Under certain circumstances, my reporting that I’d found a sweater with a Mainbocher label would be a cause for celebrating. Main Rousseau Bocher was an American who stayed in Paris after WWI, changed his name to Mainbocher, and opened a couture house. When WWII broke out he returned to the US and continued making clothes, including wonderfully decorated cashmere evening twin sets.
This sweater is not by THE Mainbocher, of course. A quick search on the US Trademark site showed that this sweater is a product of Stein Mart, a “luxury discounter.” They have had the Mainbocher name registered since 2005.
I’m not sure how this works, how a company can just take the name of a dead designer and slap it on random clothing. I do understand revivals, where the label makes an attempt to channel the aesthetic of the designer into the new line (as in the Anne Fogarty revival) or Charles James, where the company actually has an agreement with his children.
I’m sure this happens all the time. Feel free to share any misleading labels you’ve seen. I know that about twenty years ago someone registered Claire McCardell’s name, but her family got that enterprise stopped through legal channels. I noticed that her name has recently been registered as a trademark yet again.
I actually bought this sweater, because despite it being made in China, it is a nice, well-made garment. It’s the type of thing I wear on a daily basis in colder months. Somehow cashmere is just a bit more luxurious than sweatshirts. I probably paid a dollar for it at the Goodwill outlet.
Nice full fashion knitting. Most cheap sweaters are cut out from cashmere knit and then sewn. In fully fashioned sweaters the pieces are knit to fit without cutting.
Not bad for a department store cashmere, but not quite couture!