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Designer HistoryNorman Norell was born Norman David Levinson in Noblesville, Indiana, in 1900. He studied illustration at the Parsons School of Design before attending New York’s Pratt Institute for fashion design. By 1922 he was hired by Paramount and was producing costumes for silent films and eventually Broadway productions. His work continued under Hattie Carnegie, and he eventually became an instructor at the Parsons School of Design. He was famous for his interpretations of French couture, which he transformed into ready-to-wear pieces for the United States, and for his stylish furs, sequin creations, and his chemise, evening, empire-waist, and sheath dresses. Norell won five Coty Fashion Awards and was inducted into their hall of fame.
His signature perfume was one of the first designer fragrances. Launched in 1968, the perfume is a mature floral blend with notes of vanilla, moss, and myrrh. It’s recommended for casual and daytime wear.
After his death in 1972, his line was taken over by Gustave Tassell, only to close in 1976. It was then re-launched by Parsons graduate Patrick Michael Hughes in the spring of 2004, after being inactive almost 30 years.