Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/database.php on line 19

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/database.php:19) in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/sessions.php on line 102

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/database.php:19) in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/sessions.php on line 102

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/language.php on line 87

Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/seo.class.php on line 78

Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/classes/seo.class.php on line 78

Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/general.php on line 61

Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/general.php on line 61

Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/general.php on line 61

Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/general.php on line 61

Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/general.php on line 61

Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/general.php on line 61

Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/general.php on line 61

Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /home4/kbrenner/public_html/beeskneesvintage.com/catalog/includes/functions/general.php on line 61
Labels - Antique Clothier
  Antique Clothier   
  Lobby » Labels Shopping Bag   
Departments
Bridal expand
Victorian & Edwardian
1920s-Flappers
1930s to Vintage
Lingerie expand
Men & Children expand
Accessories expand
Lace, Linens & Paper expand
Clearance Basement
Labels
Information
Shipping
Returns
Privacy Notice
Shopping Bag more
0 items
Search
 
Use keywords to find the product you are looking for.

Label Information

Below is an introduction to designer labels currently or previously shown in vintage and antique clothing on this site. The Bees Knees Vintage collection was acquired by frequenting museum and other public auctions, estate sales, flea markets, buying personal collections, and so on. Of course, a lot more information can be found on your favorite labels by researching at the library and internet. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to use the "Contact Us" form at the bottom of this page.

- Adolfo
- Adrian
- B. Altman
- American Greeting
- Cristobal Balenciaga
- Pierre Balmain
- Beer
- The Beistle Company
- Henri Bendel
- Best & Co.
- Bonwit Teller
- Butte Knit
- Callot Soeurs
- Hattie Carnegie
- Irene Castle
- Coco Chanel
- Ceil Chapman
- Arnold Constable
- Andre Courreges
- Lilly Dache
- Jean Desses
- Mr. Dino
- Christian Dior
- Emma Domb
- Fashion Originators Guild
- Jacques Fath
- Leslie Fay
- Formfit Rogers
- Rudi Gernreich
- Adam Gimbel
- Hubert de Givenchy
- Guccio Gucci
- Hall Bros.
- J. L. Hudson
- ILGWU
- Carl Jantzen
- Ladies Mile
- Jeanne Lanvin
- Lucien Lelong
- Liberty of London
- Lilli Ann
- Lord & Taylor
- Jean Louis
- Lucile / Lady Duff
- I. Magnin
- Main Rousseau Bocher
- Claire McCardell
- Dan Millstein
- Edward Molyneux
- National Recovery Act
- Neiman Marcus
- Ernest Nister & Co.
- Norman Norell
- Jeanne Paquin
- Jean Patou
- Paul Poiret
- Emilio Pucci
- Zandra Rhodes
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- Tom Sawyer Washwear
- Elsa Schiaparelli
- Valentino
- Vanity Fair
- Phillipe Venet
- Madeleine Vionnet
- John Wanamaker
- Whiting & Davis Co.
- Whitney Made
- John O. Winsch
- Charles Worth

Adolfo
(1933- ) Born in Cardenas Cuba, Adolfo Sardiña's aunt was influential in his obtaining an apprenticeship in the hat workshops of Paris couturiers Balenciaga. He immigrated to New York and began his career at Bergdorf Goodman in 1948. His first label was Adolfo of Emme, which was produced 1951-58. He returned to Paris to apprentice at the House of Chanel, to sharpen his skills in couture. In 1963 he started his own millinery house, Adolfo Inc., with money he borrowed from Bill Blass. Some of his hats during the early 60s were designed to accompany the clothing of Norman Norell. He then began making clothes for a good friend, Gloria Venderbilt, and before long he was in the dressmaking business. By the 80s, he was known mainly for his ladylike knit suits, known to be a favorite of Nancy Reagan. Adolfo closed his custom workroom in 1993 to concentrate on licensing.

Back to top

Adrian
(1903-1959) Gilbert Adrian was born in Connecticut and designed for Broadway before moving to Hollywood in 1925. He designed for Rudolph Valentino in the mid 1920s, worked for Cecil B. DeMille in 1926, and in 1928 he went to MGM. Here he designed the costumes for over 230 movies and dressed some of Hollywood’s greatest stars such as Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, and Katharine Hepburn; and was responsible for Joan Crawford’s big-shouldered. He was also known for his glamorous flowing gowns. Gilbert Adrian was creative director for MGM's Wizard of Oz (1939), one of his most acclaimed productions; the same year he married actress Janet Gaynor. In 1942, Adrian left MGM to open his own design shop in Beverly Hills, and retired due to illness in 1952. The Adrian Original label was originally sold in 25 stores across the US. The ‘Adrian Custom’ label was used on anything produced for a specific client, including custom fit suits, one of a kind garments, and ensembles of very limited production, usually six or less, with client-specific alterations or variations to the design.

Back to top

B. Altman
(1840-1913) Benjamin Altman, native New Yorker, started a dry goods store in 1865 at 39 Third Avenue, New York, acquiring his brother Morris' business in 1876 at 627 Sixth Ave. (at 19th St.); the new store was known as the "Palace of Trade." In 1906, he moved to Fifth Ave. and 34th St. with Michael Friedsam forming B. Altman & Co. This was the first large-scale department store on Fifth Avenue and has an interesting history itself. The American Olympic team depicted in the film Chariots of Fire trained on a rooftop running track. Escalators taken from 1939 World’s Fair pavilions were incorporated into the structure. A miniature community, the store had a seven-bed medical department staffed by a doctor and two nurses who provided medical care to employees and, on an emergency basis, to customers. There was also a school that offered lessons to employees and a power plant in the subbasement. This power plant made the building an oasis of electricity during New York’s 1965 blackout. People came there seeking refuge from the dark and heat. The department store’s staff passed around free sandwiches, and people slept in the furniture department, on the floors, wherever they could.
Even after their expansion into fashion, the first floor of B. Altman was dedicated to fabrics. A customer could choose from the store's selection of fine imported fabrics and have a dress custom made. Shortly before Altman's death, he established the Altman Foundation, of which $20,000,000 represented by his art collection was given to the Metropolitan Museum, New York. B. Altman & Co. went out of business in 1989 and the building closed.

