Curator's Corner: A Different Space Race


In the spring of 1969, Alcoa encouraged women to “Win the World” by matching six fashion capitals—Paris, London, Acapulco, Istanbul, Madrid, and Rome—with six aluminum-fabric outfits designed by Oscar de la Renta in homage to those cities. Correct matches were eligible to win the grand prize: the whole collection plus a three-week tour to the six destinations. Second prize winners would enjoy trips to Paris and Rome and a set of Oscar de la Renta originals. Today, multiple items associated with this promotion are part of the Alcoa collection at the History Center. The fashions shimmer in surprising colors, including pink, green, gold, and blue. Without labeling, most people would never guess that they were made of aluminum, and in some ways, that was precisely the point. 

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