manhattan.[5][when?]

She was working as the director of public relations for Dior New York in the 1960s, when she married a merchant for De Beers diamonds (Philip Harari, who she later divorced; see Personal life section below) and relocated to South Africa.[8][9] From 1968 to 1970 she was an editor for South African Vogue, a job arranged for her by Diana Vreeland.[2]

In 1976 she began the clothing company Mary McFadden Inc.[10]

From 1982 to 1983 she was the President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.[11]

In 2012 she and her companion Murray Gell-Mann published the book Mary McFadden: A Lifetime of Design, Collecting, and Adventure.[3]

She has also licensed her name to many products such as eyewear, footwear, home furnishings, and sleepwear.[9]


Personal life[edit]

McFadden has claimed to be married at least eleven times, but declared that some of these marriages were "only spiritual".[9]

McFadden is known to have been married to, in chronological order:

  • Philip Harari (married 1964, divorced).[8] They were married in Bartholomew's Protestant Episcopal Church in New York City, and McFadden's attendants included Warhol star Baby Jane Holzer.[1]
  • Frank McEwen (married 1969, divorced 1970)[20]
  • Armin Schmidt (later divorced)[8]
  • Kohle Yohannan (married 1989, divorced 1992)[8]
  • Vasilos Calitsis (married 1996)[8]

McFadden has a daughter, Justine Harari, from her marriage to Philip Harari.[8][6]


  1. ^ a b Charlotte Curtis, "Mary McFadden Married to Philip Harari at St. Bartholomew's; Former Dior Aide is Wed to Director in De Beers Group", The New York Times, 26 September 1964
  2. ^ a b c José Blanco F.; Patricia Kay Hunt-Hurst; Heather Vaughan Lee; Mary Doering (23 November 2015). Clothing and Fashion: American Fashion from Head to Toe [4 volumes]: American Fashion from Head to Toe. ABC-CLIO. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-1-61069-310-3.
  3. ^ a b Mary McFadden; Murray Gell-Mann (2012). Mary McFadden: A Lifetime of Design, Collecting, and Adventure. Random House Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-8478-3656-7.
  4. ^ "Mary McFadden". LoveToKnow. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b Bennetts, Leslie (March 2, 1979). "Mary McFadden: Life of Her Own Design". New York Times. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Mary McFadden Is Married - The New York Times". 1989-06-25. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  7. ^ "Traphagen Alumni, The Traphagen School: Fostering American Fashion". Museum at FIT. Retrieved 2019-12-01.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Elizabeth Sleeman (2001). The International Who's Who of Women 2002. Psychology Press. pp. 348–. ISBN 978-1-85743-122-3.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Francesca Sterlacci; Joanne Arbuckle (30 June 2017). Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 319–. ISBN 978-1-4422-3909-8.
  10. ^ Francesca Sterlacci; Joanne Arbuckle (26 October 2009). The A to Z of the Fashion Industry. Scarecrow Press. pp. 157–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7046-8.
  11. ^ a b c d "NMWA Celebrates the work of American Fashion Designer Mary McFadden in Mary McFadden: Goddesses | National Museum of Women in the Arts". 2009-08-30. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  12. ^ a b Sharon G. Hoffman; Amanda M. Mott (2008). Moore College of Art & Design. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 23–. ISBN 978-0-7385-5659-8.
  13. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (1978-05-28). "Fashion Notes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  14. ^ "MARY MCFADDEN". Council of Fashion Designers of America. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Holly Price Alford; Anne Stegemeyer (25 September 2014). Who's Who in Fashion. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 259–. ISBN 978-1-60901-969-3.
  16. ^ "Moore College of Art & Design – Mary McFadden Receives Visionary Woman 2008". Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  17. ^ Fair, Vanity. "Introducing the International Best-Dressed List 2017 Hall of Fame". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  18. ^ "Ireland Calling, MCFADDEN – SCOTTISH SONS OF LITTLE PATRICK". Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  20. ^ New York Media, LLC (26 March 1990). New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. pp. 40–.

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