Back to top

American Greeting
(1885-1987) Jacob Sapirstein founded American Greeting in 1906 and after beginning by selling cards from a horse-drawn cart. American Greetings is now the world's largest publicly owned creator, manufacturer, and distributor of greeting cards. It has continued to be run by members of the Sapirstein (Stone) family. The greeting cards are marketed under the names Carlton Cards, American Greetings and Forget Me Not.

Back to top

Cristobal Balenciaga
(1895-1972) Cristobal Balenciaga started in the fashion business as a tailor in Spain. In 1922, he established Eisa Fashion House, named for his mother. He left Spain due to the Spanish Civil War, and went to Paris. There he opened his couture house in 1937 and presented his first Parisian collection. Balenciaga was known for his silhouettes with tight waists, tailored suits, and the "Tonneau" line. The cut and construction was often quite complicated, but the result seemed simple. "Balenciaga abides by the law that elimination is the secret of chic." (Harper's Bazaar, 1938.) He created wedding dresses for the Queen of Belgium. His last collection was shown in 1968, although he created an additional perfume in 1971. (fundacionbalenciaga.com)

Back to top

Pierre Balmain
(1914-1982) Pierre Balmain studied architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts, and sold designs to Molyneux, Lanvin, and Lelong; and also worked in the House of Piguet. He opened his own salon on the Rue François 1er in 1945, asserting that “dressmaking is the architecture of movement.” Balmain shared a very sculptural quality with other designers of the 1950s; his designs were elegantly simple, showing a return to opulence after the war. Balmain designed personal wardrobes for numerous international stars, including Brigitte Bardot, Marlene Dietrich, and Katherine Hepburn. Oscar de la Renta was appointed Directeur Artistique de la Haute Couture at the House of Balmain in 1993.

Back to top

Beer
(18 –1922) Beer was born in Germany and opened his couture house in Paris in 1900. He moving to 7 Place Vendôme in 1905 when the stylish silhouette was the S-shaped figure with full sleeves fitted at the wrists and relatively full skirts.

Back to top

The Beistle Company
Martin Luther Beistle founded his company in 1900. Beistle paper (a honeycomb tissue paper) was first invented and produced, almost simultaneously, in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, about 1905 by The Beistle Company, and in New York City by The Paper Novelty Company. A joint sales relationship with The Paper Novelty Company ended in 1913. At that point, The Beistle Company expanded its manufacturing operations into a wider selection of honeycombed tissue creations becoming known internationally for its collapsible honeycomb decorations and party items.

Back to top

Best & Co.
(1879-1971) The children's store called the Lilliputian Bazaar eventually grew into the department store Best & Co. It incorporated in 1917 and moved to a new white marble, 12-story department store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. They stayed in business for nearly a century before closing their doors. The store was demolished by Aristotle Onassis and Arlen Realty for Olympic Tower, but first its windows were cleaned and dressed with mannequins wearing clothes of the 40s for the filming of The Godfather. Ironically Marlon Brando worked for a week at Best & Co. in 1942 as an elevator operator; maybe he would like the lobby of BeesKneesVintage.com. Best & Co. was relaunched in 1997 under Susie Hilfiger.

Back to top

Bonwit Teller
(1862-1939) Paul J. Bonwit was born in Germany and moved to the US in 1883, working in New York and Nebraska before returning to New York and joining Rothschild & Company. By 1898 he opened Bonwit Teller with Edmund D. Teller, and by 1911 their 12-story building was located on 5th Avenue. In the 1920s and 30s they carried French models, including duplicates of Lanvin, Patou, Vionnet, and Maggy Rouff; custom mades; and American-made garments. They were noted for the quality of their merchandise and the salaries they paid. In 1930, Floyd Odlum brought needed capital to the company and his wife Hortense became the first woman president of a U.S. department store in 1934 when Mr. Bonwit retired. Donald Trump bought the Fifth Avenue Bonwit Teller building in 1979 and demolished it in 1990 to make room for the Trump Tower.

Back to top

Butte Knit
Butte Knit began as an Irish textile mill that expanded its manufacturing industry to the UK and the U.S. It was established in 1956 in South Carolina and is held by the Jonathan Logan company. They introduced double-knit fabric to the US, and are famous for comfortable women's clothing such as soft, wool knit suits.

Callot Soeurs
The four Parisian Callot sisters, Marie, Marthe, Regine, and Josephine set up a salon on rue Taitbout in 1895. In 1914 they moved to grander quarters in Avenue Matignon. The eldest sister, Marie, was the lead designer. They were the first to make gold and silver lamé dresses, and introduced their own new colors such as Blue-Callot, "cuisse de nymphe," and saffron yellow. They are also known for their use of exotic fabrics and embroideries, and for their exquisite technical skill in cut and methods of construction. Madame Madeleine Vionnet was trained at Callot Soeurs, and credited them with training her in design techniques. She said "without the example of the Callot sisters, I would have continued to make Fords. It is because of them that I have been able to make Rolls-Royces." Madame Marie Callot Gerber retired in 1937 and her son Pierre took over. The house was absorbed into the house of Calvet, which closed in 1948.

Back to top

Hattie Carnegie
(1886-1956) Hattie Carnegie was born Henrietta Kanengeiser in Vienna. On the ship to America, she asked the name of America's richest man, then adopted Andrew Carnegie's last name. She received free millenary training while employed at Macy's in 1901. At age 20 she opened a shop on East Tenth Street in New York called Carnegie-Ladies Hatter. In 1918 she founded Hattie Carnegie, Inc. and started manufacturing high-quality costume jewelry to complement her clothing line and relocated to 86th and Broadway. Her final store location was in a 5-story building built at 42 East 49th Street in 1923. Hattie Carnegie's earliest line of hats had the HATENGIE label. I. Magnin was the first company to acquire rights to Hattie Carnegie's Ready to Wear label in 1925. In 1928 Hattie Carnegie hired 17-year-old Lucille Ball as a model. By 1940 she employed 1000 people. Carnegie was known for tasteful suits boasting dressmaker details and feminine colors, little black dresses, and raised hems. (hattie-carnegie.com)

