Jeannette Jarnow interview, 1984 November 1

Special Collections and College Archives


Jeannette Jarnow interview, 1984 November 1
Contributor Names
Jarnow, Jeannette A.
Finger, Mildred (Interviewer)
Date Digitized
This interview is with Jeannette Jarnow, the first chairperson of the Buying and Merchandising Department at FIT. Jarnow describes her professional ascent at the department store, Abraham & Straus, up to 1944; when she took a brief break due to her first pregnancy. Jarnow describes the path that led her to seek out a teaching post at FIT. Instead of offering Jarnow a professorial post, Rosalind Snyder invited her to found the Buying and Merchandising Department in 1956. Jarnow describes the challenges of starting a department including the extent of publicity efforts for the department as well as for FIT itself, still struggling to make its name known in the Industry. As there were little to no instructional materials available, Jarnow assembled several books such as, "The Mathematics of Retail Merchandising," and "Inside the Fashion Business," that would come to be used by other educational institutions as well as by professional training programs. Jarnow briefly theorizes why FIT was not as impacted by student unrest in the 1960s before launching into a depiction of the industry seminars her department held as a service to the Industry. She continues on to discuss the evolution of merchandising with the rise of chain stores, and the ways in which FIT stays on top of industry trends. Finally Jarnow lists a host of successful alumni such as Sidney Biddle Barrow, the "Mayflower Madam," who became famous for founding the most expensive call-girl operation in New York City.
Moving Image
Oral histories
Jarnow, Jeannette A.
Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.). Fashion Buying and Merchandising Department
Barrows, Sydney Biddle
Fashion merchandising
Department stores
Education, Humanistic
New York (State)
New York (State)--New York
Related Materials
Finding Aid
In Copyright
This video was produced by the Fashion Institute of Technology ("FIT") and is the property of FIT. FIT expressly prohibits the copying, displaying, or uploading to a website of any portion of this video, except for the purposes of fair use as defined in the copyright laws, without express written permission from FIT. This video has been made available online by the Fashion Institute of Technology Gladys Marcus Library strictly for research and educational purposes. If you are the copyright holder for content in this video and have any objections to this work being made available online, please notify us immediately at [email protected].
FIT Repository ID: aod_000705
SPARC reference code: US.NNFIT.SC.FITA.


Special Collections and College Archives


Oral History of FIT, 1967-1985


FIT History


Fashion Institute of Technology. (1984, October 31). Jeannette Jarnow interview, 1984 November 1 [Video]. Archive on Demand.
Fashion Institute of Technology. "Jeannette Jarnow interview, 1984 November 1." Archive on Demand, 31 Oct. 1984,
Fashion Institute of Technology, "Jeannette Jarnow interview, 1984 November 1," Archive on Demand, October 31, 1984, video,