Merle Oberon (born Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson; 19 February 1911 – 23 November 1979) was an Indian-born British actress who began her film career in British films as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). After her success in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), she travelled to the United States to make films for Samuel Goldwyn. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Dark Angel (1935). A traffic collision in 1937 caused facial injuries that could have ended her career, but she recovered and remained active in film and television until 1973.
Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson was born in Bombay, British India, on 19 February 1911. Merle was given "Queenie" as a nickname, in honour of Queen Mary, who visited India along with King George V in 1911.
For most of her life, Merle protected herself by concealing the truth about her parentage, claiming that she had been born in Tasmania, Australia, and that her birth records had been destroyed in a fire.
She was raised as the daughter of Arthur Terrence O'Brien Thompson, a British mechanical engineer from Darlington who worked in Indian Railways and his wife, Charlotte Selby, a Eurasian from Ceylon (Sri Lanka). However, according to her birth certificate, Merle's biological mother was Charlotte's then-12-year-old daughter, Constance. Charlotte had herself given birth to Constance at the age of 14. To avoid scandal, Charlotte raised Merle as Constance's half-sister. Charlotte Selby died in 1937. (In 1949, Oberon commissioned paintings of Charlotte based on an old photograph (but depicting Charlotte with lighter skin), which hung in all her homes until Oberon's own death in 1979.)
In 1914, when Merle was 3, Arthur Thompson joined the British Army and later died of pneumonia on the Western Front during the Battle of the Somme. Merle and Charlotte led an impoverished existence in shabby flats in Bombay for a few years. Then, in 1917, they moved to better circumstances in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata). Oberon received a foundation scholarship to attend La Martiniere Calcutta for Girls, one of the best private schools in Calcutta. There, she was constantly taunted for her mixed ethnicity, eventually leading her to quit school and receive lessons at home.
Oberon first performed with the Calcutta Amateur Dramatic Society. She was also completely enamored with films and enjoyed going out to nightclubs. Indian journalist Sunanda K. Datta-Ray claimed that Merle worked as a telephone operator in Calcutta under the name Queenie Thomson and won a contest at Firpo's Restaurant there, before the outset of her film career.
In Firpo's, in 1929, Merle dated Colonel Ben Finney, a former actor who ended the relationship after he realized Oberon was of mixed ancestry. But he introduced her to Rex Ingram of Victorine Studios. Ingram liked Oberon's exotic appearance and quickly hired her to be an extra in a party scene in a film named The Three Passions.
Oberon arrived in England for the first time in 1928, aged 17. Initially she worked as a club hostess under the name Queenie O'Brien and played in minor and unbilled roles in various films.
Her film career received a major boost when the director Alexander Korda took an interest and gave her a small but prominent role, under the name Merle Oberon, as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) opposite Charles Laughton. The film became a major success and she was then given leading roles, such as Lady Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) with Leslie Howard, who became her lover for a while.
Oberon's career benefited from her relationship with Alexander Korda. Korda sold "shares" of her contract to producer Samuel Goldwyn, who gave her good vehicles in Hollywood. Her "mother" Charlotte stayed behind in England. Oberon earned her sole Academy Award for Best Actress nomination for The Dark Angel (1935) produced by Goldwyn. Around this time she had a serious romance with David Niven.
She was selected to star in Korda's 1937 film, I, Claudius, as Messalina, but her injuries in a car accident resulted in the film being abandoned. But she recovered enough later to play Cathy in the highly acclaimed film Wuthering Heights opposite Laurence Olivier which was released in 1939, the same year when she married Alexander Korda.
While married, she had a brief affair in 1941 with Richard Hillary, an RAF fighter pilot who had been badly burned in the Battle of Britain. They met while he was on a goodwill tour of the United States.
Oberon became Lady Korda when her husband was knighted in 1942 by George VI for his contribution to the war effort.
She went on to appear as George Sand in A Song to Remember (1945) and as the Empress Josephine in Désirée (1954).
According to Princess Merle, the biography written by Charles Higham with Roy Moseley, Oberon suffered damage to her complexion in 1940 from a combination of cosmetic poisoning and an allergic reaction to sulfa drugs. Alexander Korda sent her to a skin specialist in New York City, where she underwent several dermabrasion procedures. The results, however, were only partially successful; without makeup, noticeable pitting and indentation of her skin could be seen.
