As the youngest of four sisters, Anne Whitney was given their outgrown and cast-off clothes, which she reworked to suit herself. After graduating from high school, she attended Allegheny College for a year before transferring to the Carnegie Institute of Technology to study drama, as she wanted to be an actress. In 1939, she followed one of her sisters to New York City. While looking for acting jobs, she became a model for Harvey Berin, a well-known womenswear manufacturer. She also studied fashion design at night. In 1940, she married Thomas Fogarty, an artist; although the marriage ended in divorce, Anne retained his surname professionally. Anne Fogarty modeled and worked as a stylist and publicist until 1948, when she got her first design job with Youth Guild, a company specializing in teenage fashion. In 1950, she went to work for Margot, Inc., which made junior clothes. By 1957, she began doing design work exclusively for Saks Fifth Avenue, producing shoes, scarves, lingerie, hats and jewelry in addition to dresses. In 1959 she published Wife Dressing, in which she gave advice on how to dress to please a man. A few years later, she opened her own design house, Anne Fogarty, Inc. She expanded her lines to include sportswear and ensembles, but was still best known for her dresses. After her retirement, Anne Fogarty continued to do freelance design work. Her last collection was for Shariella Fashion in 1980.