Altina Schinasi deserves credit for whatever cat-eye sunglasses you may have worn in the past. The American sculptor, artist, and filmmaker is responsible for the creation of the classic Harlequin eyeglass frame, which rose to fame in the 1930s and still rules the market for women’s sunglasses. The Google Doodle for today honors Altina Schinasi, the creator of these frames.
On August 4, 1907, Altina Schinasi was born in Manhattan, New York. She would have turned 116 years old today. Schinasi started her work as a window dresser for numerous businesses on the renowned Fifth Avenue when she was a student of painting at The painting Students League in New York.
Schinasi got the chance to collaborate with Salvador Dali while serving as a window dresser since he was hired to create two Bonwit Teller windows.
Altina Schinasi was a prolific inventor who filed several patents throughout the course of her life, but the Harlequin eyeglass frame was her big break. The idea came to her as she was strolling down the street because she was unimpressed with the few, mostly round, eyeglass frame alternatives that were then offered to women. Schinasi created her own line of cat-eye frames in reaction to this.
For her creation, Schinasi won the Lord & Taylor American Design Award in 1939, and big publications like Vogue and Life also gave her praise.
The 116th birthday Google Doodle for Altina Schinasi honors her contribution to the field of women’s fashion. In lieu of the traditional Google logo, an image of orange cat-eye frames with the word “Google” inscribed within has been added.