Mildred Eliazbeth Levine Albert was a Jewish American international fashion consultant, educator, lecturer, columnist, and radio and television personality.
Albert was the youngest of four children of Thomas Levine and Elizabeth Sugarman. Born in Russia, she emigrated with her family, who settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts. While a student at the Sargent School of Physical Education (now part of Boston University), Mildred Levine met her future husband, James Albert. The couple married in 1928 and had three children. A teacher of art, dance, and literature at Florence Street Settlement House in the South End of Boston, Albert also taught posture at Massachusetts General Hospital and was sought out to give private lessons in good posture and proper etiquette to daughters of prominent Boston families.
In the 1930s she established the Academie Moderne, a finishing school for young women that combined lessons on poise, grace, and good speaking skills with exposure to museums and cultural events. In 1944, Albert co-founded the Hart Model Agency and Promotions, Inc. with Muriel Williams Hart and her husband, Francis Hart; during those years she began covering major designer fashion shows as Boston's "First Lady of Fashion." Albert sold the school and the agency in 1981, but remained dean emeritus to the school and consultant to the agency. From the 1930s through the 1970s, Albert hosted weekly radio programs on fashion and beauty. She continued fashion show coverage on the CBS Good Day Show into the 1980s, and late in life as a reporter for the Tab newspapers. Although not religiously observant, Albert identified strongly with Jewish history and culture. She shared her name and money as a generous philanthropist, co-coordinating fashion shows for various charities; she served on the board of the Hebrew Teachers College in Boston in the 1920s and 1930s.
Albert was the recipient of numerous awards, including the State of Israel Bonds 35th Anniversary Award in 1983; in 1990 Boston's Mayor Flynn declared "Mildred Albert Day" to honor the city's "official Grande Dame." Albert's papers are located at the Schlesinger Library of Radcliffe College.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.
S. Alpern, "Mildred (Levine) Albert," in: Jewish Women in America (P.E. Hyman and D.D. Moore, eds.), vol. 1 (1997), 32–33.