Margaret Godfrey is a businesswoman and designer of women’s ready-to-wear whose collections were sold in Canada and the United States by Montreal manufacturer Bagatelle for well over 30 years.
Born in England, Margaret Godfrey graduated in 1962 with an arts degree from the Hastings College of Art in East Sussex. After working in the London fashion industry for five years, notably for designer Samuel Sherman, she moved to Montreal in 1967. She worked for designer Jonathan Logan for several months before being hired in 1968 as a designer by Jack Margolis, the president of the recently founded manufacturing company Bagatelle. The following year, the company opened a sales office in New York City to meet the demands of the American market. In 1969, Margaret Godfrey became a partner in Bagatelle.
Influenced by the aesthetic of British designer Mary Quant in the 1970s, Margaret Godfrey created peasant skirts, miniskirts, maxi coats and ponchos. She eventually became best known for her leather and suede creations, which were sold under various labels, notably Margaret Godfrey and Bagatelle.
In 1992, Bagatelle went bankrupt. In the years that followed, Margaret Godfrey and Michael Litvack, who had also worked there for many years and become a shareholder, redoubled their efforts to keep the company going. In 1996, they found financial partners to help them relaunch Bagatelle.
Margaret Godfrey retired in 2010. As of 2019, Michael Litvack was still president of Bagatelle International Inc. The company’s head office is on Mayrand Street in Montreal.
Lambert, Eleanor. «Margaret Godfrey and Nicola Pelly» World Fashion : people, places, resources, New York, R. R. Bowker, 1976, p. 189.
Lavigne, Lucie. «Hommage. Margaret Godfrey.» Créateurs québécois, APDMQ, supplément gratuit de Clin d’œil, no 166, et de Flare, vol. 15, no 16, avril 1994.
Madeleine Goubau, Contributor