Oberon divorced Korda in 1945, to marry cinematographer Lucien Ballard. Ballard devised a special camera light for her to eliminate on film her facial scars suffered in a 1937 accident. The light became known as the "Obie". She and Ballard divorced in 1949.
Oberon next married Italian-born industrialist Bruno Pagliai in 1957, adopted two children with him and lived in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. In 1973, Oberon met then 36-year-old Dutch actor Robert Wolders while they filmed Interval. Oberon divorced Pagliai and married Wolders, who was 25 years her junior, in 1975.
Oberon retired after Interval and moved with Wolders to Malibu, California, where she died in 1979, aged 68, after suffering a stroke. Her body was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
New Zealand author Witi Ihimaera uses Oberon's hidden South Asian and Maori heritage as the inspiration for the novel White Lies, which was turned into the 2013 movie White Lies.
Michael Korda, nephew of Alexander Korda, wrote a roman à clef about Oberon after her death titled Queenie. This was adapted into a television miniseries starring Mia Sara.
F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished novel The Last Tycoon was made into the television series, with Jennifer Beals playing Margo Taft, a character created for the tv series and based on Oberon.
Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, CI, GCVO, GBE (Greek: Μαρίνα, later Duchess of Kent; 13 December 1906 – 27 August 1968) was a princess of the Greek royal house, who married Prince George, Duke of Kent, fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary in 1934. They had three children: Prince Edward, Princess Alexandra, and Prince Michael.
The Princess was widowed in 1942, when her husband was killed in a plane crash on active service. In later life, she carried out many royal engagements, including the independence celebrations for Ghana and Botswana.
Princess Marina was born in Athens, Greece, on 13 December 1906. Her father was Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, the third son of George I of Greece. Her mother was Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, a granddaughter of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. She was the youngest of the couple's children. One of her paternal uncles was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, the father of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (making her Philip's first cousin).
Marina spent her early years in Greece, and lived with her parents and paternal grandparents at Tatoi Palace. Along with her sisters, she was raised to be devout and religious, which was encouraged by her grandmother, Queen Olga of Greece.
Marina's family travelled outside of Greece often, especially during the summer months. Her first recorded visit to Britain was in 1910 after the death of her godfather, Edward VII. She officially met her other godmother and future mother-in-law, Queen Mary, who treated Marina and her sisters like her own children.
The Greek royal family was forced into exile when Marina was 11, following the overthrow of the Greek monarchy. They later moved to Paris, while the Princess stayed with her extended family throughout Europe.
In 1932, Princess Marina and Prince George (later the Duke of Kent), a second cousin through Christian IX of Denmark, met in London. Their betrothal was announced in August 1934. Prince George was created Duke of Kent on 9 October 1934. Marina's engagement ring was made out of a "square-cut Kashmir sapphire set in platinum with a baton diamond on either side".
On 29 November 1934, they married at Westminster Abbey, London. The wedding was a grand affair, as it had been more than ten years since the last royal wedding with Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
The wedding of Prince George and Princess Marina was the first royal wedding ceremony to be broadcast by wireless, and with the use of other technology, such as microphones. The service was broadcast locally and abroad to other nations, and loudspeakers allowed spectators from outside the Abbey to hear the proceedings.
The wedding was followed by a Greek ceremony in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace, which was converted into an Orthodox chapel for the ceremony. This was the first time this had been done since the wedding of Princess Marina's great-aunt, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia to Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, during the reign of Queen Victoria. The wedding was the most recent occasion on which a foreign-born princess married into the British Royal Family.
The bride's gown was in white and silver silk brocade, designed by Edward Molyneux, and worked on by a team of seamstresses including, at Marina's request, Russian émigrées. The dress featured "sheath silhouette, a draped cowl neckline, trumpet sleeves, and a wide train." A tiara, given to her as a wedding gift, secured her tulle veil.
The Royal School of Needlework made a quilt as a wedding gift for Princess Marina and the Duke of Kent.
The Duke and Duchess set up their first home at 3 Belgrave Square, close to Buckingham Palace. She became a patroness of several organizations and charities, which she would support for the rest of her life. She became very close to her mother-in-law, Queen Mary, with whom she would usually spend time while her husband was off performing his own royal duties.
