Annie, or AB, as she was known to her friends and family, was born on July 6, 1945, at the Women's Lying-In Hospital in New York City. She was raised in Scarsdale, New York, and attended Edgemont High School. She continued her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned a degree in anthropology. Following her graduation, Annie sailed to Europe and settled for a brief time in Paris, witnessing the 1968 student uprisings. She then moved to London, where she worked with Arthur Chisnall, a pioneering outreach social worker who helped alienated underachieving youngsters find training and gainful employment. Annie became a beloved den mother to hippies and strays. She later studied at Saint Martin’s School of Art, receiving a certificate in fashion design.
In 1975 Annie moved to Morocco with her beloved friend Laurie Sarney and established her own clothing atelier in Marrakech. She traveled throughout the country and designed and produced unique items—most famously her signature billowy bloomers in indigo-dyed cotton (Allen Ginsberg bought a pair).
Annie returned to New York in 1981. Initially she worked with the couture clothing designer Sander Witlin, and then in 1984 she established AB Wardrobe Works, a wardrobe consulting and styling business. Annie loved good clothes but believed a wardrobe— an assemblage of pieces that interrelate, function as a whole, and tell a story—was one of the keys to success and happiness. As she told her clients: “You are the star of your life. Your wardrobe is the costume department. Are you dressed for the role you want to play?”Annie conducted seminars and training sessions on the business of wardrobe consulting across the country. A recognized master, she was interviewed on network radio and television and was quoted widely—in Vogue, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Denver Post, and More magazine. Annie was a certified member of the Association of Image Consultants International and served on its board from 2004 to 2006. She was also a certified pedorthist.
Annie was passionate about many things, including photography, swimming, dancing, yoga, and rocks (she had an impressive collection). An accomplished photographer, she was an enthusiastic member of the International Center of Photography. Her greatest passion, though, may well have been her acquired family—the many friends across the country and the globe to whom she was utterly devoted and who in turn were devoted to her.
Annie Brumbaugh died at her home in New York City on August 4, 2016. The cause of death was lung cancer. She was the daughter of the late David Willis Brumbaugh, Sr., and Dorothy Seay Brumbaugh and the sister of David Brumbaugh, Jr., also deceased. Her sister-in-law, Marilyn Brumbaugh, survives her.
Please consider a donation in Annie’s memory to the Penumbra Foundation, 36 East 30th Street, New York, New York 10016; or Doctors Without Borders, 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001-5004.