the house on 56th street

Boué Soeurs, detail, 1920s.

The sisters Sylvie and Jeanne Boué founded the first French haute couture house in New York on 13 West 56th Street. The house of Boué Soeurs, established by the sisters in 1899, was originally based in Paris at 9 rue de la Paix but when World War I intensified the sisters decided to move their business to more peaceful shores.

They had their heyday in the 1920s, when their styles were widely popularized in trade and fashion magazines. The firm was most known for creating dresses for court occasions, balls and other formal events.