Who Designed That Scarf?-A Brief Overview of Ascher Fabrics

Henry Moore, Standing Figures (1946)

Zika and Lida Ascher met when she was hired as a designer for his family’s textile business in Prague. They were married in February of 1939 and honeymooned in Norway.
During their Norwegian honeymoon, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia. The Aschers then made a life changing decision to immigrate to Britain and settled in London.
In 1941, Zika Ascher joined the British army. While he was away, his wife started a small textile company. She designed a few prints that were used by the courier Capt. Edward Molyneux.
In 1942, Zika Ascher was invalided out of the army and came home. The Aschers then proceeded to establish a very respected textile company that is still in business today.
During the mid 1940s, Zika Ascher had a great idea of creating silkscreen scarfs and didn’t want just any designer. He approached major artists of the day and asked for their contributions and most of them said yes.  
Ascher collected scarf designs by Henry Moore, Henri Matisse, Jean Cocteau, Alexander Calder, and Cecil Beaton among others. The company continues to produce upscale scarfs and fabric today. 
Scarf Gallery 
Jean Cocteau, Visage (1947)
Henri Matisse, Oceanie (1947)-This scarf  sold for $4.8 million at Christies. There
were only 30 produced and this particular one had hung on Zika Asher’s studio wall. 
Alexander Calder, La Mer (1947)
Antoni Clave, Combat de Coqs (1947)
Francoise Gilot, Quatre Oiseaux (1947)-Although Picasso never directly designed a
scarf for the Aschers, this one was submitted by is companion at the time. Hummm………….
The Ascher company has a great website with timelines, galleries, and information. I enjoy visiting it and just looking around.  
And speaking of wearing scarfs. Here is a wonderful video put together by Wendy’s Lookbook on ways to wear a scarf. 


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