Tag Archives: 1948

Ad Campaign – Hockanum, 1948

TROPIC SEA… the new blue with the sparkle of a holiday mood..by Hockanum, makers of beauty, quality and lasting wear.

If this East Coast weather continues, it looks like it will be coats at the beach this summer.  I love the Tropic Sea color with that touch of green at the neck.  I can’t help but wonder if the “sparkle of a holiday mood” is literal or figurative.

But what I love the most about this ad is how Hockanum bills itself as “makers of beauty…”  They really cut to the heart of the matter, because I think what people really want and need is more beauty in their lives.  And that includes the fabric of one’s coat.


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Ad Campaign: Faberge Woodhue, 1948

Back to School Woo 1948

Today’s ad campaign is a bit different.  Instead of a magazine ad I have a cologne blotter from Meyer’s Department Store in Greensboro, NC.  These fragrant little ads were picked up at the cosmetics counter.  Some department stores still offer them, but I’ve noticed that some have either done away with perfume blotters, or they are keeping them behind the counter for serious shoppers only.

Of course, the sleek and sophisticated designs of today can in no way compete with the charm of the College Set in their jalopy, or with a little girl with her bouquet of posies.




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Ad Campaign – Jantzen Sweaters, 1948

We want to pull some wonderful wool over your eyes… the finest !00% virgin worsted wool, to be exact!  We get it from Australia and we only patronize white sheep… we spin it, dye it in colors by the great color genius,  Dorothy Liebes, and knit it into luxurious sweaters… for you to give yourself and your best friends.

Jantzen was, of course, known first and foremost for their swimsuits, but starting in 1940 they also produced sportswear.  The sweaters shown were pretty typical of the types of things they made.

What I found to be surprising in this ad was the mention of Dorothy Liebes as the colorist.  Liebes was primarily a designer of home design textiles, producing textiles for the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright.  She was known for her innovative use of new materials.  She herself was a weaver, and at the time of this ad in 1948 she had a studio in San Francisco where she experimented with color and materials that were not generally thought to be the ingredients of textiles.  Things like leather strips, wood slats and metallic pieces.  She later moved her operation to New York and opened a studio on Lexington Avenue.

Liebes suffered from a heart condition and retired in 1970.  That same year the Museum of Contemporary Crafts did a retrospective of her work.  Unfortunately, Liebes died the following year.

Several years ago I ran across the catalog from the 1970 retrospective, so I read through it to see if there was any mention of Jantzen.  Sure enough, in the listing of positions she held over the years, it says she was a color consultant for Jantzen in 1947-48, and again in 1954-58.

I also learned that although Liebes is known mainly for her work in the home fashions textile industry, one of her last commissions was from designer Bonnie Cashin in 1969.

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Filed under Advertisements, Designers, Sportswear

Wesley Simpson Custom Scarfs, 1948

Wesley Simpson presents a group of new scarfs from his collection of designs by famous artists.  Included are scarfs by Marcel Vertes and Salvador Dali.

I’ve yet to find a Wesley Simpson scarf, but I’m always delighted to see “new” ones that are unearthed from the used clothing venues of America.   It made me really happy that art and vintage clothing lover Monica Murgia recently found an especially peachy one.


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Ad Campaign – Kumfortites, 1948

Sorry about the huge image, but I do have a reason for making it so large!

I was going back through this blog, looking at some older posts when I realized that I needed to do some badly needed maintenance.   Between the seven years I’ve been writing the Vintage Traveler, and the fact that I moved it from another site to wordpress, there were quite a few missing images and crazy text errors.  So I started out to spend the afternoon fixing the problems.  I quickly realized this project is going to take more than one afternoon.

When I started this blog in 2005,  blogging was a very new thing.  I was posting only occasionally, and my photos were sized from tiny to huge and I didn’t even always use the same font.  Most of my early posts were around 100 words!

But looking back was good, because I can clearly see how I’ve grown as a blogger, that my perspective of fashion history has been more clearly defined.  I’ve found some old posts that I’ll be re-writing and re-posting, as I’ve learned so much in the passing years that what I would say about an object today might be totally different from how I saw it in 2007.

One thing that really struck me was how important a consistent look is to a blog.  It was only about two years ago that I tried to size every image at the same width.  Some of my images were so small even I had a hard time telling what they were supposed to be.  So I’ve been retaking and re-scanning some that were in sad shape.

I was rewarded for this work by today’s ad.  You might recall that I found a pair of Kumfortites a few months back, and today while looking for something else, I found this ad in a 1948 magazine.   And yes, the ad is huge, but it is also consistent!


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Ad Campaign – Joyce Shoes, 1948

As promised, here is another sandal ad, and another one from Joyce Shoes of Pasadena, California.  This is their Maracaibo line of 1948, inspired by the shapes and colors of Venezuela.  During WWI and for several years afterward when travel to Europe was greatly curtailed, the countries of South America provided a lot of fashion inspiration.

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Paris – Post WWII

Only three years after the war was over, European countries were ready and open for the tourist business.  This great print was the cover of Holiday magazine in May 1948. The article talks about how people were getting over the sorrow of German occupation, and were getting on with life.

It also mentions the fashion business, and how the haute couture was struggling with various problems – the continuing fabric shortages, the high wages and taxes that must be paid, and the lack of foreign customers.   Many houses were pretty much surviving on the profits from perfumes.   And the article mentions a “baldish, stubby newcomer named Christian Dior” who was helping to bring the fashionable back to Paris with the introduction of his “New Look.”

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Filed under Travel, World War II