Fashion designer Jackie Rogers, who had a Palm Beach shop, dies
Fashion designer Jackie Rogers, who had shops on Worth Avenue and in Manhattan, died Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. She was 90.
"She was an icon," said Sherry Frankel, a director of the Worth Avenue Association. "She was 90 years old in the fashion industry. … She was an inspiration.''
She was a muse of Coco Chanel and dressed such celebrities as Lee Radziwill, Barbara Walters, Christine Baranski, Condoleezza Rice, Courtney Love, Nicole Kidman, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman and Sammy Davis Jr., according to Women's Wear Daily and her biography on Jackierogers.com.
When a photo of Radziwill wearing a white organza Jackie Rogers blouse appeared on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily in 1982, Rogers' star rose quickly, according to a 2014 article in the Daily News.
"She was a really good designer," said Maureen O'Sullivan, a former fashion editor for the Palm Beach Daily News. "She had a very distinct style," which was described as clean and full of color.
Ms. Rogers was born in Feb. 24, 1932, in Brookline, Massachusetts, to a father who was a professional gambler and a mother who designed hats for the Chic Gown Shop. Rogers started designing her own clothes at age 14, and her modeling career started two years later with a $55-per-week summer job at Priscilla’s of Boston, the Women's Wear Daily obit stated.
“My clothes are always simple,” Ms. Rogers said in a 2017 Daily News interview to mark her brand's 40th year. “I take away, rather than add. More and more women are finding they don’t want their clothes wearing them.”
She lived in Rome and Paris and appeared in Federico Fellini’s classic film “8 1/2.” In Paris, she was hired by Coco Chanel as a model, working with the famed designer for two years. She often described Chanel as her mentor.
In a 2014 article for the Daily News, she described how she met Chanel in 1962.
“Before I got to the party, I went to have my hair done at Alexandre de Paris, where anybody who is anyone goes. There was a girl there getting her hair done. She inquired, ‘Are you a model?’ as Chanel was looking for models. So I went over to see Coco Chanel, and there she was, looking down the spiral staircase at me reflecting through all those mirrors. She has a pair of her uniform scissors around her neck and a cigarette dangling from her lips — always dangling from her lips. She looked me up and down and declared, ‘She’s gorgeous. Look at those shoulders!’” Chanel asked Rogers: “When can you start?”
She also worked as a showgirl and stockbroker and was the owner of a Madison Avenue barber shop whose clients included Nicholson, Hoffman and Al Pacino. Following that success, she began designing men's clothing.
"Jackie was a pretty amazing character with an incredible history as a barber in New York, a muse of Coco Chanel and a booming baritone that commanded attention among her well-heeled clients in Manhattan and Palm Beach," said Robert Janjigian, a former Daily News fashion editor.
Rogers opened her Palm Beach salon in the ’70s; she left the Avenue in 2021, Women's Wear Daily stated. She had shops in the Esplanade, Via Gucci and Via Mizner, said Frankel and O'Sullivan. She had a salon on Lexington Avenue in New York in the 2000s, as well as shops in East Hampton and Southampton.
"Jackie was like the comeback kid," said friend and client Annette Tapert. "She had many incarnations as a designer.
"She kept reinventing herself.''
Model Donna Preudhomme, who worked with Rogers for years, said Rogers was hospitalized in November but was "adamant that she be discharged" because she had to get her atelier to design her collections.
"Jackie was strong-willed and 'unfiltered,'" she said. "She would say exactly what was on her mind. She had a strong sense of style and would let you know immediately if she did not approve of the way you looked.''
Rogers also attended the University of Miami, and in 1952 was married to Alan Balter.
Funeral services are slated to be held Thursday at Sharon Gardens in Valhalla, New York. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Rogers’ name to one’s local ASPCA.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Daily News: Jackie Rogers had locations in Palm Beach and New York