Google Honors Altina ‘Tina’ Schinasi’s 116, the Visionary Creator of the ‘Cat-Eye’ Glasses Frame

Google will celebrate Altina ‘Tina’ Schinasi’s 116th birthday on August 4th. She is a celebrated American designer. She is well known for creating the ‘cat-eye’ frame, an iconic design. Born in Manhattan, New York, in 1907, Schinasi’s artistic odyssey took her from the city’s streets to Paris’s thriving art scene after she graduated from high school. Her remarkable life story is highlighted in Google’s Doodle blog article.

From Streets of Manhattan to Paris Art Scenes:Altina ‘Tina’ Schinasi’s Creative Journey

As part of her journey, Schinasi worked as a window dresser on Fifth Avenue before honed her artistic abilities at the Art Students League in New York City. She developed her artistic vision by working with legendary artists like George Grosz and Salvador Dali. Her artistic vision was greatly influenced by their influences.

The Revolutionary ‘Cat-Eye’ Concept: Tina’s Breakthrough in Frame Design

Schinasi developed a ground-breaking concept for the ‘cat-eye’ glasses frame while working as a window display designer. She came up with a novel and distinctive choice for women after realizing that their options for glasses were limited to boring spherical frames.


Schinasi imagined eyeglasses with sharp edges that would draw attention to the wearer’s face and give them a beautiful appearance. He was inspired by the alluring shapes of the Harlequin masks worn during the Venice Carnival. She persevered in the face of numerous rejections from significant manufacturers because she believed in the originality of her design.

Shaping Fashion Sensation: Harlequin Glasses in the 1930s and 1940s

Her breakthrough occurred when a nearby store owner acknowledged the talent of her designs and asked for a unique arrangement for six months. During the 1930s and 1940s, the popularity of Harlequin glasses skyrocketed, sparking a fashion craze among American women.

Schinasi’s invention garnered her significant recognition, including the prestigious Lord & Taylor American Design Award in 1939. Esteemed publications like Vogue and Life acknowledged her contributions to the fashion world.


Apart from her design work, Schinasi ventured into filmmaking, creating the captivating documentary “Interregnum of George Grosz,” shedding light on her former teacher, artist George Grosz. The film received acclaim, earned Academy Award nominations, and secured the top spot at the Venice Film Festival in 1960.

Schinasi kept trying out new artistic projects as the years passed. She wrote her memoir, “The Road I’ve Traveled,” in her latter years, giving readers an insight into her remarkable life path. She also gave of herself by using her artistic abilities to help others as an art therapist.

Almost a hundred years since its inception, Altina’s ‘cat-eye’ design continues to influence global trends in the realm of fashion accessories. Birthday wishes to the visionary woman who was a star in many dimensions!” In a blog post, Google exclaimed.

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