Introducing yet another feature on my blog called, Sheroes, a term I like to use for my favorite female heroes. Every month I will feature a woman (living or dead) who's life and story I find aw-inspiring.
Because tuesday was Amelia Earhart Day, I thought she would be the perfect Sheroe to feature first. We all know her famous story. She was a noted American aviation pioneer and author. She set many records and wrote many best-selling books about her flying adventures. She was the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. During an attempt to make a round-the-world flight in 1937, she disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island.
Not only was her passion and accomplishments in aviation influential, but she also worked hard to encourage more women to do the same. She helped form The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots and joined the faculty of the world-famous Purdue University aviation department to counsel women on careers and help inspire others with her love for aviation. She was a member of the National Woman's Party, and also an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.
One thing that I was excited to learn about Amelia was that she was also one of the first American celebrities to endorse and market a women's fashion line! She learned to sew at a very young age and to finance her flying adventures she created, "Amelia Earhart Fashions" in 1934. Her line was sold at Macy's in New York and Marshall's in Chicago. I personally think it's amazing that she accomplished so much and as a female celebrity of the 1930's, was so good at creating an promoting her own brand.
She designed a women's flying suit for The Ninety-Nines and when she was off the runway she appeared in fashion spreads of Vogue Magazine and was also an editor of Cosmopolitan. She stayed actively involved in her fashion line and even created her line's samples using her own sewing machine and dress form with the help of a seamstress in New York.
Now, I have not seen the new movie, Amelia with Hillary Swank. I just added it to my netflix. I can't wait!
Amelia Earhart's Fashion Line: Found At Last By Mary Hall, Huffington Post, 2009
Flights of Fashion: How Amelia Earhart Became America's First Celebrity Designer By Gioia Diliberto, Huffington Post, 2009