Designer Notes

Remembering Kaye – An Ivey Abitz Master Tailor

We have some sad news to share with our dear clients.

Kaye, one of our longtime master tailors and friends, died peacefully in her home last week.

We know most of you were not able to officially meet her in person, but you knew her through her fine sewing. She worked for Ivey Abitz from 2009-2020, and she has sewn thousands of bespoke garments for us. If you have several Ivey Abitz garments in your closet, then you most likely have special one-of-a-kind garments that were sewn by Kaye. 

Our other dear and incredibly talented tailors have also learned from Kaye over the years, and thankfully her legacy carries on through them with their attention to detail and dedication to mastering my challenging and intricate designs. 

I will miss working with Kaye in her impressive Brooklyn sewing studio she dedicated to Ivey Abitz since 2009. I will miss her dozens of calls while she was working on projects for us from her sewing studio and I was in my design studio. Phone calls were her versions of texts and emails — she was proudly “old school.” I’d put her on speaker phone, and we’d go over things together. Our dogs know Kaye by the sound of her voice; they knew her as Auntie Kaye. She knew how to stop Artie from barking. She knew how to turn Harry’s head by singing an impromptu Broadway tune. She knew how to spread love and joy through everything she did — especially through a sewing project. 

Her sudden death has admittedly shaken me to my core, and it will take awhile to process the enormous loss. I truly loved Kaye. She wasn’t just a coworker. She was a friend. She was part of our family. I will miss her quirkiness, talent, and love. But I have to trust, just as she believed, that she isn’t gone—she’s just gone on before. She’s now with her dear dog/daughter Mandy who died in 2009. She mentioned her often, and she missed her so much. The thought of this brings a smile to my face and gives me peace. 

— Cynthia Ivey Abitz 


At the Pool where Churchill Swam

Look 5 Ivey Abitz Collection 64. Ivey ABitz at Eleanor Roosevelt's pool where churchill swam.
Scattergood Shirt Jacket in Unity Velvet Vine on Silk Chiffon; Scattergood Frock in Unity Floral Silk Velvet; Scattergood Duster Coat in Unity Washed Linen (draped next to top hat). Location: Pool where Winston Churchill swam when vistiting Val-Kill. Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site.

Above: Ivey Abitz Collection no. 64, Look no. 5. Photographed with permission beside the Stone Cottage pool at Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park, NY.

Our new Scattergood designs are featured at the pool where Winston Churchill swam, sans his famous top hat, when he visited Eleanor Roosevelt’s cottage in Hyde Park, New York.

Winston Churchill, sans tophat, taking a swim in the pool beside Stone Cottage during one of his visits to Hyde Park, New York. Photograph courtesy National Park Service.
Winston Churchill, sans top hat, taking a swim in the pool beside Stone Cottage during one of his visits to Hyde Park, New York. Photograph courtesy National Park Service.

Alliances were discussed as the world sought unity. Eleanor’s humble idyll and gracious hospitality helped bring about that world peace.

We celebrate Eleanor’s work and words about unity and peace in our new collection, shown above in our new client favourites, the Scattergood designs, featured in our new Unity palette and weaves.

The designs’ intentions — to scatter good wherever you go — tip a hat to the historic meetings that took place at Eleanor’s cottage where world leaders determined how to scatter good worldwide.

What we choose to wear each day is a declaration. What will your declaration be?

Find your voice in the new Ivey Abitz Look Book. Your declaration, in the form of bespoke garments, will be made just for you in New York and shipped in a few short weeks.


Eleanor Roosevelt’s Unity Quote

“If unity is important for a nation, we must realize that it cannot really exist unless we can bring about unity between the groups which make up that nation.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

the unity palette from Ivey Abitz
The unity palette from Ivey Abitz.

Here at Ivey Abitz, we look to our better angels for inspiration and guidance.

Our Unity palette and new collection featuring our new Vanetten designs represent Eleanor’s wisdom and declaration for us. What we choose to wear each day is a declaration. What will your declaration be? Find your sartorial voice at

Photographed with permission in the walled garden at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site. Photograph in the quote courtesy FDR Library.


Eleanor’s Litmus Test

Eleanor's Litmus Test - a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt about dogs and human relationships.
Eleanor’s Litmus Test

Eleanor Roosevelt knew a thing or two about relationships.

Designer Notes

VOTE 2020


Eleanor votes in one of the first elections in which women had the right to vote. New York, November 3, 1936. Photograph courtesy FDR Library.
Eleanor Roosevelt votes in one of the first elections in which women had the right to vote. New York, November 3, 1936. Photograph courtesy FDR Library.

A Personal Note from Cynthia

This is a reminder to all of our clients in the United States: if you haven’t done so already in early voting, remember to vote on November 3rd.

Eleanor Roosevelt, along with her friends, worked very hard a hundred years ago so that women could have the vote in the United States. They have passed the torch on to us to make certain EVERYONE is treated with respect and equality.

Cynthia Ivey Abitz stands in line to vote in 2020.
Cynthia stands in line to vote during the pandemic, 100 years after the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote in the United States. New York, October 30, 2020. Photograph courtesy Josh Ivey Abitz.

I thought about Eleanor a lot as Josh and I stood in line together, waiting to vote in the rain and unusual autumn snow squalls yesterday here in New York. For the hour and forty minutes we were in line, there was a sense of reverence from the people waiting. Everyone was masked for the pandemic, respectful and kind while exercising their civic duty. It made me hopeful that a world can continue that honours civility and kindness—one that Eleanor reminds us will only happen if we make it so.

She once wrote, “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”

An important part of the work is voting, so please remember to vote.

If you plan to wear your Ivey Abitz garments when you vote, please send us photographs of you in action. We’d love to see images of solidarity and hope as we exercise our right to vote.

— Cynthia Ivey Abitz