NEW YORK — Rosalind "Roz" Ames Warren, a fit model for designers in the Fifties and Sixties, died of cancer Friday at her Manhattan home. She was 78.
A native of Philadelphia, Warren knew she wanted to be a model at the age of 14, working as a salesgirl in a Philadelphia clothing store.
"I loved clothes," Warren told the Philadelphia Inquirer in December 1956. "At that store I would climb into a gown and pose at the top of the stairs. The owner would scream it was my job to sell his clothes, not wear them out. He'd fire me every day, but I'd keep coming back."
After graduating from high school, Warren headed to Manhattan to search for a modeling job. She was offered one in the elevator on her way to meet with the bookers at David Crystal, a modeling firm.
Warren's schedule was soon so busy she didn't have time for much else. She regularly ran from showroom to showroom, which she once said was how she kept her figure. She modeled for designers such as Charles James, Halston, Anne Klein, Geoffrey Beene, Kasper, Ben Zuckerman, Molly Parnes and Hannah Troy. James insisted all mannequins at Saks Fifth Avenue be patterned after her figure.
"She was the most successful model on Seventh Avenue for fitting accounts," said George Samen, former designer for Hannah Troy. "She would walk into 530 Seventh Avenue at 8:30 in the morning, leave her clothes at her first appointment and dash through the building in only a coat, underwear and beige pumps to get to her other fittings. She was in such demand that designers would do anything to get her."
Warren also privately showed the latest fashions to Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson and the Duchess of Windsor. By age 26, she was one of the industry's highest-paid models, earning $25,000 a year.
Warren is survived by her husband, Eugene, daughters Jennifer Medwin and Shawn Warren-Krowley, sons-in-law Steve Medwin and William Krowley and grandchildren Ryan Veres and Jessica Medwin.
A memorial service and funeral was held Sunday at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home here. Donations in Warren's name can be made to the ASPCA, the Hospice of New York and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center-Thoracic Oncology Department.
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