The couple had three children:
-Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (9 October 1935);
-Princess Alexandra, The Hon. Lady Ogilvy (25 December 1936);
-Prince Michael of Kent (4 July 1942).
The Duke of Kent was killed on 25 August 1942, in an aeroplane crash at Eagles Rock, near Dunbeath, Caithness, Scotland, while on active service with the Royal Air Force.
During World War II, Marina was trained as a nurse for three months under the pseudonym "Sister Kay" and joined the civil nurse reserve.
After her husband's death, the Duchess of Kent continued to be an active member of the British Royal Family, carrying out a wide range of royal and official engagements. She was the president of the Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for 26 years.
In March 1957, when the Gold Coast achieved independence from Britain as Ghana, the Duchess of Kent was appointed to represent the Queen at the celebrations. Fifty years later, at the 50th anniversary of Ghana's independence, it would be her son, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, who would be appointed by the Queen to represent her.
Marina earned a place in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1960 together with the Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly, Patricia Lopez-Willshaw and Merle Oberon.
In September 1966, when the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland became the new Republic of Botswana, the Princess was appointed again to represent the Queen at the celebrations. The main public hospital in Gaborone, the new Botswana's capital, is named "Princess Marina Hospital".
She served as the first Chancellor of the University of Kent at Canterbury from 1963 until her death from a brain tumour at Kensington Palace at 11.40 am on 27 August 1968, aged 61.
The funeral service for the Princess was held at the St. George's Chapel on 30 August. She was buried in the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore.Her funeral was the final royal ceremony attended by her brother-in-law, the former King Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor.
Main Rousseau Bocher (October 24, 1890 – December 27, 1976), also known as Mainbocher, was an American couturier best known for the eponymous fashion label he founded in 1929. Although often pronounced "Man-bo-shay," his name is pronounced "Maine-Bocker."
Bocher was a native of Chicago, where he studied at the Lewis Institute, now the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He served in intelligence during World War I and stayed in Paris after the war, working as a fashion illustrator for Harper's Bazaar, as Paris fashion editor for Vogue from 1922 to 1929, becoming the editor-in-chief of the French edition of Vogue in early 1927. Main Bocher's decision to become a couturier grew out of his years as editor at Vogue; he realized that his critical eye and his feeling for fashion might also serve him as a designer.
In November 1929, Main Rousseau Bocher merged his own name, in honor of his favorite couturieres, Augustabernard and Louiseboulanger, and established his own fashion house, incorporated as "Mainbocher Couture" at 12 Avenue George-V in Paris. Mainbocher progressively gained recognition for his elegant and sophisticated couture garments. The strapless dress and jeweled cashmere sweaters are his creations.
His subtle and timeless style won Mainbocher an exclusive clientele, which included fashion editors like Carmel Snow, Bettina Ballard, Diana Vreeland, aristocrats like Princess Karam of Kapurthala, Lady Castlerosse, the Vicomtesse de Noailles, Baroness Eugène de Rothschild, pianist Dame Myra Hess, socialites like Millicent Rogers, Daisy Fellowes, Mrs. Cole Porter, Syrie Maugham, Elsie de Wolfe, and stars like Mary Pickford, Constance Bennett, Kay Francis, Claudette Colbert, Irene Dunne, Loretta Young, Miriam Hopkins, Helen Hayes.
His most famous patron was Wallis Simpson, after whom he even named a color, "Wallis Blue".
In 1937, he designed her wedding dress and trousseau in that particular Wallis Blue for her marriage to the Duke of Windsor, after he abdicated the British throne.
Described in 1950 as "one of the most photographed and most copied dresses of modern times", the bridal dress is today part of the Metropolitan Museum collection. Hamish Bowles later said: "I think [Mainbocher's clothes] are so subtle, the detailing is so extraordinary, and they are so unbelievably evocative of ... absolute subtle luxury. You can really see why a client like Wallis Windsor would have been drawn to his clothes, and why she became so emblematic of his work."
Mainbocher's last Paris collections created a storm of controversy. Anticipating Christian Dior's "New Look" of 1947 by eight years, the "wasp waist", a nipped-in waist, radically altered the silhouette of the thirties. Dior himself confessed: "Mainbocher is really in advance of us all, because he does it in America."
