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American Designer Chester Weinberg-(1930 – 1985) Part I

Chester Weinberg attended Parsons School of Design and graduated in 1951. He returned regularly as a guest lecturer and visiting critic from 1955 until his death in 1985. He was also a professor at The Art Institute of Chicago. Although he was a highly regarded designer throughout the 1960s and the early 1970s, he is mostly remembered for being the first high profile fashion industry member to die of AIDS.

Weinberg worked for several prominent 7th Avenue design houses before opening his own in 1966 which he ran until 1975. After closing his design house, he went on to freelance for Ballantyne of Scotland designing knits, as well as designing for both Butterick and Vogue. Check those patterns!

Chester Weinberg and an Elegant Woman In 1978 he joined Calvin Klein as a consultant. By 1981, he had become the design director for Calvin Klein Jeans. Weinberg had been a great influence on Calvin Klein as a young designer and went on to recruit other designers who would go on to create the Calvin Klein Logo Shirts.

During his time as a lecturer at Parsons, Weinberg mentored several well-known designers such as Isaac Mizrahi, Marc Jacobs, and Donna Karan giving them a “leg up” on their competition.

He died at the age of 54. The first well-known fashion industry designer to die of AIDS. Although he was gay, he refused to acknowledge it. At the time of his death, he was no longer a household name and the fashion industry worked to erase him from history. There were many AIDS related deaths in the fashion industry following Chester Weinberg’s. Until 1990 when Halston announced that he was dying of the disease, all went unacknowledged.

Weinberg was all but forgotten except for a few mentions in Richard Martin’s 1995 Encyclopedic work Contemporary Fashion. Although the fashion industry wanted to sever their connection to Weinberg, Calvin


Klein did not. He placed a full-page ad in Women’s Wear Daily” providing the Chester A. Weinberg Memorial Scholarship Fund to Parsons. When the Aids Quilt was created, Weinberg was included in the panel commemorating Calvin Klein employees.


The Vintage Pattern Wikia Site has a Chester Weinberg Section for Vogue. Here is the Link

I have not found any Butterick Patterns by him....yet.

Part 2 will look at a Ready to Wear Chester Weinberg Dress from the 1970s and feature more of his patterns. Stay Tuned.


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Reisman, Jessica. "Weinberg, Chester".

  2. ^ Fischel, Jack R. (30 December 2008). Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-313-08734-9.

  3. ^ Jump up to:a b "The New School Archives : Collection : Chester Weinberg publicity scrapbook and sketch [KA004601]". Retrieved 31 December 2021.

  4. ^ Halbreich, Betty; Paley, Rebecca (4 September 2014). I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist. Penguin. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-101-63455-4.

  5. ^ Chrisman-Campbell, Kimberly (9 September 2014). "The Midi Skirt, Divider of Nations". The Atlantic.

  6. ^ Jump up to:a b McCrary, Crystal; Williams, Nathan Hale (1 March 2012). Inspiration: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World. Abrams. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-61312-344-7.

  7. ^ France, Louise (2 November 2008). "Black. Beautiful. Barely seen". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2021.

  8. ^ Jump up to:a b Marsh, Lisa (4 May 2004). The House of Klein: Fashion, Controversy, and a Business Obsession. John Wiley & Sons. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-471-47895-9.

  9. ^ Marsh, Lisa (4 May 2004). The House of Klein: Fashion, Controversy, and a Business Obsession. John Wiley & Sons. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-471-47895-9.

  10. ^ Manlow, Veronica (2009). Designing clothes : culture and organization of the fashion industry (1st pbk. ed.). New Brunswick, [N.J.]: Transaction Pub. p. 99. ISBN 9781412810555.

  11. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Chrisman-Campbell, Kimberly (24 April 2015). "The Day AIDS Hit the Fashion Industry". The Atlantic. Retrieved 31 December 2021.

  12. ^ Tikkanen, Amy. "Donna Karan, American designer". Britannica. Retrieved 31 December 2021.

  13. ^ Jump up to:a b Layne, Jodie (26 April 2015). "The Fight To End HIV/AIDS Stigma In Fashion". Bustle. Retrieved 31 December 2021.

14. ^

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Miembro desconocido
19 mar 2023

Fascinating information. Thank you for relating his story.

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