Claire McCardell (1905–1958) was an American fashion designer. In 1990, Life named her one of the 100 most important Americans of the 20th century, and in 1955, she was on the cover of TIME. She attended Parsons School of Design in New York and studied in Paris. As head designer of Townley Frocks, she was one of the first American designers to have name recognition. She was the recipient of two Coty American Fashion Critics’ Awards and won the first American Sportswear Designers Award from Sports Illustrated. Her work is in museums across the country and has been the subject of retrospectives at the Smithsonian and the Fashion Institute of Technology.