The corset that shaped Mainbocher's last Parisian collection was immortalized in 1939 by one of Horst P. Horst's most famous photographs, known as the "Mainbocher Corset." Mainbocher's corseted waist, defined bosom, and back draping was an abrupt shift in silhouette and introduced the Victorian motifs that were to pervade the forties.
Cameron Silver named Mainbocher "the designer of the 30ies,” in his book Decades: A Century of Fashion, and he further noted that "Mainbocher's designs oozed exclusivity, good breeding, and rarefied taste.”
The onset of Second World War forced Mainbocher to leave France. In 1940, he relocated his business to New York on 57th Street next to Tiffany's and established "Mainbocher Inc." He recreated his Paris salons exactly as they were and stayed true to haute couture traditions.
The corset controversy proved to be a timely marketing opportunity; the house of Mainbocher teamed up with the Warner Brothers Corset Company and streamlined the design for mass production.
He showed his first New York collection on October 30, 1940, and soon established himself as one of the leading American fashion designers. He solved fabric rationing issues by designing short evening gowns and "cocktail aprons" that could transform any dress into a formal evening dress.
During the war, Mainbocher designed a series of uniforms for both military and civilian organizations, applying his principles of functionality and utility while retaining the sophisticated elegance of his namesake label. These uniforms also allowed him to reclaim his American identity in a patriotic context.
In 1942, he conceived the uniforms for the women-only division of the American Navy, called WAVES. He then updated the uniforms of the American Red Cross,
In 1948, he unified the uniforms of Girl Scouts in the same shade of green. In 1950, he designed a one of a kind evening dress uniform for Colonel Katherine Amelia Towle, who was then Director of Women Marines (USMCR). This unique uniform is now on display at the armory of the Newport Artillery Company in Newport, Rhode Island.
In New York, Mainbocher continued to dress generations of women like debutante Brenda Frazier, Doris Duke, Adele Astaire(sister of Fred Astaire), Elizabeth Parke Firestone, Gloria Vanderbilt, Lila Wallace, Bunny Mellon, Babe Paley, Princess Maria Cristina de Bourbon, Kathryn Miller, and C. Z. Guest. In 1947, eight of the New York Dress Institute's Ten Best-Dressed Women in the World were Mainbocher clients.
After he achieved fame for dressing some of the world's most famous women, Mainbocher was commissioned to design the costumes for Leonora Corbett in the comic play Blithe Spirit (1941); Mary Martin in the Broadway musicals One Touch of Venus (1943) and The Sound of Music (1959); Tallulah Bankhead in the Broadway production Private Lives (1948); Ethel Merman in the musical Call Me Madam (1950); Rosalind Russell in the musical Wonderful Town (1953); Lynn Fontanne in The Great Sebastians (1956); Katharine Cornell in The Prescott Papers; Irene Worth in the play Tiny Alice (1964); and Lauren Bacall in the musical Applause (1970).
In 1961, the Mainbocher business moved to the K.L.M. Building on Fifth Avenue and continued until 1971 when Mainbocher, at the age of 81, closed the doors of his house. He divided his last years between Paris and Munich until his death in 1976.
Mainbocher's innovations include short evening dresses; beaded evening sweaters; the strapless evening gown; bare-armed blouses for suits; costume-dyed furs (black mink and black sealskin); novel uses for batiste, voile, organdy, piqué, linen, and embroidered muslin; the waistcinch; man-tailored dinner suits; bows instead of hats; the principle of the simple dress with many tie-ons (shirt-like aprons, changeable jackets); the sari evening dress; the "bump" shoulder (a sort of modified leg-o'-mutton sleeve) on suits and coats; the evening version of the "tennis dress," a white evening dress with "V" neck and stole; the revival of crinolines; and the rain suit.
Mainbocher inspired many of the most brilliant fashion designers, including Christian Lacroix, who praised the glamour of his garments.
In 2002, Mainbocher was honored with a bronze plaque on New York City's Fashion Walk of Fame in the legendary Garment District.
Mainbocher's fashion designs have been displayed in many exhibitions over the years.
