Jenny Yvonne "Ginette" Spanier (March 7, 1904 – April 18, 1988) was director of the House of Balmain, a Paris fashion-house, and was decorated for her wartime work. Nancy Spain had several lesbian affairs, most openly with Ginette Spanier, the (married) directrice of Balmain. Spanier may have had a liaison with Marlene Dietrich in 1959.
Spanier, who was Jewish, was born in Paris on 7 March 1904 and raised in Hampstead, London, England and attended Frognal School there.
While in Paris as a buyer for Fortnum & Mason, she met Paul-Emile Seidmann, a doctor. In 1939, they married. Shortly afterwards, during World War II, they fled Nazi-occupied Paris by bicycle. She was subsequently awarded the Medal of Freedom for assisting the American Army of Liberation. Seidmann was made a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur for his work with concentration camp survivors.
After the war, the couple lived for many years on Paris' Avenue Maurice, and she became directrice (director) at Balmain from 1947 to 1976. The first of her two volumes of autobiography, It isn't All Mink (1959), had a foreword by Noël Coward, the second volume, And Now It's Sables (1970), had one by Maurice Chevalier. She appeared as a castaway on the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs on 21 June 1965. She was also the guest on This Is Your Life on 9 February 1972.
She retired, a widow, to London, and died there in April 1988.
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