On August 4th, Google is celebrating the 116th birth anniversary of the renowned American designer, Altina “Tina” Schinas, who gained popularity for designing the iconic ‘cat-eye’ frames for glasses. Through their doodle, Google is commemorating her life’s journey and achievements. On this very day in 1907, Tina Schinas was born in Manhattan, New York, to immigrant parents.
Her artistic journey took her from the streets of Manhattan to the vibrant art scenes of Paris. After completing her high school education, she pursued her passion for painting, which eventually led her to create the distinctive ‘cat-eye’ frames for eyeglasses. Google shared this information through a blog post about Tina Schinas.
Tina’s innovative design of the ‘cat-eye’ frames revolutionized the eyewear industry, and her legacy continues to inspire designers and fashion enthusiasts worldwide. Today, we celebrate her creativity and contributions to the world of design, which have left an indelible mark on the world. Happy 116th Birthday, Tina Schinas!
During her career as a window display designer for various shops on Fifth Avenue, Tina Schinas honed her artistic skills at The Art Students League in New York City. It was during this time that she had the privilege of collaborating with and learning from artistic giants like Salvador Dali and George Grosz, whose influence played a crucial role in shaping her creative vision.
As a window display designer, Tina had a groundbreaking idea for the design of the ‘cat-eye’ frames for glasses. She noticed that women’s eyeglasses were limited to uninspiring round frames, so she set out to create a new and unique option for women.
Inspired by the intriguing shapes of Harlequin masks worn during the Carnival in Venice, Italy, she imagined frames with pointed edges that would enhance and accentuate the wearer’s face. Despite facing multiple rejections from major manufacturers for her innovative designs, Tina persisted in her quest, believing in her vision even when it seemed unconventional.
Through numerous paper prototypes of her avant-garde designs, Tina Schinas continued her exploration, defying traditional norms, and eventually made a significant impact on the eyewear industry. Her daring ‘cat-eye’ frames became a symbol of fashion-forward style and continue to inspire designers to this day.
Tina Schinas found success when a local shop owner recognized her design talent and requested a special arrangement to work with her for six months as a window dresser. Her Harlequin glasses quickly gained popularity, becoming a fashion sensation among women in America during the 1930s and 1940s.
Her invention brought her significant recognition, including the prestigious Lord & Taylor American Design Award in 1939. Renowned publications like Vogue and Life acknowledged her contributions to the world of fashion.
She even ventured into filmmaking, creating a mesmerizing documentary called “George Grosz’s Interregnum” about her former teacher, the famous artist George Grosz. The film received widespread acclaim, earned an Academy Award nomination, and won first place at the Venice Film Festival in 1960.
As the years passed, Tina continued to explore new artistic endeavors. In her later years, she penned her memoir, “The Road I Have Traveled,” offering a glimpse into her extraordinary life journey. She generously used her creative talent as an art therapist, helping others through her work.
Tina Schinas’ legacy is not just about her innovative designs but also her willingness to lend a helping hand to others using her artistic gifts. Her journey serves as an inspiration to many, reminding us that creativity knows no boundaries and can be a powerful force for good
Altina’s ‘cat-eye’ design is still making an impact on the global fashion accessory craze today, nearly 100 years after its invention. Happy birthday to the pioneering woman who, in many ways, was ahead of her time! This was stated by Google in a blog post.