Back to top

Irene Castle
(1893-1969) Irene Foote and her husband Vernon (born Vernon Blythe) Castle were famous ballroom dancers of the early 20th century. Beginning about 1914 they operated several clubs and studios in NYC, toured the country dancing, and were able to charge as much as $1,000 an hour for lessons. They appeared in an Irving Berlin musical, "Watch Your Step," and in the film "The Whirl of Life". Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger played the Castles in 1939 in "The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle." Irene Castle was an important promotional link for Corticelli Silks during the early 1920s. Women around the country envied Irene's uncorseted waist and her bobbed hair. Unfortunately, the Castles' fame was short-lived when Vernon died in a training flight crash. "Irene Castle Corticelli Fashions," designed by New York ready-to-wear firms Jesse Woolf & Company, Jacob Rappaport & Company, and Joseph A. Morris & Company, were available at "an exclusive dealer in each city." (Harper's Bazaar, vol. LVIV, no. 3 March 1924, p. 125) (paragonragtime.com/castle.html)

Back to top

Coco Chanel
(1883-1971) Gabrielle Chanel acquired the name "Coco" and became a milliner, opening her first shop in Paris selling ladies hats in 1909 and moving to the Rue Cambonher clothing shop by 1913. By the end of WWI, she was making jersey knit dresses and skirt and sweater combinations and enjoyed huge success with clients around the world. Her first true collection was presented in 1922. Throughout the 20s and 30s her clothes consisted of fashion basics and she became Known for her drive for perfection, whether in design or fit, and strong opinions in all matters of taste. Chanel's future was uncertain after WWII, but she debuted a comeback collection in 1953 at age 70. Her signature garment was a simple suit with a slim skirt and collarless jacket, and Chanel No. 5 perfume, launched in 1923. Karl Lagerfeld took over the design in 1983.

Back to top

Ceil Chapman
(1912- ) Born in New York, Ceil became a Chapman when she married her first husband Samuel, with whom she went in to business in 1940 having previously been involved in Her Ladyship Gowns with Gloria Vanderbilt. The earliest Chapman label is ‘A Chapman Original’, which was followed by the simple black on white, or white on black Ceil Chapman. A needle and thread was incorporated in to the logo in the late 50’s to early 60’s. During their business partnership that ended in the mid-60’s, Ceil and Samuel divorced and she went on to marry Tom Rogers. Ms. Chapman designed for movies and celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe, Deborah Kerr, Judy Holliday, and Elizabeth Taylor for whom she designed a wedding dress. Although her clothes were not cheap, she managed to make them available in department stores by using synthetic fabrics along with taffeta, jersey, chiffon, organdy, and metallic brocades often embellished with beads, lace and sequins. Her style was a feminine, flattering, cocktail dress emphasizing an hourglass figure, and ingenious draping and construction. In the mid 1950s Ceil launched the Fatima silhouette with an elongated bodice, draped hipline and full skirt, sometimes with a tucked-under harem hemline. Ceil's image and creations were used for advertising purposes including GE, Cadillac, Revlon, and she designed for two mail order pattern companies.

Back to top

Arnold Constable
(1869-1914) The Arnold Constable department store was founded by Aaron Arnold and son-in-law James Constable. It expanded across 19th Street in 1877, and was the first of the large Ladies Mile department stores to have a Fifth Avenue address. It offered "Everything From Cradle to Grave." Mary Todd Lincoln was a frequent customer, along with Carnegies, Rockefellers, and Morgans. The Constable store was built on the site of actor Edwin Booth's home (1862-65) at what was then No. 28 E. 18th Street; his brother, fellow actor and assassin John Wilkes Booth, often stayed with him here.

Back to top

Andre Courreges
(1923- ) Andre Courreges was a French civil engineer, then an Air Force pilot in WWII before becoming a designer for the House of Balenciaga in 1950. In 1961 he opened Maison de Courreges at 48 ave Kleber in Paris. He is most famous for inventing the "Moon Girl" collection with the mini-skirt and go-go boots in 1964, and the space age designs of 1968. Courreges restructured his company into three tiers in 1965: Prototypes as his couture; Couture Future as his high end ready-to-wear; and Hyperbole as the inexpensive ready-to-wear. Courreges continued designing through the 90s, introducing new lines and perfumes.

Back to top

Lilly Daché
(1898-1989) Lilly Daché was born in France and apprenticed under Caroline Reboux and Suzanne Talbot. She immigrated to New York and started her own shop in 1924. She's known for her draped turbans, brimmed hats molded to the head, half hats, visor caps for war workers, and romantic massed-flower shapes. By 1949, she was designing dresses to go with her hats, as well as lingerie, loungewear, gloves, hosiery, and a wired strapless bra. By the 1950s she had introduced a line of costume jewelry. In 1958 Daché hired Halston as a hat designer. Lilly Daché retired in 1968. Her books include Lilly Daché's Glamour Book (1956) and her autobiography, Talking through My Hats (1946). After retiring, Daché licensed her name and it can be found on various types of garments.

Back to top

Jean Desses
(1904-1970) Jean Desses was born in Egypt and began his design career at Maison Jane in Paris in 1925. He worked there as a designer until 1937 when he started his own couture house. His Greek influence was apparent in designs with sheath dresses, flowing skirts, and draped chiffon evening gowns. In 1949 Desses began producing ready-to-wear lines for the US market. Valentino worked with Desses from 1950-1955. In 1958, Desses moved to 12 Rond Point des Champs Elysées and retired to Greece in 1963.

