Elsie de Wolfe (1859-1950)
Lady Elsie (de Wolfe) Mendl, "the world's very first interior designer"
Born in New York City, she was a prominent society figure in New York, Paris and London. According to The New Yorker, "Interior design as a profession was invented by Elsie de Wolfe". This was not altogether strictly true, but she was certainly the most famous of her era when the profession was first recognized with the same reverence with which is viewed today. Her clients included Amy Vanderbilt, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and the Fricks. Edith Wharton, who is usually better remembered for her novels, was among those who inspired her. She died in France.