Anne Klein

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Anne Klein was an innovator, a passionate creator and visionary who helped define the American fashion landscape with her eponymous brand.
Born Dec 3, 1923 in Brooklyn
Died 1974 (age 50)
Other Names Hannah Golofski
Education Traphagen School of Fashion [1]]
Occupation Fashion designer, businesswoman
Known For
Spouse(s) Ben Klein (M.1942 -1958)

Chip Rubenstein (M.


  • The Brand
  • Early years
  • The Company (Today)
  • International Locations
  • Awards
  • References
  • External Links

The Brand

Hannah Golofski (Dec 3 1923 – XX, 1974), known professionally as Anne Klein, was an American fashion designer and businesswoman. She was the founder and designer of the brand Anne Klein.

Anne Klein was an innovator, a passionate creator and visionary who helped define the American fashion landscape with her eponymous brand. For over 50 years, Anne Klein has been synonymous with American sportswear.

In 1968, Anne Klein founded her namesake label, forever changing how women thought about and bought clothes. She was the first American designer to dress women in separates, offering them a range of jackets, tops and bottoms. In 1973, Anne competed in the Battle of Versailles, joining the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Bill Blass to put American fashion on the global map.

Over the years, a succession of designers have created clothing under the Anne Klein label, including Donna Karan, who began her career under Anne’s tutelage, Louis Dell’Olio and Isabel Toledo. The world of Anne Klein encompasses womenswear, accessories, footwear, watches, eyewear, jewelry, legwear, sleepwear and more.

Today, the brand is doing more than simply meeting women’s fashion needs; it is celebrating her whole life by providing her with elevated essentials destined to live at the front of her closet and is available in over sixty countries in collaboration with global partners. In 2018, the brand celebrated its 50th anniversary as a women’s lifestyle collection dedicated to timeless American classics.

Anne Klein believed getting dressed should start with smart, beautiful clothing that makes women feel good. in this increasingly busy world, we have become more dependent than ever on clothes that can work as hard as we do, making Anne Klein’s original design ethos more relevant than ever before. “We exist to change women’s lives so they can change the world” Anne Klein.

As of July, 2019 Anne Klein is an American privately held company owned by WHP Global who acquired the brand in July 2019 (news release


Born as Hannah Golofski in 1923, Anne Klein is a well-known fashion designer. While studying art at Girl’s Commercial High School, she discovered her talent for design and found a job in the garment making industry once she was done with high school. In a year’s time, she got employed at Varden Petites. There she re-launched the firm’s collection and introduced new trends and cuts of prêt-a-porter line plus an elegant clothing range, for young and slim women, known as Junior Miss.

Between 1937 and 1938, she studied at New York’s Traphagen School of Design to gain formal training in the field. With a background in arts, she did well in design school.

In the year 1948, she married Ben Klein, a manufacturer of clothes. Junior Sophisticates was a new company founded by her husband and there she confidently took the role of the head designer. Under her, the label saw good times and she transformed the variety of apparel available for small-sized women as herself. The label allowed such females to choose from an array of sophisticated styles; a choice they didn’t have before. Klein was the first after Coco Chanel to adapt the clothing styles of men into the way outfits were designed and produced for women. She used ideas from menswear, such as jackets, suits and shirts to style them with a feminine touch. In the 1950s, she launched a range of clothes known as separates. These blouses, slacks, skirts and jackets could be put together to make several different combinations.

In 1960, when Anne and Ben ended their relationship, Anne’s association with her ex-husband’s brand also came to an end. Three years after her separation, she married again and opened her personal studio of design. Her specialty was to redesign the failing apparel lines of other brands. Although Anne was no longer married to Ben, she continued to use his last name.

In 1968, she established her eponymous company as the co-owner and director. The label was opened in collaboration with Gunther Oppenheim, known as the guru of fashion. The next decade saw an expansion of her business, over 750 department stores and boutiques in America shelved Anne Klein’s creations.

In 1973, she was among the ten eminent designers from America and France to receive an invitation for a fashion show aimed to raise funds for the renovations of Versailles. At this time, she approached Tomio Taki of Takihyo and convinced him to become one of the company’s partner with a share of twenty-five percent. Unfortunately, a year after this honor, in 1974 when Anne was fifty, she died of breast cancer, but her company remained intact and remained as a strong label in the world. The largest stake in her company after Anne’s death belonged to Taki and he had an influential say in the business.

Without a doubt, Anne was one of the most admired sportswear fashion designers in the United States. The clothes she made were not only fashionable but practical and smart as well. After the designer passed away, her company was revived by Louis Dell’Olio and Donna Karan until 1985. In 2001, Charles Nalon was appointed to transform the image of Anne Klein & Co., as much more modern and hip. Two years later The Jones Group took over the label.

