In 1939, a year prior to her graduation from the Margaret Morrison School for Women at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), Aaronel secured a position as a fashion coordinator at Kaufman’s department store, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For three years she held fashion shows for the fabric buyers and was responsible for the windows. Below is a small gallery of rare drawings we recently discovered from her time at Kaufman’s.
You can see her creative gears turning as she explored ways to increase sales at Kaufman’s. However, personal expression was always in her DNA. She painted while still in high school and took an adult life style painting class by Samuel Rosenberg at the Y (Young Men and Women’s Hebrew Association). After Jon and Jamie were born, her art career turned serious when she later returned to Samuel Rosenberg and enrolled in his special class.
Aaronel’s sense of fashion was always serious. I remember one afternoon she asked me to get the car ready to take her to downtown Pittsburgh. While on the parkway, she called Bob, a salesman at Saks Fifth Avenue, letting him know we’ll be there in about 10 minutes. She directed me to a private side entrance of Saks on Oliver Avenue where we parked illegally. Bob shortly emerged with an assistant carrying an assortment of blouses, pants, some dresses and accessories all of which he presented to Aaronel one after the other as she sat in the passenger seat. The only item she purchased that day was a pair Gucci sunglasses.
To learn more about the deRoy family visit the Rauh Jewish Archives.