Polly Allen Mellen
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|Polly Allen Mellen|
|Occupation||Wardrobe stylist, fashion magazine editor|
Polly Allen Mellen has been a stylist and fashion editor for more than 60 years at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. From 1991 to 1999 she was the creative director of Allure. Mellen formally retired from Conde Nast Publications in 1994 and remains a consultant on various projects.
She was born on June 18, 1924 and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut, and attended Miss Porter's School. Mellen was married to Henry Wigglesworth Mellen from 1965 until his death in 2014. Before she started her career in design she worked as a nurse's aid in world war II.
Personal life and education
Mellen's career began as the protégé of Diana Vreeland. Her start in the fashion was with Lord& Taylor as a Salesgirl and a display designer. Under Vreeland's tutelage, Mellen became an editor at Harper's Bazaar, and later at American Vogue. In the course of her career, Mellen has collaborated with such photographers as Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, and Irving Penn. Richard Avedon said of her: "She was and still is the most creative sittings editor I ever worked with." Mellen has been known for her enthusiastic support of certain young designers both in the personal and business aspects of their lives. "She’s never lost her enthusiasm, in a field where everyone seems so jaded," says Isaac Mizrahi.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Holly Brubach, curator of the YOOX Vintage project, worked with Mellen at Vogue, beginning an ongoing conversation sparked by mutual curiosity and respect. In the start of the 80's, Debra Liguori worked as her assistant for 4 years when Mrs. Mellen was known as 'the best fashion editor' in the world. Everyone I know that ever assisted Ms. Mellen went on to do memorable things in fashion. She is like no other mentor i've ever had.