Strike a Pose: Cover Girl Creates the Model Actress

If there’s anything the fashion world can do well, it’s create hype. When Cover Girl was released on this day in 1944, moviegoers lined up to see big names Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth, but also to see a bevy of real-life magazine cover girls in their big screen debut. The film stars Hayworth as a leggy Brooklyn chorus girl named Rusty Parker who catches her big break as the winner of a magazine cover girl contest. The role could have been written for the up-and-coming actress, herself a former nightclub dancer from Brooklyn. Rusty is quickly inducted into the charmed life of “the next big thing,” but must choose between stardom and her true love, Danny McGuire (Kelly). If the plot sounds familiar, that’s because actually writing the script wasn’t high on the studio’s to-do list.

Cover Girl began as a marketing idea to appeal to readers of women’s magazines. The executives at Columbia Pictures figured they could generate publicity by showcasing America’s most popular models on film. The magazines jumped on board, held contests to elect their chosen cover girls and ran pages and pages of copy and advertising for the movie. In the end, 15 models from publications such as Vogue, Look, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and, oddly, Farm Journal are featured in the film’s title musical number. To boot, Read More »

Fabulous Fashion Birthdays for February 24

People in fashion born on February 24:

Patricia Zipprodt, American costume designer; 1925
Phil Knight, American co-founder and chairman of Nike; 1938
Carole Mallory, American actress, author and former model; 1942
Eva Shaw, Canadian model; 1989 Read More »

Fabulous Fashion Birthdays for February 18

People in fashion born on February 18:

Freddye Scarborough Henderson, American fashion merchandiser; 1917
Helen Gurley Brown, American fashion executive, former editor of Cosmopolitan; 1922
Paco Rabanne, Spanish fashion designer; 1934
Cybill Shepherd, American actress and former model; 1950 Read More »

Fabulous Fashion Birthdays for February 14

People in fashion born on February 14:

Andrea Dromm, American model and actress; 1941
Kevyn Aucoin, American make-up artist and photographer; 1962
Rie Rasmussen, Danish model, actress and photographer; 1978
Marie-Sophie, French model; 1963 Read More »

Fabulous Fashion Birthdays for February 7

People in fashion born on February 7:

Tadashi Yanai, Japanese fashion entrepreneur, founder of Fast Retailing and Uniqlo; 1949
Ashton Kutcher, American actor and former model; 1977
Eva Riccobono, Italian model; 1983
Alejandra Alonso, Spanish model; 1992 Read More »

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