Otis College of Art and Design Receives $2.5 Million, Honors Swimwear Designer Anne Cole

On Sept. 6, Otis College of Art and Design’s Academic Building will officially be renamed the Anne Cole Building, in honor of the late swimwear designer and L.A. style legend who gifted the school $ 2.5 million to establish the Anne Cole Scholarship Fund for students in its fashion design program. Cole, who died at age 90 in early 2017, was a longtime mentor and supporter of the Los Angeles-based school, established in 1918. “Past students will always remember their time with her,” said Rosemary Brantley, fashion designer and chair emeritus of the school’s fashion design program since the Eighties. “Future students will have a dream realized when they receive a scholarship in her name.” Cole is best known for inventing the tankini in the Nineties under her namesake label, started in 1982. She was the daughter of Fred Cole, a silent film actor who in 1925 founded Cole of California, a swimwear company that helped establish L.A. as a center of the industry. Anne grew up in the Hollywood scene, watching her father outfit silver screen starlet and swimmer Esther Williams, who was the face of the Cole of California brand. He also collaborated with Hollywood costume designer Margit Fellegi in the Thirties

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