Google Doodle Celebrates Altina Schinasi, The Visionary Behind Cat-Eye Glasses

Posted By: Shweta Khandal

Posted On: August 4, 2023

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Today, August 4th, Google is celebrating Altina Schinasi’s 116th birthday with a special logo on its homepage. Altina Schinasi was a brilliant designer who created the famous ‘cat-eye’ glasses that women still love to wear, even after almost 100 years.

The Google Doodle for today shows an artistic version of the Google logo with an orange cat-eye frame, and inside one of the lenses, you can see Schinasi’s face. She was born on this day in 1907 in New York.

Her parents were immigrants, with her father coming from Turkey and her mother from Salonica, which was part of the Ottoman Empire.

Altina Schinasi’s creativity and designs have left a lasting impact, and her legacy lives on through her iconic eyewear that has become a favourite for women all around the world.

After learning painting in Paris, Schinasi decided to focus on the arts. She went back to the US and continued her passion at The Art Students League in New York.

She began her career as a window dresser in Manhattan. During her journey, she got the chance to work with famous artists like Salvador Dalí.

The Google Doodle describes how Schinasi got the idea for her famous “cat-eye” frames while working as a window display designer. She noticed that women’s glasses only had plain round frames, and she wanted to offer something different.

Her inspiration came from the Harlequin masks she saw in Venice, Italy during the Carnevale festival, and she decided to mimic their shape for the glasses.

At first, Schinasi made paper versions of the cat-eye frames, but big eyewear companies didn’t like them because they were considered too “edgy.”

However, her son Terry Sanders shared that a local shop owner believed in her vision and agreed to manufacture the frames exclusively for six months. This was the start of the iconic cat-eye glasses that became a hit!

In the late 1930s, Harlequin glasses became extremely popular among women in the US. Altina Schinasi’s unique design earned her the prestigious Lord & Taylor American Design Award in 1939. Famous magazines like Vogue also featured her for her amazing innovation.

Even today, almost 100 years after she first created them, Altina’s cat-eye design still influences fashion trends all over the world, showing how timeless and special her glasses are.

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