While (re)reading Kate Spade's Style the other day, this quote from the introduction jumped out at us: I was born in the Midwest, and style wasn't much on anyone's mind.
What?! Kate, you're right about a lot of things, but you're wrong on this one.
To argue our point, here are some of the best and brightest style icons of the past 100 years...all of them born and bred in the Midwest.
• Dirk Jan DePree, Founder of Herman Miller, b. 1891 in Zeeland, Michigan
• Charles Eames, Designer, b. 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri
• Michael Graves, Architect, b. 1934 in Indianapolis, Indiana
• Jenny Holzer, Installation Artist, b. 1959 in Gallipolis, Ohio
• Philip Johnson, Architect, b. 1906 in Cleveland, Ohio
• Maya Lin, Designer of the Vietnam Memorial, b. 1959 in Athens, Ohio
• Georgia O'Keefe, Artist, b. 1887 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
• Gordon Parks, Photographer, b. 1912 in Fort Scott, Kansas
• Bill Stumpf, Co-designer of the Aeron Chair, b. 1936 in St. Louis, Missouri
• Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect, b. 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin
And let's not forget the long list of people who weren't born here, but did much of their most important work while living in the Midwest, including Buckminster Fuller, Louis Sullivan, Eliel and Eero Saarinen and Mies van der Rohe.
This is our (limited) short list...chime in with your favorite Midwestern style icons!
Image: Eames Molded Plywood Chair via Treadway Gallery.