In 2010, the Museum of the City of New York created a virtual exhibition on Worth & Mainbocher, which was the first to emphasize Mainbocher's work.
The first retrospective dedicated to Mainbocher, entitled Making Mainbocher, took place at the Chicago History Museum from October 2016 to August 2017. This exhibition was partly sponsored by Luvanis, which is the current owner of the brand.
Originaire de Chicago, Main Rousseau Bocher part pour l'Europe en 1911. Dès lors, menant une vie de bohème, il alterne entre ses études et divers emplois, à New York, Munich, Paris et Londres. Il étudie ainsi l'art à Munich, puis le dessin à Paris en 1912, et rentre aux États-Unis en 1913. Quelques jours après son retour sur le sol américain, il apprend que l'un de ses dessins a été sélectionné pour le Salon des Artistes Décorateurs. C'est ainsi qu'il revient brièvement à Paris, avant de se rendre à Londres où il dessine des affiches publicitaires et illustre Aucassin et Nicolette pour Harrods.
Le déclenchement de la Première Guerre mondiale le force à rentrer à New York en 1914. Il subsiste en vendant des illustrations de mode au fabricant E. L. Mayer, lui aussi originaire de Chicago. En parallèle, il prend des cours de musique avec Frank La Forge et commence à se faire connaître dans le milieu musical new-yorkais. Lors de l'entrée en guerre des États-Unis en 1917, il s'engage volontairement et devient sergent major l'année suivante. Démobilisé en 1919, il décide de rester à Paris et songe à une grande carrière à l'Opéra-Comique, sa passion. Cependant, son rêve prend brutalement fin quand, en 1921, il échoue à une audition importante.
Il est alors engagé comme dessinateur pour Harper's Bazaar. Deux ans plus tard, il intègre le groupe Condé Nast en tant que rédacteur mode de l'édition francaise du magazine Vogue (« Paris fashion editor »). Il lance la rubrique « l'œil de Vogue », dans laquelle il popularise de nouvelles expressions comme « blanc cassé ». Il y fait preuve de flair en décelant dans les collections de couture ce qui plaira aux Françaises et aux Américaines. Grâce à ses talents littéraires et à son sens du style, il devient rédacteur en chef de l'édition française du magazine Vogue en 1927. En 1929, il considère sa connaissance du monde de la mode suffisante pour passer à une activité plus créatrice, et décide d'ouvrir sa propre maison de couture. Il s'agit d'un pari risqué pour Mainbocher, qui, alors âgé de 40 ans, n'avait pas de formation technique.
Main Rousseau Bocher fusionne son prénom et son nom de famille pour donner naissance à sa griffe « Mainbocher », à l'instar des griffes Augustabernard et Louiseboulanger dont il était un fervent admirateur. Il ouvre la société Mainbocher Couture au 21, avenue George-V et présente sa première collection en novembre 1930, en pleine dépression économique. Mainbocher s'impose progressivement grâce à ses créations tout aussi élégantes que sophistiquées. On lui doit notamment la robe bustier et les pull-overs en cachemire brodés.
Son style subtil et intemporel remporte les faveurs de célèbres éditrices de mode telles Carmel Snow, Bettina Ballard, Diana Vreeland, mais aussi de femmes de la haute société telles Elsie de Wolfe, Lady Castlerosse, la vicomtesse de Noailles, Lady Abdy, la baronne de Rothschild, la pianiste Myra Hess, Millicent Rogers, Daisy Fellowes, Madame Cole Porter, ou encore de célébrités comme Mary Pickford, Constance Bennett, Kay Francis, Claudette Colbert, Irene Dunne, Loretta Young, Miriam Hopkins et Helen Hayes.
De toutes ses clientes, la plus célèbre reste Wallis Simpson, pour qui il va jusqu'à créer le « bleu Wallis ». Il réalise sa robe de mariée et son trousseau, lorsqu'elle épouse en troisièmes noces le duc de Windsor en juin 1937, après son abdication du trône d'Angleterre.
Cette robe, l'une des plus photographiées et des plus copiées, contribue fortement à asseoir sa notoriété. Elle est aujourd'hui conservée au Metropolitan Museum of Art à New York.
