Cipe Pineles

Cipe Pineles ( 1908-91) was an Austrian graphic designer who became one of the most influential designers of the twentieth century. In 1926, Cipe enrolled in the Pratt Institute where she studied fine art. She began her first teaching position as an instructor in watercolor painting at the Newark Public School of Fine and Industrial Art in New Jersey in 1929, and became the art director at Conde Nast, an American mass media company from 1930-60, while simultaneously teaching at Parsons School of Design.

Cipe began teaching at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later renamed Parsons in 1941) as a lecturer in 1940. She mainly taught lectures in fashion merchandising and was also a part of the faculty in costume design and illustration. During the first year in the Fashion Merchandising course, students would study color theory, topography, and poster design; the second year focused on cover designs and magazine advertisements; in the third year students were allowed to study under the guidance of special critics in the advertising, illustrative and design fields.

In 1963, Cipe became the head of Publication Design at Parsons and continued to teach at Parsons until the mid 1970’s. She also took part in events such as the Fashion Award Show at the New School in 1971, for which she was the program designer. Cipe designed many of the posters that advertised the school’s art and design exhibitions, programs, and events.

While Cipe continued her career as an educator, she also was an editor and art director for Vanity Fair, Vogue (1932-38), Glamour (1942-46), Seventeen (1947-50), and Charm (1950-59) magazines. She was the first art director at a magazine to assign fine artists for editorial illustration, signing up artists such as Andy Warhol and Ben Shahn to illustrate articles. Pineles repeatedly broke the glass ceiling in the design field: she was the first female member of the Art Director’s Club of New York in 1943 after being nominated for ten years and was the first woman inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1975. From 1961-72, Pineles also worked as a graphic design consultant for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

After her death, Pineles was honored by the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1996 for her extremely successful career.


MacNaughton, Wendy. Rich, Sarah. “Discovering Cipe Pineles”. 2017. Accessed on 21 April 2019.

Parsons the New School for Design. New York School of Fine and Applied Art 1941-1942. 1941. Parsons School of Design course catalog collection. New School Archives and Special Collections Digital Archive. Web. 22 Apr 2019.