Jackie Rogers has died, the designer was 90 years old

She was a model in the 60s between Rome and Paris

Fashion designer Jackie Rogers has died of heart failure in a Manhattan hospital at the age of 90. A spokesman of yours announced it today to the ‘New York Times’. In the 60s in Italy she was a model for Roberto Capucci, Simonetta Colonna di Cesarò and Alberto Fabiani, also attempting a film career at Cinecittà with a small part in Federico Fellini’s film “8½”, but after the fatal meeting with Coco Chanel she became a stylist.

With his experience associating with the European and US elite, coupled with his eye for elegance and outrageous (if sometimes abrasive) personality, Rogers fueled a five-decade career as the go-to couturier for the stars of the cinema and worldliness, for whom he tailored suits.

Since the 1970s, Rogers had been targeting celebrities with her line of elegant clothing, which she sold in boutiques she has managed over the years in New York, Palm Beach and the Hamptons. Rogers began his career as a designer in the mid-1960s, tailoring stylish men’s sports jackets and pants—his clients also included Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman—at his Madison Avenue boutique.

In the mid-1970s he turned to women’s design. A fixture in Women’s Wear Daily, she was known for her elegantly sculpted tops, gowns and dresses, in flowing silk, satin or organza, often in electric pink, blue, yellow and other bold candy colours. Her designs, often made to order, didn’t come cheap—her dresses fetched upwards of $5,000—but they attracted clients such as Diana Ross, Salma Hayek, Patti LuPone, Barbara Walters, and Nicole Kidman.

A life in fashion, however, was never the goal Rogers, a glamorous brown-haired woman with a big personality and big ambitions, envisioned growing up in Brookline, Massachusetts. She wanted to be an actress or singer, and she used her work as a model since her late teens as a starting point. Her looks, her grit and her ability to charm movie stars, tycoons and aristocrats served her well when she moved to Rome and then Paris at the age of 28.

Rogers quickly inserted herself into the social fabric of European high society as if she had been born into it. She loved to tell stories of aperitifs with Federico Fellini, who gave her a small uncredited role in her 1963 masterpiece, “8½”, or laps in a Maserati with Gianni Agnelli. She said she did antiques with Andy Warhol, ate caviar in Monte Carlo with Aristotle Onassis and danced the night away with Peter O’Toole in Manhattan’s buzzing Ondine nightclub.

In 1960 he arrived in Rome, where he rented an apartment in Via Margutta, a historic street in the cultural life of the capital, and in the following years he secured small roles in films shot in Cinecittà. At that time, her main love interest was Prince Andrea Hercolani, a descendant of the Borghese family. Accompanying him on a trip to Paris, Rogers met a former Chanel model who offered to go through with the famous designer, who was looking for women to model for her fall collection. Chanel hired Rogers for $700 a week as its top model. Chanel referred to Rogers as her “American cowboy” because of her broad shoulders, which made her an ideal mannequin for draperies. “I was so fascinated by the way Chanel worked that I couldn’t stop looking at her,” Rogers wrote in “My Love Affair With Chanel,” a memoir she never finished and which the website New York Social Diary has released in 2020. “As I watched her work, Chanel would sometimes say to me, ‘Your eyes will fall out.'” She added, “Because she draped her creations over the models instead of drawing them, and I was the model, we became inseparable.”