Born in a small town in 1907, a flame-haired teenaged Gladys Parker hightailed it to New York City to study illustration in the 1920s.
She was a quick study. Her “Flapper Fanny” and “Mopsy” comic strips embodied the verve and insouciance of the new generation.
But that was just the beginning. To kick off her career as a fashion designer, she threw herself an epic party at the Barbizon. Soon over 200 stores were clamoring for frocks she’d helpfully & cheekily named such things as “Anytime Annie” and “Checkered Career.”
Next stop? Hollywood! Joan Crawford and Hedy Lamar simply a-dored her designs. When she wasn’t on a movie set or at a fashion show, Gladys was tooling around town in a convertible Ferrari personalized with a Mopsy cartoon.
She died at 56 of cancer, but oh my goodness, what a life!
For the still curious: There’s a new book out about Gladys Parker by Trina Robbins & it’s a delight.