Bonniecashin.org is the official site of Bonnie Cashin’s personal archive, owned in its entirety by Dr. Stephanie Lake. Lake maintains the largest Cashin archive in existence, including thousands of designs, a digital archive, and many of the designer’s personal papers. Additional access to Lake’s archive is available through Stephanie Lake Design on Instagram and the Bonnie Cashin Facebook page.
The fifth scholar in the world to earn a Ph.D. in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, Lake is the foremost scholar on Bonnie’s Cashin life and career. Lake’s research began after auctioning a Cashin coat at Sotheby’s. Realizing that there was no definitive record of Cashin’s work, she set out to redress this historical neglect. When word reached Cashin herself, she invited Lake to tea, and the two formed a fast friendship that lasted until the designer’s death in 2000. She referred to Lake as her “little sister.” It was a classic “New York story,” as documented in an extensive narrative published by the New York Times. Upon Cashin’s death, Lake was hired by the executors of the Cashin estate to archive Cashin’s professional papers and to advise on the distribution of assets and formation of educational and financial gifts in Cashin’s name. She was gifted Cashin’s personal effects and private archive.
Lake’s extensive roster of Cashin works includes her master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation at the Bard Graduate Center, numerous curatorial projects in the US and Asia, and the Rizzoli title “Bonnie Cashin: Chic is Where You Find It.” She was instrumental in the founding of numerous charitable programs following Cashin’s death, including the private Bonnie Cashin Foundation, the Bonnie Cashin Fund for Study Abroad at her alma mater, and the Bonnie Cashin Lecture Series at UCLA, where she served as curator-in-charge of their collection of Cashin’s works on paper.
Now a noted jewelry designer, and a frequent consultant and commentator on fashion and design, Lake resides in Minneapolis with her husband, Cory, and daughter Odette. For more information on lake’s life and career, please visit the Stephanie Lake Design website.