born: 1892, Russia
ethos: Born Romain de Tirtoff at the turn of the 20th century, he became a brand—before the concept took on its modern characteristics—when he styled himself Erté (the sound of his initials, R. T., when pronounced in French). His work is an exemplar of Art Deco style, sophisticated, remote, with a hint of flash that is a remnant, perhaps, of his background as a costume designer for screen and stage.
copilot: Harper’s Bazaar featured Erté drawings on its covers for more than two decades.
beauty ideal: Embellished deco dames.