The Company Today

Anne Klein is an American privately held company owned by WHP Global who acquired the brand in July 2019. Today the brand sells a full lifestyle assortment from apparel, to footwear to watches to jewelry and is sold in 60 countries worldwide

Milestones / Timeline


1923 December 3 Hannah Golofski born in Brooklyn
1937 Anne wins a scholarship to attend the Traphagen School for Fashion Starts sketching on Seventh Ave professionally
1938 Anne works for Varden Petites Elevates Junior Clothing from frilly "little girl" looks to a more refined grown up design. At age of 15, Anne gets first job as a sketcher for dress firms on 7th Avenue
1940 Anne designs for Maurice Rentner First modern fashion line for young women
1940 Starts Junior Sophisticates with husband Ben Klein First modern fashion line for young women
1950 Anne is the first to introduce separates
1954 Wins Mademoiselle Merit Award
1954 Wins Coty American Fashion Critics Award First Win
1959 Wins Neiman-Marcus Fashion Leadership Award First Win - International recognition
1961 One of a select group to win an American Creativity Award
1963 Begins Anne Klein Studio at 57th Street
1964 Wins Lord & Taylor Award for independent thinking Award first given to Albert Einstein
1968 Forms Anne Klein & Company at 39th street
1968 "I could never design for a woman I couldn't understand. -- chic, casual, comfortable clothes with a classic core.”
1968 April 23 First showing of Anne Klein & Company "First total collection to be fully coordinated. It is a planned wardrobe of easy uncontrived clothes to wear from head to toe and day to night." WWD April 16, 1968
1969 Wins Neiman-Marcus Fashion Leadership Award First designer to be a repeat winner
1970 Launches first designer shop-in-shop, Anne Klein Corner in Saks Fifth Avenue
1970 Wins Coty American Fashion Critics Award First designer to be a repeat winner
1971 Named to the Coty Hall of Fame 8th Designer in 28 years
1973 Included as one of five designers invited to show at the legendary Battle of Versailles Only female designer - American designers go on to upstage leading French to shift the balance of fashion influence moving forward
1974 Anne Klein passes away Of Breast Cancer, known by few
1974 Donna Karan and Louis Dell’Olio take over Holiday 1974 Collection
2001 Anne Klein immortalized on the Fashion Walk of Fame on Seventh Avenue in NYC
2003 The Jones Group purchase Anne Klein
2014 Sycamore Group purchases The Jones Group


1923 Anne Klein born as Hannah Golofski in Brooklyn
Girls Commercial Highschool and won a scholarship to Traphagen School of Fashion
1938 At age of 15, Anne gets first job as a sketcher for dress firms on 7th Avenue
1942 Anne married Ben Klein

1954 Designs first collection for Junior Sophisticates, a company founded with husband Ben Klein
1954 COTY American Fashion Critics Award
1954 Mademoiselle Merit Award
1958 Anne divorced Ben
1959 Neiman Marcus Fashion Leadership Award
1961 American Creativity Award
1964 Lord & Taylor Award for Independent Thinking
1965 Designs collection for Mallory
1966 Opens Anne Klein Studio with second husband Chip Rubenstein. A lab where she fostered young designers, and which eventually became a licensing house.
1969 Neiman Marcus Fashion Leadership Award

1969 COTY Return Award – Anne Klein
1970 COTY American Fashion Critics Award

1971 Named to COTY Hall of Fame
1973 Battle of Versailles
1974 Anne passes away at the age of 50
1974 Donna Karan and Louis Dell ‘Olio take over design direction
1975 Chuck Howard and Peter Wrigley win COTY Menswear Award at Anne Klein Studio
1977 Donna Karan and Louis Dell ‘Olio win COTY award for Anne Klein

1985 Donna Karan leaves Anne Klein to begin her own women’s clothing line

1993 Louis Dell ‘Olio leaves Anne Klein
1993 Richard Tyler takes over design direction
1994 Patrick Robinson takes over design direction
1998 Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco takes over design direction

1999 Kasper ALS acquired Anne Klein
2001 Anne Klein immortalized on the Fashion Walk of Fame on Seventh Avenue in NYC
2001 Charles Nolan takes over design direction
2003 The Jones Group purchases Anne Klein
2003 Michael Smaldone takes over design direction

2006 Isabel Toledo takes over design direction

2008 Ted Kim takes over design directions
2014 Sycamore Group purchases The Jones Group
2016 New brand vision and direction launches
2017 launches
2019 WHP Acquires the brand in July 2019

Articles & Resources

Recognized as one of the groundbreaking designers to put American fashion on the map, Anne Klein wasn't just a designer, she was a champion of authentic style and empowered the way women dressed. 50 years later, her legacy continues to influence contemporary elegance and inspire the modern woman. Launched in the mid-sixties initially as a consulting design studio, Anne Klein used her skills and vision to help brands elevate their collections and built her reputation as an eminent designer and innovator of style. She eventually created her own label that started with sportswear and grew to include women’s separates, jewelry, and accessories. Within a few years of creating the Anne Klein Company, her brand was projected to profit in the millions. The secret to Anne Klein’s success? She understood what the American woman wanted. It was never about fads, but rather focusing on wearable pieces that were versatile and classic to the core. Authenticity without restraint. Anne Klein’s designs resonated deeply with the Harper’s BAZAAR woman, making a constant appearance on our pages and becoming a go-to brand for our editors over the years. Timeless, effortlessly stylish, and empowering, Anne Klein has and always will be a BAZAAR favorite.

This fall marks the 50th anniversary of Anne Klein. In honor of a half century of dressing woman and redefining American style, ShopBAZAAR partnered with the Anne Klein Company to feature a shoppable exhibit showcasing one-of-a-kind vintage pieces throughout the decades and invited industry leaders and entrepreneurs to discover her legacy and inspiring to create their own.
  1. Template:Traphagen School of Fashion