Casual Corner, 1950 – 2005

Founded in 1950, Casual Corner was an American retail clothing chain that operated stores under the brand names of Casual Corner, Petite Sophisticate and August Max Woman. The women’s sportswear store, founded by Charles Carples and Stanley Vogel in West Hartford, Connecticut, grew into a chain of 20 locations when it was sold to United States Shoe Corporation in 1970 (U.S. Shoe was diversifying outside of the footwear industry at the time.) By April, 1971, the chain had grown to 25 stores, and doubled to over 50 within two years – aimed at the junior and young woman’s market. By 1995, when U.S. Shoe was bought out by Luxottica, Casual Corner was just shy of its peak of 525 national stores offering clothes for the working woman’s wardrobe. Expensive mall rents, cheaper, off-shore manufacturing, and online shopping forced the chain into liquidation in 2005.

The following images are from an undated Casual Corner catalogue, c. 1974

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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