Fashion Designer: Arnold Scaasi

AnroldScaasi was born in 1931 in Montreal, Canada. His original name was Isaacs, but he took Scaasi( which is Isaac spelled backwards) as an artistic pseudonym. His father was a furrier and moved to Australia with his whole family, when Arnold was still young.

After graduation, Scaasi returned to Canada to study fashion design. Several years after that he moved to the capital of fashion- Paris, it was the early 50’s. He enrolled in Cotnoir-Capponi School of design where he gained a lot of valuable knowledge. Not after very long he became an apprentice with PAQUIN. After that came another apprenticeship, this time in New York and for Charles James. Afterwards he freelanced for a bit for Lilly Dache who is a hat designer.

After producing a variety of clothes in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Scaasi began rethinking his objectives. He focused on dressmaking in the end; it was 1964 when he debuted with an eveningwear collection. He concentrated on details and workmanship in his designs and quickly attracted many of the 60’s youth that were obsessed with the idea of freedom

In 1958 Scaasi won the Coty Fashion Critics Award which was a big recognition of him and his work.
In 1969 drew a lot of media attention for his almost see-through dress for Barbara Streisand at the Oscars.

In 1989 the talented designer again gathered some massive attention for his blue velvet gown that Barbara Bush wore when her husband became president. This dress is now a relic and part of the Smithsonian Institution’s garment exhibition.

Scaasi has had two big exhibitions, one at Kent State University in 2002(“Scaasi, An American Icon”) and the second “Exuberant Fashion: A celebration of an American Couturer” by FIT New York again in 2002.
He also has a published book-“Women I have dressed (and undressed)”.

Photo Gallery (Designs and logo of Arnold Scaasi)

Click to enlarge pictures

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