Sunday, October 2, 2011

History of California's Fashion Industry: Part 1

The 1920’s is a good place to begin a brief look into the California apparel industry. The decade began with a new but strong apparel business in Southern California so that by 1921, "The Associated Apparel Manufactures of Los Angeles" was organized. It would offer a bureau of information for area manufacturers. The organization also provided a buyer’s office for out of town buyers who would arrive by train from the east coast and other points in the country, to see fashions during market week. There was also an employment bureau to help provide the labor needed to produce the goods within the region.

Included with the "Associated Apparel" group was smaller organization called the “California Fashion Creators”. They were known to stage fashion shows at movie star's homes, providing an early link to the movie industry. The synergy between fashion and Hollywood continued to develop and grow during this decade.

In 1926, an industry organization called the "Affiliated Fashionists" was organized by six women who owned design firms. They would promote their fashions by hosting many social events and fashion shows. The original members were Irene Bury, Viola Dimmitt, Peggy Hunt***, Violet Tatum*, Pat Perkins*, Marjorie Montgomery**, and later Addie Masters**, Louella Ballernio, Agnes Barrett, and Mabs Barnes. All of these names and labels were important to the growing reputation for fashion that Los Angeles would market throughout the U.S.

San Fransicso in the 1920’s also had a fashion industry group, with such members as Dolly Meyers and Harvey Rothschild. In 1951 this group was still strong, producing fashion shows in Union Square.


* retired early
**still in business in 1962
***businesses pre-1962, 25 years or more

The information in this series comes from my thesis.
Most primary references are from "California Stylist" and the "Los Angeles Times".

This is original material and may not be reproduced without my permission.
Please contact me here at PintuckStyle if you would like to quote all or part for your own use, thank you.

A note on the image used in this post:
This is a commercial photo.
My father has written a note about it based on his own years in L.A.:
"Looking north on Broadway. This was the main intersection in L.A."


Anonymous said...

Great! I can't wait for parts 2 +! It so hard to get good information about the California fashion industry.

Cynthia Padilla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cynthia Padilla said...

Thanks for contributing info @ fashion ed at my blog JenO. How could I have forgotten PCC? I STUDIED Fashion there when I moved to Cali from the Big Easy. I lived in Altadena [circa late 70's]. You teach there? I teach fashion sketching across the USA and beyond. Great to meet u. I am now following your blog.