Vera (Neumann) had a prolific career as an artist and designer. Her hand painted designs have appeared on everything from scarves to dinnerware, bedding, fashion, and towels. Her first foray into licensing her name and artwork was with the fabric house F. Schumacher in 1947. It was a pairing of two textile powerhouses. The first design Vera did for Schumacher was called “Tibet”, a landscape of Himalayan pine trees and traditional architecture.
“Tibet” by Vera Neumann
One of Vera’s most popular and recognizable designs with Schumacher was her “Jack in the Pulpit” which was introduced in 1949. This fabric was used in the Sun Room of the White House by the Trumans in 1952. “Jack in the Pulpit” remained available in Schumacher showrooms until 1986 – a noteworthy long run for any pattern. It featured ferns, one of Vera’s signatures that she depicted in many of her patterns.
It was 1987. I was just entering the 7th grade and I was a sucker for everything Reebok and Gap. I was a tiny little yuppie in training. While my love for Ronald Reagan and hi-top aerobic sneakers in every color of the rainbow waned, my love of the Gap did not. I still love the Gap.
Does Andie not rock the denim on denim look? Swoon with the bandanna belt!
Dale of Norway have been making woolen products since 1879. Their classic cozy sweaters have been copied endlessly, but they’re the original Norwegian wool sweater. Over the years they’ve wafted in and out of style but in my humble opinion have always been a staple of classic like Pendleton.
Their products are made by hand and they’ve been the official supplier of sweaters for the Norwegian ski team and the winter Olympics since 1956. In fact, each Olympic season a special sweater is made and are considered collectible.
This morning on the way to work I heard Jack and Diane by John “Cougar” Mellencamp (side note, I’m so disappointed he doesn’t rock the “Cougar” anymore!). And for some reason I finally really heard the lyrics:
Jacky say “Hey Diane lets run off
Behind a shady tree”
Dribble off those Bobbie Brooks slacks
Let me do what I please.
I thought, HEY! I know that label! Turns out Bobbie Brooks isn’t really a person, just one of those ladies names that some company decided would make a good clothing wear label.
BOBBIE BROOKS, INC., was established in 1939 by Maurice Saltzman and Max Reiter as Ritmore Sportswear, Inc. in Cleveland, OH. Beginning with a $3,000 investment, they built the company into a multi-million dollar operation within the next 15 years. In 1953, Saltzman bought out Reiter’s share in the company for $1 million and the firm became Bobbie Brooks, Inc. Bobbie Brooks produced and sold stylish clothes for teenage and junior-miss girls, coordinating the styling, colors, and fabrics. Eventually, the company expanded its line to include apparel for women 25-44, and added production divisions in other cities during the 1960s.
All That Jazz was a label out of California started in 1981 specializing in clothing such as dresses and jumpsuits. Today, All That Jazz items are one of the better labels with style that still comes off as it originally intended – cute and flirty!
When I found this super cute vintage dress, I immediately had to start looking up the label. Most of the time I don’t come up with much on these general kind of name labels. There’s so many of them and most have long lost the history of their origins. Every so often I’ll read a blog post out there that unearths some great grandchild of the legacy of a lable and I always find it fascinating. Check out my friend Lizzie’s blog The Vintage Traveler if you’re fond of historical stories about vintage. Especially her interview with Vera Neumann’s nephew and Enid Collin’s son. Both excellent reads!
Sadly, I don’t have the killer detective skills of Lizzie, but I do love vintage labels and researching them a little for my own curiosity. This time around I took a gander around for Carlette. Turns out Emmanuelle Khanh was one of the lines contributing designers. I’ve had another Khanh piece in my possession some years ago. That one was for Youthquake and included her name on the label, so we know it was her design.