Back to top

Mr. Dino
Max Cohen started his business in the late fifties in a small warehouse in Miami and from there he built a factory where clothing was manufactured. As he was starting his new business, he and his family sat around trying to think of what to name the line of clothing. Everyone put their ideas in a hat, and Mr. Cohen drew his wife's suggestion, which was Mr. Dino because she was a great fan of Dean Martin (whose nickname was Dino). Mr. Cohen designed every print on every garment, and actually invented the silk screening machine that was used to screen the print onto the fabric. Often compared to Emilio Pucci, Mr. Dino was recognized and known for his own unique designs. In the late sixties, Mr. Dino sold out to US Industries and remained CEO of the company. After he retired, he started another business called St. Maxime -- a bathing suit line with the same kind of prints as Mr. Dino. (vintagefashionguild.org)

Back to top

Christian Dior
(1905–1957) Christian Dior was born in France and began his design career in 1935 after serving in the military. He worked for Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong before opening his own design house backed by textile manufacturer Marcel Boussac.
In the spring of 1947, Dior showed his first major collection, the “Corolle” line, which came to be known as the “New Look” featuring prominent shoulders, a nipped-in waist, and accentuated hips. Dior continued to introduce a new silhouette each season, including the Princess line of 1951, the Tulip of 1953, and the A line of 1955. Dior pioneered license agreements in the fashion business, making him a household name. Yves Saint Laurent, became the head designer after Dior's untimely death. Other head designers at Dior have been: Marc Bohan (1960-89), Gianfranco Ferre (1989–96), and John Galliano (1996-).

Back to top

Emma Domb
A California dressmaking company that was active from 1939 through the 70s. Early labels read, Party Lines by Emma Domb, and then Emma Domb California. Designs mainly consist of cocktail and evening gowns with accentuated bodices and flowing skirts.

Back to top

Formfit Rogers
The Formfit Company of Chicago became Formfit International and then Formfit Rogers through the 1950s and 60s. They were known for their elegant ads with "that Formfit Look." In the late 50s, they began to produce Pucci designed lingerie, starting with the Viva panty girdle, that was light weight and offered freedom of movement. The use of Pucci's geometric designs and stamping of fabric EPFR followed.

Back to top

Fashion Originators Guild
In 1932, garment designers banded together to prevent design copies or "knock offs". They formed the Fashion Originators Guild of America, which asked retailers to boycott knockoff styles. A founding member and the first president of the Guild was Maurice Rentner. If a retailer failed to abide by the provisions of the Guild, they would be included on a list of "non-co-operating retailers". Other Guild members were then forbidden to deal them. In 1941 the Supreme Court held that the Guild's practices violated the Sherman and Clayton Acts, and was an unfair method of competition. Often a registration number is found on the label, but it is not clear if the garment can be identified as to maker and year by use of the number. Thousands of designs were registered by over 100 designers and manufacturers over the course of nine years. (http://www.stolaf.edu/people/becker/antitrust/summaries/312us457.html)

Back to top

Jacques Fath
(1912-1954) Jacques Fath was born outside of Paris and started designing for the theater after being discharged from the military. He opened a small couture design house in Paris in 1937; his first collection has only 20 designs, but his soon became one of the most popular houses in Paris. In 1948, Fath signed an agreement with 7th Avenue, New York, ready-to-wear manufacturer Joseph Halpert, to produce two ready-to-wear collections a year. Fath was fond of the form-fitting, low necklines, and sexy sophistication. In 2002, France Luxury Group purchased the house of Fath and appointed Lizzy Disney as chief designer.

Back to top

Leslie Fay
(1947-) Founded by the Pomerantz Family, Leslie Fay Company has become a major maker of affordable and attractive dresses, sportswear, and evening wear marketed toward women 40-60 years. They survived bankruptcy from 1993-97, are marketed mainly through department stores with corporate headquarters in New York.

Back to top

Rudi Gernreich
(1922-85) Rudi Gernreich was born in Vienna but fled to California in 1938, where he studied in Los Angeles. He worked as a dancer and costume designer before becoming a freelance designer. He's known for introducing topless bathing suits to the U.S. in 1964 - not many women actually wore them and a couple of those were arrested. He pioneered the use of cut-outs, vinyl, plastics, and unisex in futuristic designs.

Back to top


Adam Gimbel
(1815-1896) Adam Gimbel immigrated to the U.S. in 1835 and started a trading post near Vincennes, Indiana, in 1842. He opened a 3-story Palace of Trade in the 1870s. His sons Jacob and Isaac expanded to Milwaukee in 1887 with a modern department store, and to Philadelphia in 1894 with one of the largest stores in the country, today part of The Gallery urban mall in Philadelphia. In 1910, Jacob Gimbel opened a department store in New York one block from Macy's on Herald Square.

Back to top


Hubert de Givenchy
(1927) Hubert de Givenchy was born in France, studied at the école des Beaux-Arts, and started his fashion career in 1945 with Lucien Lelong. He also trained with Robert Piguet, Jacques Fath, and Schiaparelli before he opened his own house in 1952. Starting in 1954 with the movie Sabrina, he designed for Audrey Hepburn, and he continued to design her clothing and costumes throughout her career. Jackie Kennedy also loved his designs and ordered a Givenchy dress for JFK's funeral. In 1968, Givenchy started a ready-to-wear line, Givenchy Nouvelle Boutique. In the late 1970s, his Givenchy Sport line was widely worn on Charlie's Angels. He sold his design house to Moët Hennessy–Louis Vuitton in 1988, remaining under contract with them until he retired in 1995. John Galliano became head designer at the House of Givenchy, but the next year he was replaced by Alexander McQueen. In 2001, Julien Macdonald became head designer.

Back to top

Guccio Gucci
(1881–1953) Guccio Gucci opened his first leather works shop in Florence at 7 Via della Vigna Nuova in 1921. Originally, he made luggage and saddles, but by the 1930s he had expanded to shoes and handbags. The equestrian roots of the company were reflected in the use of stirrup and bit decorations on Gucci products. The company was inherited by Guccio’s sons, Aldo, Vasco, Ugo, and Rodolfo. and they opened a store on 58th Street in New York. The company began its use of the trademark green and red striped webbing. At the end of the 1960s, the double G logo was developed. Clashes within the family resulted in the 1989 nomination of Rodolfo's son Maurizio Gucci to President of the Group. Tom Ford joined Gucci’s ready-to-wear division in 1990, and by 1994, he was creative director for the house. Maurizio Gucci sold his shares to Investcorp, an Arab multinational in 1993. Tom Ford’s last collection at Gucci was for Fall, 2004.

