Clara Bow, Hollywood’s Very First “It Girl”

Illustration of Clara Bow by Kirby Salvador
Illustration of Clara Bow by Kirby Salvador

Clara Bow (1905–1965)

Born in Brooklyn in 1905, Clara Bow was a silent movie actress who embodied the rebellion, sex and excitement of the Roaring Twenties. She appeared in 58 films in a little more than a decade, including an iconic role in the 1927 film “It.” During a notable scene in the film, she boldly cuts the hem of her dress before a date to make it shorter and sexier; an action that singlehandedly challenged society’s view of femininity, sexuality and youth. An iconic flapper and sex symbol, her popularity waned with the advent of “talkies,” and she retired from film in 1933. Her legacy lives on, however, as Hollywood’s very first “It Girl.”

“The more I see of men, the more I like dogs.” —Clara Bow

Born and raised in Chicago, Kirby Salvador is a New York-based illustrator specializing in fictional cities and the human figure. kirbysalvador.com

This feature originally appeared in the Minimalism issue.