Profile of the Day: Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon

Posted June 13, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon

Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon

Have you found your connection to a Titanic passenger? On this day in 1863, English fashion designer and survivor of the RMS Titanic disaster Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon was born. She was considered one of the leading fashion designers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Lady Duff-Gordon was born Lucy Christiana Sutherland on June 13, 1863 in London, England to Douglas Sutherland, a civil engineer, and Elinor Sounders. After her first marriage, Lady Duff-Gordon began working as a dressmaker from home before opening up her own shop catered toward wealthy clientele. She became known as an innovator in couture styles and originated the “mannequin parade,” which served as a precursor to the modern fashion show. She became the first British designer to achieve international recognition with branches opened in New York City, Chicago, and Paris.

In 1912, Lady Duff-Gordon and her husband were traveling to America on board the ill-fated Titanic. On the night of April 14, she and her husband managed to escape the sinking ship on lifeboat no. 1. Although the boat was designed to hold 40 people, the boat was lowered with only 12 passengers. After their rescue, the couple were faced with intense criticism from the public. The lifeboat would be dubbed the “Money Boat” by the press for the rumors that her husband had bribed the lifeboat’s crew not to return for survivors. Lady Duff-Gordon later testified at the official inquiry into the disaster.

Three years later, Lady Duff-Gordon had another close call when she booked passage aboard the RMS Lusitania. She fell ill and had to cancel her trip. The ship would be shot and sunk by a German torpedo on May 7, 1915.

Explore Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re related!

View Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon’s Geni Profile


Image: Library of Congress

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Amanda is the Social Media Coordinator at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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