Back to top

Hall Brothers / Hallmark Cards
(1891-1982) When Joyce C. Hall arrived in Kansas City from Nebraska in 1910, his inventory of postcards fit into a couple of shoeboxes. His first office was a room at the YMCA. In 1912 Hall added greeting cards and as business grew moved to larger facilities. In 1915, a fire destroyed the Hall Brothers' offices and all their cards. The company was left in debt. This did not stop Halls' dreams. The Hall Brothers opened a new shop just down the street, acquired a new engraving press, and continued printing their own cards with the Hall Brothers insignia. The first Hallmark card appeared in 1916. It featured the greeting "I'd like to be the kind of friend you are to me." In 1923, J.C. and his brothers Bill and Rollie Hall, along with their 120 employees, moved from tiny offices and rental space in four separate buildings into a brand new six-story plant. In 1936, Hall introduced display cases that allowed rows of cards to be displayed, that customers could easily browse on their own. Previously, cards were bought by asking a store clerk to choose an appropriate card for you.

Back to top

J. L. Hudson
(1846-1912) Joseph Lowthian Hudson became the founder on one of the three largest American department stores when he opened a men's and boy's clothing store in the Detroit Opera House in 1881. After 10 years he had eight stores in the midwest and was the most profitable clothing retailer in the country. In 1911 he opened his flagship store on Woodward Ave in Detroit. A 12-story addition at Woodward and Gratiot was built in 1946. By then, Hudson's contained 2.2 million square feet and 49 acres of floor space. His nephew's took over the store when he died of pneumonia. In 1954 the company built Northland Mall, 13 miles northwest of Detroit, which was the nation's first large suburban shopping mall. In 1969 Hudson's merged with the Dayton Corporation to create Dayton-Hudson headquartered in Minneapolis. The new corporation closed the flagship Hudson department store in downtown Detroit in 1983 and the building was imploded in 1998. It acquired Mervyn's in 1978, Marshall Field's in 1990, and renamed itself the Target Corporation in 2000.

Back to top

ILGWU
International Ladies Garment Workers Union, formed in 1900 by combining seven local unions. Prior to the ILGWU, the normal workweek for the garment industry was seventy hours. In 1937 the ILGWU briefly joined the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO); it then temporarily became an independent union and finally rejoined the AFL in 1940. In 1995, the 125,000-member ILGWU merged with Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers' Union to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). UNITE merged in 2004 with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union to form UNITE HERE.

Back to top

Carl Jantzen
The Portland Knitting Company was founded in 1910 by Carl Jantzen and John and Roy Zehntbauerg. In 1916 the company first used the name Jantzen, and the company changed its name to Jantzen Knitting Mills in 1918. In 1921, the partners were granted a patent for the elastic rib stitch swimsuit, and a logo was added of a diving girl in a red swimsuit. In 1954, the company changed its name to Jantzen Inc, and now they're owned by Vanity Fair. (jantzen.com)

Back to top

Ladies Mile
Ladies Mile was a stretch of Manhattan real estate where the largest department stores were located -- from Stewart's on Ninth Street to Stern Brothers (1867) on 23d Street, running up Sixth Avenue and Broadway. The area became the city's high-end retail core through the early 1900s. Along the cobbled streets stood Arnold Constable, B. Altman & Company, Bergdorf Goodman, Best & Company, Bonwit Teller, F. A. O. Schwarz, Hearn & Son, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, and W. & J. Sloane. (also see federated-fds.com/company/his_2.asp)

Back to top

Jeanne Lanvin
(1867-1946) Jeanne Lanvin opened a millinery shop in Paris in 1890. She became known for the beautiful dresses she was making for her daughter, and so in 1909, Lanvin opened her dressmaking business. By 1915 she introduced the robe de style that went against the prevailing style of the time and featured a small, low-waisted, full-skirted dress with wire hoops at the hips in the manner of eighteenth-century panniers. She added men's fashion in 1926.
Ms. Lanvin's daughter, Marguerite, succeeded her mother and remained in charge until her death in 1958. She hired Antonio del Castillo in 1950 to design the collection. During this time, the house became known as Lanvin-Castillo. Since 1993, the House has focused on luxury ready-to-wear and accessories and perfumes.

Back to top

Lucien Lelong
(1889-1958) Lucien Lelong was born in Paris and attended Hautes Etudes Commerciales in Paris. In 1919, he opened his own couture house, which served as the training ground for Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy. Lelong was President of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture for many years and was excellent at marketing himself, as was Charles Worth. In 1922 he introduced his 'ligne cinematographique'- clothes that excelled in motion, and he was one of the first designers to market a profitable ready-to-wear collection. Lelong began creating perfumes in 1925. His perfume business, the Societe des Parfums Lucien Lelong, thrived long after his fashion house closed in 1948. Lelong, himself, designed the bottles and powder boxes, which are still collected. He was married to Countess Hohenfelsen for ten years (1927-37), and died in France.

Back to top

Liberty of London
Liberty of London was opened by Arthur Lasenby Liberty in 1875 at 218 Regent Street. They carried "decorative furnishing objects" expanding to furniture and carpets. In 1884, a clothing department was opened. In 1924, Tudor House was built from the timbers of two ships. The interior was designed to create a homey atmosphere with fireplaces and exotic rugs. Also in the 20s, Liberty began to produce dainty floral prints known as the Liberty Print. The best known fabric is "Tana Lawn," and they introduced semi-synthetic fabrics such as "Suncleam Crepe". (liberty.co.uk)

Back to top

Lilli Ann
Lilli Ann was started in San Francisco in 1933 by Adolph Schuman, naming the company after his wife Lillian. After WWII, Schuman became president of the California Manufacturer's and Wholesaler's Association. He made important business contacts with Coco Chanel and Cristobal Balenciaga in Paris, and also revitalized the struggling textile mills in Normandy and Milan by ordering massive amounts of fabric from the mills to import for Lilli Ann. One mill that took especially large orders from the company was Blin & Blin, whose name would also appear on the garments. In 1954, the house hired Billie Jean Dugan, who created the curvaceous and elaborate peplum suits and princess coats that were worn by celebrities such as Esther Williams. Mr. Schuman's heirs continued the company after his death in 1985, but the company eventually started going under and was sold to Jaran, Inc.

