Omar Kiam in 1937
July 19, 1894
March 28, 1954 (aged 59)|
New York City, U.S.
|Occupation||Costume designer; fashion designer|
|Awards||Neiman Marcus Fashion Award, 1941; Coty Award, 1946|
Omar Kiam (1894-1954) was an American fashion designer and costume designer.
Born Alexander Kiam in Monterrey, Mexico, to Texan parents, Kiam picked up the nickname Omar at Riverview Preparatory School in Poughkeepsie, New York. He later went to the Poughkeepsie Military Academy in New York. His first job as a designer was producing caps for babies for a department store in Houston. Kiam chose to retain his nickname professionally, as he appreciated the link to Omar Khayyám.
Following a stint in Paris as a student, Kiam returned to the United States and opened his studio in New York City, where he produced work for Broadway theatre. Among the theatre productions he costumed were Dinner at Eight, the Robert E. Sherwood play Reunion in Vienna, and the Edward Sheldon and Margaret Ayer Barnes play Dishonored Lady. In 1933 he moved to Hollywood, where he headed the film costume design departments for Sam Goldwyn Productions and United Artists. Before leaving Hollywood in 1939, Kiam also worked for David O. Selznick and Hal Roach.
- A Star is Born
- The Adventures of Marco Polo
- Barbary Coast
- Beloved Enemy
- The Call of the Wild
- Cardinal Richelieu
- Come and Get It
- The Cowboy and the Lady
- The Dark Angel
- Dead End
- Folies Bergère de Paris
- The Gay Desperado
- The Goldwyn Follies
- The Hurricane
- Kid Millions
- Les Misérables
- The Mighty Barnum
- One Rainy Afternoon
- Pick a Star
- Stella Dallas
- Strike Me Pink
- These Three
- Topper Takes a Trip
- We Live Again
- The Wedding Night
- Woman Chases Man
- Wuthering Heights
- The Young in Heart
After leaving Hollywood, in 1941 Kiam became head designer for the Ben Reig fashion label, a company founded in 1929. Also designing costume jewelry for them from 1948, he worked there until his death in 1954.
Kiam died 28 March 1954 at the Ritz Tower Hotel in New York.
- Mara, Margaret (19 July 1946). "Omar Kiam, Former MGM Designer, gets Fashion Award". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 9. Retrieved 13 March 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bailey, Margaret J. (1988). Those glorious glamour years : Classic Hollywood costume design of the 1930's. London: Columbus. ISBN 9780862878832.
- Room, Adrian (2010). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins (5th ed.). Jefferson: McFarland & Co., Publishers. p. 261. ISBN 9780786457632.
- Leese, Elizabeth (1991). Costume design in the movies an illustrated guide to the work of 157 great designers. New York: Dover Publications. p. 66. ISBN 9780486134291.
- Staff writer. "Omar Kiam Filmography". BFI. British Film Institute. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- Staff writer (31 March 1934). "Omar Kiam to Design Garbs for Film Stars". The Waco News-Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved 13 March 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Staff writer. "Ben Reig". Vintage Fashion Guild Label Resource. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- Woo, Elaine (28 June 2007). "Liz Claiborne, 78; clothes designer for career women built vast fashion empire". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- Staff writer (30 March 1954). "Dress Designer Dies". The Evening Independent. Associated Press. Retrieved 13 March 2015 – via Newspapers.com.