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Ellen Demorest

DEMOREST, Ellen, née Curtis, American dress designer and entrepreneur, 1824-1898. The inventor of cut-out dress patterns, she sold them with a magazine (which her husband published). Millions of patterns were distributed this way, but they had no patent so their idea was copied a lot. From 1860, they published ‘Madame Demorest’s Mirror of Fashions’, then bought out the ‘New York Illustrated News’. From 1864 their combined publication was called ‘Demorest’s Illustrated Monthly & Madame Demorest’s Mirror of Fashions’, it soon reached 60,000 circulation. By 1876 some 3 million patterns had been sold via the magazine, through the 1,500 agents. Ellen was eventually selling her patterns in Paris (she brought American fashion to Paris, what a novelty!).

Inventor of Cut-out Dress Patterns

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