Segments in this Video

Raymond Loewy (01:54)


Loewy was America's first famous industrial designer. He designed many company logos that are still in use today.

Loewy's Early Life (03:19)

From a young age, Loewy was interested in drawing and physics, and would illustrate new inventions. He designed and sold a toy airplane when he was 14. He studied engineering and in 1919 moved to the United States, where he worked as an illustrator.

Loewy's Start in Design (04:30)

Loewy was one of the first designers to use modeling to improve a product. His first wife, Jean Thompson, helped him make business connections in New York. He worked his way up through the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and designed a locomotive.

Loewy's Use of Design (04:06)

Loewy was a pioneer in applying industrial design to commercial products. The success of his refrigerator redesign showed companies that using industrial design could increase profits. He wanted his products to look as advanced as possible.

Loewy's Designs in Everyday Life (05:22)

Loewy wanted his designs to work for the average person in everyday life. He redesigned the package for Lucky Strikes Cigarettes. Loewy began working for Coca-Cola in 1938 and for Studebaker in 1950.

Loewy's Cars (04:12)

In 1933, Loewy bought property in France, where he frequently showed his car collection. He had many of his cars modified by a sports car body shop.

Loewy's Properties (04:23)

In 1945, Loewy brought property in Palm Springs, which was seen as the height of American modernist style. He designed the house and held large parties around the swimming pool. He also had houses in Long Island, Mexico City, and Paris.

Loewy's Publicity (05:24)

Loewy was skilled at communications and used his fame to find new business prospects. His publicity director Betty Reese got him on the covers of Time and Life Magazines. He became the face for industrial design in America.

Loewy's Design Studios (07:28)

Loewy wanted to keep the French style in his design and travelled to France every few months. He opened design agencies in New York and Paris. His studios were the first to hire color specialists and psychologists to improve product sales.

Loewy's Aerospace Designs (02:55)

Through his second wife's friendship with Jackie Kennedy, Loewy was picked to redesign Air Force One. He designed the interiors for Air France's luxury jets and worked with NASA on designing Skylab.

Loewy's Communist Designs (04:04)

As a way to ease tensions during the Cold War, Loewy designed products for the Soviet government. The Soviets wanted to see where the United States was in terms of industrial design and did not pay for the work. Financial problems caused Loewy to close his New York studio.

Loewy's Legacy (03:32)

For decades, Loewy was credited with creating the American landscape. The field of industrial design has changed since his time. Loewy sold his companies and properties before retiring to Monte Carlo.

Credits: Citizen Loewy - How A Frenchman Designed the American Dream (00:46)

Credits: Citizen Loewy - How A Frenchman Designed the American Dream

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Citizen Loewy – How A Frenchman Designed the American Dream

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Who was Raymond Loewy? A designer with the golden touch - such a genius that he could cross the US by air, rail, or road, stylishly seated in a plane, train, or automobile he'd designed himself. French designer Raymond Loewy was a star when the American way of life was at its flamboyant capitalist peak. He styled his own destiny as a Hollywood thriller. After all, he was a tycoon, a New York celebrity. Yet by the end of his life, he’d been forgotten. He took the mystery of his iconic Coca-Cola bottle to the grave with him. The bigger they are, the harder they fall: One day, megalomania got the better of Loewy, and he came to a tragic end. Suspense, drama, twists of fate: Loewy invented the medium as the message.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL160982

ISBN: 978-1-64481-219-8

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.