Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Sydna Wynn

Gold brocade silk dress and coat set, trimmed with sable, c. 1959

In 1997 I was asked to help clear the estate of a Kay Weldon whose first husband had made a fortune in air conditioning. Sotheby’s had already taken the jewellery for auction so I was asked to clear out the 17 walk-in closets of clothing! It took months to find homes for everything, but it gave me the opportunity to acquire some wonderful clothes, including this late 1950s gold lame brocade dress and coat.

The contents of the 17 closets became a clear barometer of this woman’s personal wealth. The early 1950s clothes were good quality off-the-rack department store fashions – slowly, over the years, the quality improved until by the late 1960s everything was French and Italian couture. The results of the history of air conditioning were in front of me; as more people went for icy cold interiors, Mrs. Weldon’s wardrobe prospered!

This gold lame ‘Jersey Shore’ couture dress and coat is labelled ‘Sydna Wynn – Boardwalk – Atlantic City.’ However, I couldn’t find any information about Sydna Wynn when I acquired the dress in 1997. Since then, the internet has opened research doors, and yesterday, with the help of some Vintage Fashion Guild friends, some information could be pieced together about Sydna Wynn.

The shop’s label from inside the coat

‘Sydna Wynn French Salon’ was a shop, located ‘in the shadow of Hotel Traymore’ at 1613 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Sydna Weintrob was born 27 Sept 1902 and married to Meyer Sakin, a lawyer, but she took the last name Wynn for her business. Advertisements for Sydna Wynn’s clothes, including sale notices of her end-of-season stock being sold through other venues, could be found dating from 1948 to 1966 (this probably corresponds to when she was in business.) Sydna’s sister, Esther Weintrob was a partner in the company but she lived in Miami, Florida since the mid 1930s. Both sisters were born in New York and died in Miami, Esther at the age of 89 in 1995, and Sydna, at the age of 94 on April 1, 1997. If you have any further information about Sydna Wynn, I would love to hear about it!

The boardwalk in 1920 with the French Salon shop at right, which would become Sydna Wynn’s shop by 1950

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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13 Responses to Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Sydna Wynn

  1. pattie hanson says:

    i just found a gorgeous vintage sweater with the Synda Wynn label intact ..pulled out of a garbage pile…i saw the sparkles and then the aged label and knew i had a find!! it is in great condition….

  2. Jane Caola Jones says:

    I have just come into ownership of three unbelievable Jackie O style dress and coat sets. One in an unbelievable cranberry lined with black velvet another in camel hair with lambs fur collar and detail down the open front and cuffs and collar and finally a gold boiled wool dress and coat set that is to die for. The quality is superb and they are like new. Have been stored in a cedar closet for over fifty years. Astounding how some things just never go out of style.

  3. Leisa says:

    I have a labeled Sydna Wynn jacket. It is a wool swing jacket about hip length in a red/orange color. The sleeves are wide and the cuffs are spectacular. Splashed with turquoise and gold beads which also make up flowers with leaves in gold leather.
    I’ve had this jacket about 25 years and wear it during the holidays–it never fails to get comments.

  4. Saralee Weintrob Bresler says:

    She was my aunt. She was my father sister. I knew her very very well. If you want more information feel free to email me.

    • Jonathan says:

      Thanks for writing! I have sent you an email and look forward to any further information you could provide.

    • dan safer says:

      she was my great aunt! i recently found out we have an oil painting of her that Im getting shipped to me. the picture is amazing.

      • Jonathan says:

        I would love to see what she looked like – would you be so kind as to post a pic of it when it arrives?

  5. Tiana says:

    I was just gifted a beautiful velvet hat. It is a Sydna Wynn. I would love to know how much this kind of thing goes for.

    • Jonathan says:

      You could call a local museum to see if they have the name of a local evaluator who might help you.

  6. Penny Storm says:

    I was delighted to learn something about Sydna Wynn and her shop while researching a small hat box from her shop. Since it is only 5″ in diameter and 4″ high, I was positing that it had held one of the early ’60’s cocktail hats. Glad to know that fits the timeline although I suppose there might be another style hat that could have fit in it.

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