Back to top

Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor was started as a dry goods store in 1826 in New York, and is the oldest department store in America. Its founders were cousins Samuel Lord and George Washington Taylor. The store grew, finding itself located along New York City’s Ladies’ Mile between Eighth and Twenty-third Streets and between Broadway and Sixth Avenue. In 1986, Lord & Taylor was bought by the May department store chain.

Back to top

Jean Louis
(1907-1997) Jean Louis Berthault was born in Paris and attended L'Ecole Decoratifs in Paris. As a young man worked at the House of Agnes-Drecoll. He went to New York in 1935, where he obtained a position with Hattie Carnegie. He worked there for 7 years before heading to Hollywood. Jean Louis Worked at Columbia Studios and later at Universal where he dressed many celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Doris Day, Lana Turner, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Mary Tyler Moore and Julie Andrews. In 1961 he left the studios to form his own design firm, Jean Louis, Inc. He's also known for designing the "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" dress, worn by Marilyn Monroe in 1962 as she sang at JFK's birthday party.

Back to top

Lucile / Lady Duff Gordon
(1863-1935)Lucy Wallace was the first British-based designers. Her firm Lucile, Ltd trained the first professional fashion models, staged the first runway style shows, and boasted dressing high society with some of the highest couture prices. In 1900, she married Cosmo Duff Gordon, who was a proficient fencer and represented Great Britain at the 1908 Olympics. A prolific innovator, Lucile promoted less restrictive corsets (1907), low necklines (1909), introduced the slit skirt (1910), and launched color-coordinated accessories (1911). She opened her London house in 1890, and outlets in New York, Paris and Chicago in 1910, 1911 and 1915 respectively. Lady Duff and her husband survived the sinking of the Titanic to face unproven allegations of bribing the 40-person Lifeboat #1 sailor that was only holding 12 people to not return for others that were screaming for help. Eventually Lady Duff and her husband drifted apart and her business went bankrupt.

Back to top

I. Magnin
San Francisco department store, founded in 1877 by Mary Ann Magnin, and named for her husband Isaac. They closed in 1993.

Back to top

Main Rousseau Bocher
(1891-1976) Main Rousseau Bocher was born in Chicago and served in WWI as a Sgt. Major. He stayed in Europe after the war, and became the fashion editor for French Vogue. He started using the name Mainbocher and opened his Paris house of couture in 1930, becoming the only American to successfully run a couture house in Paris. He maintained the house until 1940, then opened his New York house. He designed war uniforms for the WAVES and The American Red Cross, and made costume designs for stage productions. He introduced the strapless evening gown, and made the wedding dress for the Duchess of Windsor. Mainbocher remained on 57th St. until his retirement in 1971.

Back to top

Claire McCardell
(1905-1958) Claire McCardell was born in Maryland and worked as a model and assistant to Robert Turk in 1929. When Robert Turk's business failed, he and Ms. McCardell went to Townley Frocks. Robert Turk was killed in a sailing accident in 1932, so Ms. McCardell finished the fall collection for Townley Frocks and became their head designer. Her first huge success came in the fall of 1938 with the Monastic dress that had Algerian styling hanging simply with no front, back, or waistline, and was belted by the wearer. Ms. McCardell was offered a job at Hattie Carnegie in 1938, designing a line called "Workshop Originals." McCardell's American focus did not mesh with Hattie Carnegie's European image, and so she left in 1940. In 1942, she introduced the wrap around "Popover" dress, which could be used as a dressing gown, a swimsuit cover-up, a housedress, or a party dress. Her tie-together "diaper" bathing suit anticipated the daring beach wear styles of the 1980's by several decades. In 1952, Claire became a partner with Townley, and was named the Vice-President of the company, but died of cancer in 1958.

Back to top

Dan Millstein
Dan Millstein House of Design New York produced coats and suits in the 50s and 60s. Millstein did Balmain and Balenciaga adaptations in the early 1950s. Marilyn Monroe got married to Joe DiMaggio in a suit by Millstein. Calvin Klein got his start at Millstein in 1962 as a sketch artist.

Back to top

Edward Molyneux
(1891-1974) Captain Edward Molyneux was born in London, and got his start in fashion when he won a dress design contest sponsored by Lucile (Lady Duff Gordon) in 1911. He left to join the military during the war. In 1918, he opened his own fashion house in Paris. He was known for clothing that was perfectly tailored and very wearable. Molyneux went to London in 1940, where he worked designing garments that met the strict fabric conservation laws in place during the war. In 1950 he closed his Paris and London establishments and retired to Jamaica, but opened Studio Molyneux in 1964. In 1969 Studio Molyneux continued under his nephew John Tullis until 1977.

Back to top

National Recovery Act
The National Recovery Act was a voluntary government program of President Roosevelt's administration, designed to put people back to work. The NRA Blue Eagle label dates from 1933-35 in U.S.A. only. The NRA was declared unconstitutional in 1935.

Back to top

Neiman Marcus
Abraham Lincoln (Al) Neiman, his wife Carrie, and her brother, Herbert Marcus, founded Neiman Marcus in 1907. The first store was in downtown Dallas, Texas. In 1928 after the Neiman's divorced, Mr. Marcus bought out the Neiman share. After Herbert's death, his son Stanley was elected president and chief executive officer. In 1951, Marcus introduced a Christmas catalog offering unique "his-and-her" presents like submarines, hot air balloons and Egyptian mummy cases, a practice that continues today.

Back to top

Ernest Nister & Co.
Ernest Nister founded his company in Nurembourg, Germany. At that time, Nuremberg was the home of the most advanced color printing in the world and had a rapidly developing toy industry, and the Nister company was the centre for pop-up book production. Ernest Nister & Co. became the largest lithographic company in Nuremberg, and began producing Valentines that were distributed in London and in New York through a partnership with EP Dutton & Co.

Back to top

Norman Norell
(1900-1972) Norman Norell (born Levinson) was from Indiana. In 1922, he joined Paramount Pictures designing for silent movie stars. He worked for Hattie Carnegie from 1928-1941. He then partnered with Anthony Traina in 1941, where he remained until Traina's death in 1960. In 1960 he formed his own company, and was known for precision tailoring in suits trimmed with fur and feathers. He is also remembered for his sequin-covered "mermaid" sheath dresses, and for using imported fabrics for couture clothing that was all-American, long-lasting, ready to wear. Norell was a founder and president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) the governing body of the American fashion industry. Gustave Tassell took over the design house from Norell's death until 1976.

