American sportswear and knitwear designer
Born: New York City, 12 June 1936. Education: Columbia University, New York, and Boston University, Boston, MA. Career: Began designing sportswear for juniors, Bryant 9; designer, Benson & Partners and Outlander Sweater Company, 1968; designer/director, Carol Horn line for Malcolm Starr International; established her own company, Carol Horn's Habitat, 1974; launched Carol Horn Sportswear, 1983. Awards: Coty award, 1975; May Company award for Best Designer of the Year, 1976; Neiman Marcus Best Designer of the Year, 1977; Macy's Best Taste award, 1983; Knitwear Association's Knitwear Designer award, 1984. Address: 215 West 40th Street, New York, New York 10018, USA.
Stegemeyer, Anne, Who's Who in Fashion, Third Edition, New York, 1996.
"Carol Horn Back in April with Lowered Price Tags," in WWD, 28February 1983.
"Fall on SA Still in a Fashion Fog," in WWD, 21 April 1983.
Lockwood, Lisa, "Carol Horn Exclusive Set for Limited," in WWD, 14 February 1986.
——, "Christine Thomson Signs Up for a Flagship Line," in WWD, 19 February 1986.
Hartlein, Robert, "Carol Horn Reorganizes Firm," in WWD, 12October 1987.
——, "Horn Won't Ship Spring, Zeroing in on Backer," in WWD, 9December 1987.
Chua, Lawrence, "Carol Horn Enters Licensed Leather Pact (with Marquette Ltd.)," in WWD, 6 April 1988.
White, Constance C. R., "Carol Horn's New American Indian Bent," in WWD, 12 July 1989.
Friedman, Arthur, "Carol Horn Comes to Saril," in WWD, 11 September 1990.
"Carol Horn's Kids," in WWD, 6 May 1991.
"Seventh Avenue Continues March into Kids," in Children's Business, June 1991.
Lockwood, Lisa, "Carol Horn's Comeback Collection," in WWD, 29September 1993.***
Bringing cultures and traditions of the past and present into her designs, Carol Horn uniquely creates a style that is both stylish and comfortable. She was the first to implement the essence of the 1960s, with collections of separates that carried over from season to season. Further, Horn blended such disparate looks as British nomad and the ultra structured lines of formal Japanese attire into her collections. Her fringed suede clothing, inspired by the Micmac Indians of Massachusetts, led to a 21-piece collection called Carol Horn's American Indian Collectibles.
To create fashionable designs from various cultures and traditions, Horn has used travel as a source of inspiration throughout her career. She made her first trip to India in 1969, in collaboration with the Indian Government's Department of Handicrafts. While on her trip, she examined and admired the gauzy sheer fabrics, in bright and vibrant colors, made and worn by the country's people. The clothing made an everlasting impression on Horn, which in turn led to what became her signature style. In addition to the color combinations of the Indian fabric, Horn also found the simplicity, function, and comfort of the clothing of lasting value and encouraging to her designs. After her India trip, Horn traveled extensively to find inspiration for her designs, including visits through Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Far East.
Newer collections featured knitwear created from multidyed yarns in rich colors, with each garment meticulously produced on a handloom. Her designs are never mass produced, and are all one of kind originals. Horn's knitwear line is just a small part of her business, however, her sweaters, leathers, fake furs, and sportswear have also well received by critics and customers. A recent sportswear collection, developed exclusively for The Limited's flagship store on Madison Avenue, was a great success.
Never leaving any target group ignored, Horn developed an interest in children's clothes in the beginning of the 1990s. The new line offered girls' sportswear in sizes 4 to 14. The designs were body-conscious and paralleled Horn's popular sportswear collections for women. Styles were offered in velour and stretch Lycra and featured several themes, including a harlequin or houndstooth prints, and ribbed velour.
Carol Horn's style of function and comfort, in vibrant mostly natural fabrics, is the key to her success as a fashion designer. She knows her customers want clothing that is both fashionable and simple, and she creates moderately priced collections to meet these needs. The traditions and cultures that her designs mimic are creatively integrated, producing unique, noticeable, and stylish designs.
—Kimbally A. Medeiros