Research Programs: Public Scholars

Period of Performance

9/1/2020 - 5/31/2021

Funding Totals

$45,000.00 (approved)
$45,000.00 (awarded)

A Biography of American Fashion Designer Chester Weinberg (1930-1985)

FAIN: FZ-272181-20

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell
Unaffiliated independent scholar

Research and writing leading to a biography of American fashion designer Chester Weinberg (1930 – 1985).

This research constitutes the first scholarly study of the life and work of American fashion designer Chester Weinberg. A household name in the 1960s and 70s, Weinberg worked with seminal models, illustrators, photographers, and editors. He dressed socialites and celebrities in daring yet elegant clothes that remain collectible today. His radically minimalist homes and studios showcased his bold taste in contemporary art and interior design. Weinberg successfully overcame anti-Semitism and navigated changing social mores as well as changing hemlines, evolving from closeted homosexual to gay liberation activist. He embraced feminism, and he was among the first New York designers to employ African-American models. He established American sportswear as a serious rival to Parisian couture and trained many of today's leading designers. Personally and professionally, Weinberg embodied the evolution of Seventh Avenue. However, the stigma of his AIDS-related death has overshadowed his legacy.