Off The Rack – F.O.G.A. – Fashion Originator’s Guild of America 1932-1941

F.O.G.A. labelled dress, courtesy of Dorothea's Closet

F.O.G.A. labelled dress, c. 1939, courtesy of Dorothea’s Closet

In 1932, a coalition of garment and textile designers created the Fashion Originator’s Guild of America (F.O.G.A.). The point was to create a legal entity that could protect the members from design theft (a.k.a. knock-offs) – a problem rife in the fashion business and the primary reason why the couturiers of Paris created their own Haute Couture syndicate.

F.O.G.A. Guild members pledged to produce only original creations and report retailers of knock-offs. If a retailer was found to be selling copies, they would be added to a ‘red-card’ list of ‘non-co-operating retailers.’

Membership grew, and some designers began registering their designs with a number, as well as advertising their association with F.O.G.A. on their labels. In 1936, the scheme ran into trouble with the Federal Trade Commission and by 1941 the Supreme Court determined that the Guild’s practices were monopolistic and violated the Sherman Antitrust Act. For more information on this case, read more here.

DSCN0087Unfortunately, the registration number that sometimes appears on these labels is not searchable and likely never will be – the records having been lost or destroyed years ago. At its height of membership in January 1941, the 123 companies listed as members of F.O.G.A. were:

Abbate-Swfit, Inc.
Adler & Adler, Inc.
Altmark, Milton, Inc.
Appel, Bernard, Inc.
Arkay Junior Frocks
Armour, Charles, Inc.
Aywon Dress Company
Babs Junior, Inc.
Bagro Gowns, Inc.
Barbara Costume Co.
Barnett, Joseph & Ben, Inc.
Barrack, Rose, Inc.
Bass, Kermit-Gross, Monroe, Inc.
Bass, William Dress Corp.
Bender & Hamburger, Inc.
Blotta & Conti, Inc.
Capri Frocks, Inc.
Carofiol-Silverman Company
Carlye Dress Corporation
Carnegie, Hattie, Inc.
Casino Dresses, Inc.
Cohen, G. W. Co.
Cohen, H.&I. Goshin
Crystal, David, Inc.
Davidow, Inc. “Sportswear”
Davis A. & Sons, Inc.
Deitsch, Wersba & Coppola, Inc.
Dick, Samuel H. Inc.
Doctor Dresses, Inc.
Dolces Dresses, Inc.
Downs, Mabel McIlvain, Inc.
Duke, Anna, Inc.
Elfreda, Inc.
Feigenbaum & Adelson, Inc.
Flora Dress Co.
Fox-Brownie, Inc.
Franklin Dress Co.
Friedell, Eileen, Inc.
Gallagher, Louise Barnes, Inc.
Gans, Henry
Gerrick, Ed, Inc.
Ginsburg & abelson, Inc.
Goodman, A & Co, Inc.
Goodstein, David M, Inc.
Gorgeous Frocks, Inc.
Gotham Coat Co. Inc.
Greenberg, Fred Dress Co.
Gross-Sydney, Inc.
Halpert, