Born in Kansas City in August 1896, Julia Coburn Antolini attended Vassar College, where she graduated in 1918. In 1927, she became promotion director for Harper's Bazaar. Three years later, Antolini founded the Fashion Group International (FGI) together with other distinguished women such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Helena Rubinstein, and Clare MacCardell.
In 1953, Julia married Dante Antolini, an entrepreneur originally from Florence and founder of Antolini & Co., an import-export firm based in New York. It followed her growing Italian frequentations and travels, as well as her rising interest for Italian cultural products.
In 1966, on the occasion of her husband's birthday, Antolini funded the establishment of a endowed chair of Italian language and studies at Vassar College. In recognition of this gesture, in June 1967 she received the title of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
Julia Coburn Antolini died in February 1981, at the age of 84.
Italian businessman and commercial representative in the US
Victoria Balfour, “The Fashionable Julia Coburn,” Vassar Chronicle, vol. XIX, no. 11, April 28, 1977.
"Mrs Julia Coburn Antolini Honored by Italian Republic," Trade With Italy, Vol. XXII, no. 7, July 1967, p. 27.