Meet the Taintorettes

New Taintorette: Introducing Lillian Luis!

In May 2015, Deb Edwards and her brother David Luis were dining at the Blue Willow restaurant in Tucson, AZ when they decided to make a visit to the restaurant’s fabulous gift shop. They were in for a surprise. There, smiling back at them from a coin purse was their lovely mother Lillian! Lillian is the lady in red in one of my favorite all-time images. Though not a professional model, Lillian had been featured in a lifestyle article in a women’s magazine. Lillian was one of the first 25 WAVES to join the Navy in World War II, and … read more

Bill “The Giant” Grubb joins “The Taintorettes”

In 2004, the daughter of the late great Bill “The Giant” Grubb was casually browsing in a bookstore across the street from the New York Public Library when suddenly she saw her father, looking out from the past, grinning handsomely up at her from an Anne Taintor magnet. It had been a while since she’d seen an image of father modeling, but in his hay day, Bill was practically everywhere. Bill’s children were used to seeing their father in public places grinning, shaving, or handsomely looking at his watch. Known as ‘The Giant’ for his remarkable stature, Bill had a … read more

Jane Carlson

For a model, ten years in the business is impressive. A career that lasts 30 years is worthy of Guinness. “I had a great run,” says Jane Carlson, who looks as if she still could get modeling jobs. “I think I broke the record.” It was the classic restless-gal-goes-to-the-big-city tale: Jane was a 19-year-old student at the Massachusetts College of Art when someone suggested she try modeling in New York. She thought it would be a fun and lucrative summer job. Her parents thought otherwise. “I’d been asking my father to buy me a red convertible,” she says. “He said, … read more

Constance Joannes Dickman Brescia

Constance Joannes was 16 years old when she had her first meeting with legendary modeling agent John Robert Powers in 1938. Powers saw potential in the dark-haired girl, but told her to come back when she finished high school. (Good for him, recognizing that brains shouldn’t take a back seat to beauty!) Connie did just that, leaving her hometown of Woodridge, New Jersey, for New York City in 1940. “I went to work right then and there,” she says, “and worked continuously, modeling in print and television until I was in my mid-forties.” Those of a certain age might remember … read more

Henrietta Warrick Chase

Last year, Amber Doe joined the Anne Taintor team. The rest of us at ATI had chosen heads from current designs for our business cards. Amber asked if she could use an old picture of her grandmother. I loved Amber’s card so much I asked if her grandmother would agree to become a Taintorette. She said yes! Henrietta was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1925 to the late Edgar and Ethel Warrick, one of 11 siblings. Her lineage is the story of America. Henrietta’s maternal great-grandfather was the son of a Seminole Indian woman and a South Carolina plantation owner … read more

Sally Nickel Mein

Sally Nickel Mein was born on January 30, 1916, the first great grandchild of the California Cattle King, Henry Miller. A German emigrant, Henry Miller arrived in San Francisco in 1850 with $5 in his pocket. By trade a butcher, Henry soon began buying plots of land on which to fatten his cattle. Within 40 years he had become the largest private landowner in the United States, and by the time he died, nine months after his first great-granddaughter was born, he owned over one million acres of land. Sally was a tall and graceful girl. After graduating from Palo … read more

Susann Shaw

Susann Shaw arrived in New York City in 1937 at age 17 with no money and an eagerness to prove herself. She had been raised in boarding schools and, while she lacked the support of a family, she was intelligent and hard-working. She found a room at the YWCA and a job in a secretarial pool. She remembers the City then as being so bright and lively and clean. Susann’s fellow secretaries urged her to become a model; she assumed they were just trying to be nice to her! But on June 27, 1938, the very day Susann was married, … read more

Georgia Carroll & Katharine Aldridge

Carey Cameron was running a routine errand when she happened to see Georgia Carroll, a dear friend of her late mother, gazing out at her from a file folder with the warning “an attitude is a terrible thing to waste”.  Because Ms. Carroll’s daughter, Amanda Kyser (who is a good friend of Carey’s), was expected to be staying in Carey’s apartment while Carey herself was away on a brief trip, Carey purchased all the sets of file folders in the store (2) and propped them on the pillow of the guest bed.  Amanda, who was delighted with the gift left … read more

Milo Gray

Milo Gray ~ in her own words: “The picture that Corby, my grandson, found on packages of Anne Taintor cocktail napkins was originally photographed in 1937, almost 70 years ago.  The strangest part is that my grandson, walking around a gift shop in Litchfield, CT, found the reproduction on cocktail napkins in 2006!! In those days – 70 years ago – certain debutantes were photographed for charity balls and other events.  And these “debs” became amateur celebrities whom the public loved to read about.  Big advertising companies would often try to “bribe” a debutante to promote their product. So Reynolds … read more

Joan Walsh

While shopping at Paper Source in San Jose, Calif., Terry Clavelli saw her mother’s face peering out innocently from our She could see no good reason to act her age notecard.  Terry had never seen that particular photo, or her mother’s hair done that way, but she immediately recognized her mother’s expression and beautiful doe eyes. Her mother, Joan Walsh, passed away in 1990, much too young at the age of 65.  Terry says, “She was a wonderful, devoted mom, and ironically always acted her age.”  Terry’s own daughters were just 3 and 7 years old at the time, “and … read more

Barbara Luff McCraine

It was 1944 and beautiful Barbara Luff was working her way through New Jersey College for Women (now Douglas, Rutgers), when she posed for this photo. The strong features and expressive eyes (not to mention the killer body) that made her a top Powers model in the mid-forties, also makes her one of my all-time favorite ‘bad girls’. After four years of gracing the covers and fashion spreads of Glamour, Seventeen, Vogue, and more, Barbara (now Mrs. Barbara Luff McCraine) graduated and left her glamorous modeling career to become a caseworker for New Jersey’s children’s services. Eventually she retired from … read more

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