V is for Vera Maxwell


    Vera Maxwell was born Vera Huppe on April 22, 1903 in New York City.
    She trained as a ballet dancer and joined the Metropolitan Ballet as a teenager.
    For a while she worked as a model modeling clothes for a wholesale comapany.
    Around this time is when she began sketching, designing, sewing and modeling her own clothing.
    In the 1930's she designed items such as the "weekend wardrobe" and the collarless tweed "Einstein" jacket.
    During World War II, when most European fashions were not available in the U.S., Maxwell along with other designers began producing stylish clothes that observed the various different wartime restrictions.
    She utilized basic fabrics to produce feminized versions of men's clothing such as jackets based on lumberjack shirts.
    Maxwell opened her own business in 1947.
    Starting in the early 1970's she began using Ultrasuede in her designs.
    1974 marked the year that she created the "Speed Suit" a dress that had an elastic waistband that could be pulled on in just 17 seconds.
    She closed her business in 1985.
    Vera Maxwell died in 1995.
    *The photograph pictured above is of a travel ensemble designed by Maxwell in 1948 that is in the collection of the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1950's green wool suit.
Measurements are 42" Chest, 29" Waist and 40" Hips
You can purchase this suit for $32- over at Violetville Vintage

1970's periwinkle blue ultra suede dress with burgundy tie belt.
Measurements are 38" Chest and 30-32" Waist
You can purchase this dress for $65- over at Ballyhoo Vintage Clothing

1970's black "Speed Suit" with floral print skirt.
Measurements are 28-37" Chest, 25-34" Waist and 41" Hips
You can "Buy It Now" for $74.99 over at Encore Vintage on eBay



A real "House of Elliot." What beautiful clothes.


-I have never seen House of Elliot- but, I Googled it and it looks like it is a wonderful series! -Lulu


I LOVE your designer profiles!! I had my fingers crossed that you would choose "Vera Neumann" for 'V'... oh well! Do you have any info on her? Would love to hear anything you know!! Thanks again for your Great Blog!!

I am glad that you have been enjoying my designer profiles. Tomorrow I am writing about Vera Neumann especially for you! -Lulu

Melissa E.

My family had a Woman's Clothing store in upstate NY for from 1939 to 1989. Vera Maxwell was one of the best selling designers they had. In 1972 I went to meet Vera Maxwell, while buying my truseau. Vera had recently made large scaves that had a crayon drawing made by Princess Caroline of Monaco on each. Vera kindly gave one of those scarves as a wedding gift. I am wearing it today and everyone asks about it. She was quite a character and I miss the quality of her clothes.

Melissa, Thank you so much for sharing your memories of this prolific designer! -Lulu

Isabel Maxwell

Hello Lulu,

Vera Maxwell was my great-grandmother. I just wanted to extend my gratitude to you for keeping her name and the magnificient clothing she made alive. Grandma Vera was an amazing woman and this profile and the pictures you've posted definitely do her justice.

Melissa, I'm so happy to hear about the positive experience you had meeting my great-grandmother, and what a cool story about the scarf! :)

peace and blessings to you all,
Isabel Maxwell

I am glad that you found my blog post about your grandmother! She created such wonderful clothing!
Thank you for leaving your comment!

The comments to this entry are closed.