Back to top

Jeanne Paquin
(1869-1936) The House of Paquin was opened in 1890 by Jeanne Paquin and her husband Isidore at 3 rue de la Paix in Paris. She was the first female couturières and was famous for her use of vivid colors, extravagant furs, and elaborate beading. After Madame Paquin retired in 1920, the designs were executed by a Mlle. Madeleine. After Madam Paquin’s death in 1936, the designer was Antonio del Castillo, who remained until 1944. The House of Paquin closed in 1956.

Back to top

Jean Patou
(1880-1936) Jean Patou was born in Normandy, France, and opened his first couture salon on Rue St. Florentin, in 1918. His high-end, revolutionary sportswear line was a huge success in France and the United States. He's credited with inventing the tennis dress and knit bathing suit. In 1926, Patou introduced the perfume "Joy." Patou led the fashion world out of the flapper era by lowering hemlines and moving the waist back to its natural position in 1929. Patou's sister and her husband, Mme. & M. Barbas, continued the business after Patou's death.

Back to top

Paul Poiret
(1879-1944) Paul Poiret was born in Paris, and apprenticed under both Jacques Doucet in the 1890s, and the House of Worth in 1900. He opened his own house in 1904. He revolutionized fashion for the Edwardian woman from 1909-1914, straightening the hourglass silhouette and reviving a simple, sheath dress. Around 1910 he introduced the hobble skirt, and he was the first designer to produce a line of fragrances and cosmetics. Poiret resumed designing after his WWII military service, but his postwar feminine designs did not compete with the more boyish style of the 1920s woman. His contribution to the 1925 Paris Exposition, three decorated barges, brought Poiret to the edge of financial ruin, and his house closed in 1929.

Back to top

Emilio Pucci
Marchese Emilio Pucci di Barsento, an Italian aristocrat, was well known for his rich colors, supple fabrics, and dramatic prints, and his couture collection was worn by some of the most celebrated women of the times. Between 1965 and 1974 he produced six distinctive hostess uniforms for Braniff Airlines that revolutionized the airline industry and uniform design to this day. Pucci served as a decorated Italian Air Force career pilot for 14 years. He began designing completely by chance. While skiing one day during the winter of 1947, he met Toni Frissel, a fashion photographer from Harper's Bazaar, who asked to photograph his ski outfit. When she discovered that he had personally designed his clothes and that they could not be purchased at any stores, she asked him to design some women's skiwear for her to photograph for a story on European Winter Fashion. His winter resort designs were featured in the December 1948 issue of Harpers Bazaar. Pucci prints appeared everywhere -- on shoes, purses, luggage, billfolds, bathing suits, nightgowns, bras and bikini underpants. Pucci even produced perfumed stationery. The Apollo 15 crew carried a Pucci-designed flag to the moon. In the seventies Pucci was elected to the Italian parliament, and he also began labeling and selling the wine produced on his estate in Chianti, owned by the Pucci family since the 13th century. (braniffinternational.org)

Back to top

Zandra Rhodes
(1940- ) Zandra Rhodes was born in Kent and graduated from the Royal College of Art. Her mother was a fitter at the House of Worth and also was a teacher at Medway College of Art. She opened her own shop in 1969 on Fulham Road in West London, and in 1975 founded her shop off Bond Street in London. She is known for her brilliantly colorful screen-printed and hand-painted fabrics combined with crinoline, and her colorful hair and theatrical makeup. She was elected Royal Designer for Industry in 1974, and in 1997 was made Commander of the British Empire in recognition of her contribution to the fashion and textile industry. She has received an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art.

Back to top

Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue was started as a joint venture between two of the largest retail establishments in New York City - Saks and Co, and Gimbels. The store was opened in 1924, and from the beginning it offered the highest quality clothing for men and women. Originally the store was supervised by Horace Saks, but after his death in 1926, Adam Gimbel was made president of the company. He headed Saks until 1969. By 1931, the in-house designer was Sophie Gimbel, Adam Gimbel's wife. She designed under the label Sophie Originals. Saks’ high-end department, Salon Moderne, carried Sophie's in-house designs as well as fashions from Paris by Louiseboulanger, Chanel, Vionnet, Patou, Schiaperelli, Agnes, Reboux and Callot Soeurs. In the 1970s, the couture and custom salons were closed, as well as the millinery departments. In 1998, Saks merged with Proffitt's department store chain.

Back to top

Tom Sawyer Washwear
Tom Sawyer Washwear Clothes for Boys were manufactured by Elder Mfg. Co of St. Louis, Missouri, in the teens and twenties.

Back to top

Elsa Schiaparelli
(1890-1973) Elsa Schiaparelli was born in Rome and opened the House of Schiaparelli in 1928 in Paris, starting with innovative sweaters. She was the first to make fashion available to the masses, selling her designer clothes off the rack. Her friendships with surreal artists such as Salvador Dali contributed to her lines of eccentric clothes that caused scandal and success. In 1954 she closed her salon, continuing to design a handful of licensed products such as hats, scarves, sweaters, and jewelry.

Back to top

Valentino
(1932) Valentino Garavani was born in Voghera, Italy, and studied fashion design at the Accademia dell'Arte in Milan and at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture in Paris. He became an assistant at Jean Desses in 1950, Guy Laroche in 1956, and opened a couture house with partner Giancarlo Giammetti on Via Condotti in Rome in 1959. He launched his first ready to wear collection in Florence. He had many celebrity clients such as Joan Collins, Sophia Loren, Princess Diana, and Princess Grace. He designed wedding dresses for Jacqueline Kennedy's marriage to Aristotle Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Claudia Schiffer, Jennifer Lopez, and others. He was chosen to design the Italian athletes' uniforms for the 1984 Olympic games. Valentino received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2000 American Designer Awards in New York. In the 1970's Valentino started to use his initial "V" on his garments. In 1998, the partners sold their fashion empire for $300 million.