La dernière collection parisienne de Mainbocher, qui introduit des « tailles de guêpe » sanglées, est sujette à de vives controverses. Certains commentateurs voient, en effet, dans le retour du corset un recul de la mode. Le « corset Mainbocher » tranche radicalement avec la silhouette fluide des années 1930 et annonce déjà le « New Look » de Christian Dior. Ce corset est immortalisé par Horst P. Horst dans l'une de ses plus célèbres photographies.
Avec la déclaration de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Mainbocher se voit contraint de quitter la France.
En 1940, la maison de couture devient Mainbocher Inc. et s'installe à New York, à l'angle de la 57e Rue et de la 5e Avenue, à côté de Tiffany. Il y recrée ses salons de couture à l'identique et reste attaché aux traditions de la haute couture parisienne.
Le corset Mainbocher et la controverse qui l'entoure lui fournissent une clef d'entrée dans le marché américain. Il s'associe ainsi à la Warner Brothers Corset Company pour produire une ligne de corsets portant sa griffe.
Il présente sa première collection de couture new-yorkaise le 30 octobre 1940 et réussit bientôt à s'imposer sur la scène de mode américaine. Pendant la durée du conflit, Mainbocher s'accommode des problèmes posés par le rationnement de tissu en créant des robes du soir courtes et des tabliers dits de cocktail (cocktail aprons) pour transformer n'importe quelle robe en robe du soir habillée.
En parallèle, Mainbocher crée des uniformes pour plusieurs organisations civiles et militaires, lui permettant de mettre en application ses principes de fonctionnalité et d'utilité, sans sacrifier à l'élégance chic et sobre qui fait le renom de sa marque. Ces uniformes lui permettent aussi d'affirmer son identité américaine dans un contexte patriotique.
En 1942, il crée d'abord les uniformes des auxiliaires féminines de la marine américaine, appelées WAVES. Puis, il conçoit les nouveaux uniformes de la Croix-Rouge américaine. C'est encore lui qui se charge de mettre les uniformes des Girl Scouts au goût du jour en 1948.
À New York, Mainbocher reste sans conteste le plus grand couturier de l'élite américaine; il habille de nouvelles générations de femmes du monde et, notamment, Brenda Frazier, Doris Duke, Adele Astaire, Elizabeth Parke Firestone, Gloria Vanderbilt, Lila Wallace, Bunny Mellon, Babe Paley, la princesse Maria Cristina de Bourbon, Kathryn Miller, ou encore C. Z. Guest.
En 1947, huit des dix femmes élues les mieux habillées par le New York Dress Institute étaient clientes de Mainbocher.
Mainbocher crée de nombreux costumes pour Broadway, y compris les costumes de Leonora Corbett dans L'Esprit s'amuse (1941), de Mary Martin dans One Touch of Venus (1943) et The Sound of Music (1959), de Tallulah Bankhead dans Private Lives (1948), de Ethel Merman dans Call Me Madam (1950), de Rosalind Russell dans Wonderful Town (1953), de Lynn Fontanne dans The Great Sebastians (1956), d'Irene Worth dans Tiny Alice (1964) ou de Lauren Bacall dans Applause (1970).
Mainbocher ferme sa maison de couture en 1971, à l'âge de 81 ans. Il passe ses dernières années entre Paris et Munich jusqu'à son décès en 1976.
Mainbocher a inspiré certains des plus grands couturiers du XXe siècle, dont Christian Lacroix, qui vantait le glamour des vêtements griffés Mainbocher.
En 2002, Mainbocher se voit décerner à titre posthume une plaque sur le « Fashion Walk of Fame » dans le Garment District à New York. Cette plaque symbolique rend hommage à sa contribution dans l'histoire de la mode.
Les créations de Mainbocher ont été présentées dans de nombreuses expositions au fil des ans, mais c'est seulement en 2010 qu'elles ont fait l'objet d'une exposition virtuelle créée par le Musée de la ville de New York. Elles y sont présentées aux côtés des créations de la maison Worth.
La première rétrospective consacrée à Mainbocher, intitulée « Making Mainbocher », a eu lieu au Musée d'histoire de Chicago d'octobre 2016 à août 2017. Cette exposition était en partie sponsorisée par Luvanis, aujourd'hui propriétaire de la marque.