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Glamour and Innovation: Karen Stark

Karen Stark was the lead designer under the design house of Harvey Berin, a dress manufacturer that stood on 7th Avenue in New York City for nearly fifty years. Along with Nettie Rosenstein, Karen Stark was one of the American designers that prospered after World War II, helping to dispel the myth that French fashion designers were the leaders in the industry.

Karen Stark

(January 24, 1906 - June 1, 2003)

Karen Stark was the lead designer under the design house of Harvey Berin, a dress manufacturer that stood on 7th Avenue in New York City for nearly fifty years. Along with Nettie Rosenstein, Karen Stark was one of the American designers that prospered after World War II, helping to dispel the myth that French fashion designers were the leaders in the industry. Stark’s designs for Harvey Berin featured flattering, feminine silhouettes with clean lines and sturdy materials. They were also less complicated and more functional than what French designers at the time created. First Lady Pat Nixon selected one of Stark’s designs for Harvey Berin for the 1969 Inaugural Ball following the election of her husband, President Richard M. Nixon. Mrs. Nixon would again wear one of their designs during the spring of 1970, leading Berin to label her chosen ensemble his “swan song,” and shortly thereafter closing his label.