Mary McFadden

Mary McFadden

Mary Josephine McFadden[1] (born October 1, 1938, New York City) is an American fashion designer and writer.



McFadden is the only daughter of Alexander Bloomfield McFadden, a cotton broker, and her mother was the former Mary Josephine Cutting, a socialite and concert pianist. Her father died in 1948, when he was killed in an avalanche while climbing in the Rocky Mountains. She is a descendant of Robert Fulton, the steamboat pioneer.

She has two brothers, George, who died in April 2008 after a plane he was on crashed into Toledo Bend Reservoir,Texas, and John McFadden, and two half-brothers, Watson B. and Wolcott R. Blair.

McFadden's stepfather is the investment banker Watson K. Blair.


After graduating from Greenvale and Foxcroft, McFadden studied at the École Lubec, 1955-56 and at the Sorbonne, 1956-57. She also studied fashion at the Traphagen School of Design in 1956 and sociology at Columbia University and at the New School for Social Research, New York, 1958-60. She also attended the Dante Alighieri Institute in Rome.


Her career included Director of Public Relations, Dior New York, 1962-64; merchandising editor, Vogue, South Africa, 1964-65; travel and political columnist, Rand Daily Mail, South Africa, 1965-68; founder, Vukutu sculpture workshop, Rhodesia, 1968-70 [2]; also freelance editor for My Fair Lady, Cape Town, and Vogue, Paris, 1968-70; special projects editor, American Vogue, New York, 1970; freelance fashion and jewelry designer, New York, from 1973; Marii pleated fabric patented, 1975; president, Mary McFadden Inc., from 1976; home furnishings line introduced, 1978; lower priced line manufactured by Jack Mulqueen, from 1980; Mary McFadden Knitwear Company, launched 1981; also costume designer for Indian film Zooni, 1993; launched Mary McFadden Studio, 1995; began designing neckwear, 1999; Mary McFadden Collection, debuted 2001.

Since then she has received many honors including the President's Fellows Award of the Rhode Island School of Design and has served as President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. McFadden's collections have been shown on runways in New York, Paris, Rome, Milan, and Tokyo. McFadden won a Coty Award in 1976 and entered the Coty Hall of Fame in 1979.

  • Exhibitions:A Passion for Fashion: The Mortimer Collection, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, 1993. Mary McFadden: Goddesses, Goldie Paley Gallery, Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, PA, 2008.

  • Awards: Coty American Fashion Critics award, 1976, 1978, 1979; Audemars Piquet Fashion award, 1976; Rex award, 1977; Moore College of Art award, Philadelphia, 1977; Pennsylvania Governor's award, 1977; Roscoe award, 1978; Presidential Fellows award, Rhode Island School of Design, 1979; Neiman Marcus award, 1979; Doctor of Fine Arts, Miami International Fine Arts College, 1984; American Printed Fabrics Council Tommy award, 1991; Visionary Woman Award, Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, 2008.

Personal life

McFadden has been married to:

  • Philip Victor Harari, a former British Army officer and a company director of De Beers, the South African diamond company. They married on 25 September 1964, at St. Bartholomew's Protestant Episcopal Church in New York City, and McFadden's attendants included Warhol star Baby Jane Holzer (divorced) [1]. The couple had one child, Justine, a photographer and film editor.
  • Francis Jack McEwen, OBE, the director of Rhodesia's National Gallery of Art, married January 1969 in Salisbury, Rhodesia (divorced, 1970)
  • Armin Schmidt, married 1981 (divorced)
  • Kohle Yohannan, married 1989 (born 1967, divorced 1992)

In 2007, McFadden's engagement to investment banker Marquette de Bary, (born 1918) was revealed by several newspapers.

In 2009, a person close to the family disclosed that McFadden is not engaged, but is dating Marquette de Bary.

External links



  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. ^ See biography of Joram Mariga
  3. ^ The Creative Eye


  • BooksMorris, Bernadine, and Barbara Walz, The Fashion Makers, NewYork, 1978.
  • Milbank, Caroline Rennolds, Couture: The Great Designers, NewYork, 1985.
  • Diamonstein, Barbaralee, Fashion: The Inside Story, New York,1985.
  • Milbank, Caroline Rennolds, New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style, New York, 1989
  • Stegemeyer, Anne, Who's Who in Fashion, Third Edition, New York,1996.
  • ArticlesTucker, Priscilla, "Mary Had a Little Dress," in the New York Daily News, 6 April 1980.
  • Foley, Bridget, "Mary McFadden: A New Type of Tycoon," in New York Apparel News, March 1983.
  • Rafferty, Diane, "Beyond Fashion," in Connoisseur (New York),October 1988.
  • Thurman, Judith, "Power Gives You an Aura, Says Mary McFadden," in Mirabella, September 1989.
  • Gross, Michael, "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary: The Life and Loves of Mary McFadden," in New York, 26 March 1990.
  • "The Designers Talk Passion, Whimsy and Picassos," in ARTnews (New York), September 1990.
  • Horyn, Cathy, "A Mary-Tale Romance," in the Washington Post, 9June 1991.
  • "New York: Mary McFadden," in WWD, 4 November 1994.
  • Friedman, Arthur, "McFadden Exits Seventh on Sixth…," in WWD, 21 March 1995.
  • "MMCF's New Society," in WWD, 25 July 1995.
  • "Mary McFadden Launches Better Special-Occasion Line," in WWD, 19 September 1995.
  • Monget, Karyn, "McFadden, Boutique Industries Renew Licensing Agreement," in WWD, 20 October 1997.
  • McKinney, Melonee, "Women's Designer Mary McFadden to DoFirst-Ever Neckwear Collection," in WWD, 19 March 1999.
  • "Joan Blumberger Olden Rejoins Mary McFadden," in WWD, 11August 2000.
  • Greenberg, Julee, "McFadden Expanding," in WWD, 5 September 2001.

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