Gelatin silver print, c. 1932–33
Earhart demonstrated an entrepreneurial streak throughout her life, in part because she recognized that financial resources were necessary to maintain her flying career. Capitalizing on her popularity, Earhart began designing sportswear and lightweight luggage for women in the early 1930s. This product line was aimed at active women and featured shirts made of parachute silk.
Having made her own clothes prior to her fame, she enjoyed this venture. As she said at the time, she “had a grand time adapting a lot of airplane gadgets to my clothes,” including buttons made of wing nuts and belt buckles made of ball bearings.
When her clothing debuted in 1934, Earhart told reporters that it was designed in part with the tall woman in mind, since she had difficulty finding clothing that fit her: “You know, I’m taller than everyone except Mrs. Roosevelt.”