Bradley Knit Wear Style Book, 1921 – 1922

More from the Bradley Knit Wear Company – a sweater catalog from 1921.

“Navajos are the original and exclusive Bradley contribution to knit coat wearers.  The knitting of authentic Indian designs through the body and sleeves of the garment individualizes Bradley Navajos among knitted coats.”

What an interesting use of American Indian images and designs.  Of course, the Indian portrayed is not Navajo, and I doubt that the designs were either.  In the 1930s the Navajos took Beacon Blankets to court to stop their usage of the tribe’s name.  I wonder if they took the same step with Bradley?

Bathing suits were such a large part of Bradley’s business that even the winter catalog had an illustration to remind the shopper to buy a Bradley suit!

Posted by KeLLy Ann:

I want one of everything! 

Wednesday, March 3rd 2010 @ 4:20 PM

Posted by Sarah:

Its funny how blithely these early 20th century manufacturers appropriated native American culture, with little regard to accuracy or cultural sensitivity! I’d like to hope that wouldn’t happen these days, but I’m not so sure (I’ve been reading a few blog posts recently about fashion’s plundering of ethnic and regional dress so I’m particularly aware of the issue right now!) 

That said, what a marvellous catalogue – I love the long line cardigans and those cosy-looking big knit hats!

Thursday, March 4th 2010 @ 10:04 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

This longish type sweater was very popular when I was in college – mid 1970s .  I loved them – cozy and easy to wear. 

A lot of companies built their business on copying Indian designs – Beacon and Pendleton years ago, Ralph Lauren more recently. Give me an authentic vintage Chimayo jacket anyday!

Friday, March 5th 2010 @ 9:18 AM


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