A moment to reflect on an iconic woman, Roslyn Harte – dear friend, advisor, mentor and colleague. ‘A force to be reckoned with’ well that’s how I know Roz would like to be remembered. The Roz I knew was not a shy gal rather one that used her voice and spoke her words. I loved her for that. She was direct and honest. No beating around the bush!
She commanded an audience. She insisted with anyone, young or old, to hear her out and for you to listen attentively. After all, she had decades of experience beyond most of us and could out run many of us on the city streets of New York! I was amazed how she walked the streets of Manhattan to and from her home, frail and all, with crowds left and right of her, she didn’t let anyone get in her way.
Roz was an ‘icon’ of the fashion industry – an intimate apparel guru - so knowledgeable. We met at my early stages of becoming an Intimate Apparel designer around 2015 thru Victor Vega, retired Senior VP of Inventory Production and Sales Management at Wacoal America, Inc. and my first Board Advisor. Roz never missed a beat and was very proud of her achievements, advisors and colleagues whom she worked closely with. She liked working near everyone in her private New York suite at the Wacoal Madison Ave offices and sharing her gems of design and intimate creations with others – from the gorgeous Kimono line to many other garments I had the wonderful opportunity to preview. She tweaked many leading Bra designs on these three iconic mannequins’ still standing strong. I am proud to say I had the opportunity to fit my first few Bra samples on these iconic mannequins at Wacoal and coincidentally, had innovated my original prototype designs on 3 similar mannequins with the first of the Crisscross Nina Bras. We shared a lot in common and Roz provided me invaluable feedback as an leading industry fashion designer, while I tweaked my collection and enhanced the line.
After our monthly meetings we would dine out and she loved a good steak or burger with a nice glass of wine at day’s end. She was a night owl. I only wish I had a few more of those enjoyable social nights kibitzing with her. But I’m glad I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to know Roslyn Harte over the years not just for her apparel expertise but for her friendship mostly, and as a sister cancer survivor. We had more in common than most and while she was proud of her business accomplishments over the years, she loved to share family stories, personal experiences and offer advice – personal or business, with me. If you weren’t looking for advice, than word was, don’t mess with Roz – you were gonna get an ear full, like it or not, and that’s the Roz I came to know and love.
It seems like yesterday when I had the pleasure to interview Roz and I’m sure she’d like me to share this article with you to know a little more about her in a Spotlight on Roz. Roz has been an active member of Project H.U.G. - Project Help Us Give, Inc. where she was an active member on the H.U.G. Gala and Charity Committee for a number of years. Their mission (and hers) comprised of intimate apparel leaders unite individuals in charitable organizations and partner with pediatric healthcare and service providers.
Roslyn Harte has been a most gracious, elegant, lovely, smart, intelligent, talented, humorous, passionate, kind, giving friend, colleague, mentor and advisor to me and to so many in our industry. . . ‘May you rest at peace my friend and know that your ideations will continue to rise today and beyond with the many lives you have touched over the years and decades. You have been one hell of a woman and I personally won’t forget you’.
All my love, Jean Criss, Founder & Designer, Crisscross Intimates.
Roslyn Harte died at age 94 on December 20, 2018 and was buried next to her husband, Harold Harte, at the United Hebrew Cemetery in Staten Island. Learn more about Roz here. The Underfashion Club and Project H.U.G. will offer a Celebration in the Life of Roz on February 20, 2019 - more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org.