Abstract

In 1939, U.S. Vogue magazine dedicated its February issue to the promotion of the New York World's Fair, which would open in April 1939, giving significant editorial space to the subject of industrial design for the first time. The issue's leading fashion editorial feature, “Fashions of the Future,” invited nine industrial designers to dress the “woman of tomorrow.” The feature served as a promotional vehicle for the World's Fair and for the industrial designers who worked on it. Through a close examination of the issue's visual and textual content, this article explores the relationship between industrial design, fashion, consumption, and gender at a formative moment in the professionalization of design in the United States at the outbreak of the Second World War. It argues that fashion media served a discursive function in the elevation of the industrial designer's professional status, presenting a case for further consideration of the relationship between fashion and industrial design in the history of the design profession.

This content is only available as a PDF.