Back to top

Vanity Fair
VF began in 1899 as the Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company, but turned to silk manufacturing in the 20th century. By the 1920s, Vanity Fair, as the company had renamed itself, rose to national prominence with its innovative lingerie, and was one of the first firms to use live models in its ads. Over the next several decades, the company moved to synthetic fabrics for its lingerie, changed its name to VF Corporation, and began a string of acquisitions, such as Wrangler and Lee jeans, North Face, and Nautica, making it the largest clothing manufacturer in the world.

Back to top

Philippe Venet
(1931- ) Phillipe Venet, French designer, served as an assistant to Elsa Schiaparelli before her house closed in 1954 and as a designer and tailor for Givenchy. He opened his own house in 1962. Venet was known for his beautifully tailored coats. His perfumes were Couture pour Elle, and Eau de Couture. His house closed in 1994.

Back to top

Madeleine Vionnet
(1876-1975) Madeleine Vionnet designed for the Callot Soeurs and Jacques Doucet houses before opening her own studio in 1912. Vionnet dominated haute couture in the 1930s, introducing the bias cut and creating sensually draped garments. She stopped designing at the start of the World War II, but 60 years after her last fashion show an investor revived her name with a new boutique in Madame Vionnet's former fashion house on Avenue Montaigne, led by Italian designer Maurizio Pecoraro.

Back to top

John Wanamaker
(1838-1922) John Wanamaker started his Oak Hall Clothing Bazaar in Philadelphia at Market and 5th Street in 1861. He expanded the store with aggressive promotions and advertising. By 1876 he had built a department store on the site of the vacant Pennsylvania Railroad Freight Depot called the Grand Depot, with skylights and gas chandeliers in "the largest space in the world devoted to retail selling on a single floor." At the center of a series of expanding circles of 129 counters was the gaslit tent for the demonstration of elegant women's ballroom fashions. In 1896 Wanamaker bought the A.T. Stewart Cast Iron Palace in New York and connected it with a "Bridge of Progress" to a new 16-story building next door. In 1903 he built a new store in Philadelphia on the site of the old Grand Depot, 12 stories of granite with an interior Grand Court 150 feet high. In this court was the second largest organ in the world, a Ford dealership, a telegraph receiving station (which was the first to receive word that the Titanic had sunk), and a great eagle from the 1903 St. Louis World's Fair. "Meet me under the eagle at Wanamaker's" became a familiar invitation in Philadelphia. (wanamakerorgan.com/johnw.html)

Back to top

Whiting & Davis Co.
Whiting & Davis company was originally organized as Wade-Davis Co., a manufacturer of jewelry and sterling silver goods, in Plainville, Massachusetts. In 1902 the first mesh handbag was made. It was a small, plated and unsoldered bag made completely by hand. In 1896, the name of the company changed to Whiting & Davis Co., with Mr. Whiting becoming the president shortly after that. In 1908, the soldered mesh was made by women workers linking one link at a time and putting a piece of solder on the joint. Handmade mesh was produced up through 1912, when an automatic mesh machine was invented. From 1929 to 1932 most of the bags were patterned by silk screening. Whiting and Davis patented metal mesh has been supplied to the fashion industry for dresses, gloves, and more, as well as for industrial use. Whiting & Davis currently resides in Attleboro Falls, Massachusetts. (whitinganddavis.com/)

Back to top

Whitney Made
(1842-1915) George C. Whitney began a valentine manufacturing company that was in business from 1866 to 1942. In 1863, Mr. Whitney joined his brother Edward in the family stationery store begun by their late brother Sumner, at 218 Main Street in Worcester. In 1881, George C. Whitney bought the New England Valentine Company and incorporated into his operation. New England Valentine had been formed in 1879 between Edward Jotham and Esther Howland who is credited with started the first Valentine business in the U.S. By 1888, Whitney became one of the largest valentine publishers in this country with offices in New York, Boston, and Chicago. To eliminate the need to import the basic materials from England, he installed the machinery necessary to emboss paper and to make paper lace domestically. After George died, his son Warren took over management. The George C. Whitney Company continued to prosper until 1942, when the wartime paper shortage caused the liquidation of the largest greeting card company in the world.

Back to top

John O. Winsch
John O. Winsch of Stapleton, New York, produced high quality postcards between 1910 and 1915, which were printed in Germany and imported to the U.S. Although they were only printed for five years, over 3,000 designs were copyrighted. The demand for Winsch postcards peaked in 1911.

Back to top

Charles F. Worth
(1825-1895) Charles Frederick Worth was born in England, and worked as an apprentice and clerk for two London textile merchants as a young man. He relocated to Paris in 1845 and he found work with Gagelin, and became Gagelin's leading salesman. He contributed to the reputation of the firm with prize-winning designs displayed in the Great Exhibition in London (1851) and the Exposition Universelle in Paris (1855). The designer opened his own firm with a business partner in 1858. Worth's rise as a designer coincided with the establishment of the Second Empire in France. When Napoleon III married Empress Eugénie, her patronage ensured Worth's success as a popular dressmaker from the 1860s onward. The addition of a designer label is attributed to Worth, and his aggressive self-promotion earned him the titles "father of haute couture" and "the first couturier." Many clients traveled to Paris to purchase entire wardrobes from the House of Worth. For the wealthy woman, a complete wardrobe would consist of morning, afternoon, and evening dresses, and lavish "undress" items such as tea gowns and nightgowns. Women also looked to Worth to supply gowns for special occasions, including weddings and ornate masquerade balls. Worth's supplied performance costumes and personal wardrobes for leading actresses and singers such as Sarah Bernhardt, Lillie Langtry, and Jenny Lind.
Worth's sons, Gaston-Lucien and Jean-Philippe, took over their father's business following his death and succeeded in maintaining his high standards. Jean-Philippe's designs in particular follow his father's aesthetic, with his use of dramatic fabrics and lavish trimmings. The great fashion dynasty finally came to an end in 1952 when Charles Frederick Worth's great-grandson, Jean-Charles, retired from the family business. (metmuseum.org)

Back to top

Questions? Comments?
If you have any further questions or comments, please use the "Contact Us" form accessible from the footer just below this text.


Copyright © 2017 Karen Brenner