Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday's faces from the past - Madame Nicoli

Have you ever heard of a lady called Nathalie Nicoli? She was a clothes designer and lived in San Francisco and she had her own clothes brand, Nathalie Nicoli, in the (as far as I know) 1940s and 1950s.

I am not related to her, but my great grand aunt who came to the US in 1950 worked for Natalie Nicoli.

In an newspaper article from 1946 I read about Nathalie Nicoli: "She looks like the type of person who would wear the clothes she creates - a woman of poise and sophistication, more concerned with the good lines and appropriateness of the costume to the occasion for which it is designed than with its high style."

Nathalie Nicoli came to the US after World war I. The article continues: "She and her family were political refugees and she turned to the art she knew best - fine dressing."

Article by Joan Gardner in Spokane Daily Chronicle about Nathalie Nicoli.
Published August 19 in 1946. Link to the article, found in the end of this blogpost.

After finding that article I wanted to know more.

Nathalie Nicoli, or Nathalie Nicolaevsky was born on June 26, 1900 in Russia. That made my heart jump a little, since my greatgrand aunt was born in Russia as well. Perhaps they knew eachother before they both came to the US? Or perhaps my great grandaunt was recommended to Nathalie?

Nathalie came to the US in 1923 together with her husband, Leon Leon Nicolaevsky. He changed his name to Leon Nicoli. He was born on February 18 in Russia.

Together with Nathalie and Leon also came Nathalies parents: Vladimir Anichkov and Mary (maidenname unknown). Vladimir was born around 1871 and Mary about 1876. A brother of Nathalie, Anatol Anichkov came to the US as well. He was born December 20, 1897. Anichkov surname was changed from Anitchkoff.

It was Leon Nicoli who founded the company Nathalie Nicoli as well as a company called Mode de Paris.

One great resource in the case with my great grand aunt leading me to Nathalie Nicoli was the funeral record. That is where I found out my great grand aunt worked for Nathalie. The funeral record of Nathalie was filled with a lot of information and documents. For example her obituaries. That is where I found out she was a lifetime member of NAWCAM - National Association of Womens and Childrens Apparel Manufactures. I also found a letter from George D. Molinsky, President of Batesville Casket company. He sends his condolences and also writes there will be a tree planted in memory of Nathalie.

Nathalie Nicolai Obituary.

Like my greatgrandaunt and her husband, Nathalie and her husband Leon and thier daughter Irene are all buried in the Serbian cemetery. When looking through a couple of funeral records on one of them were written that everyone at the Russian Center used N.Gray and Company funeral service.

Link to the article about Nathalie Nicoli in Google News Archive


  1. My husband's great aunt, Gladys Price, also worked for Nathalie Nikoli. It was lovely to find your blog post. Thank you.

  2. My husband's great aunt, Gladys Price, also worked for Nathalie Nikoli. It was lovely to find your blog post. Thank you.

  3. Hi, that was awesome! So perhaps our great aunts knew eachother :). Thanks for letting me know. Have a nice day!

  4. My grandmother was Nathalie Nicolai. How fun to see your posts! Thank you!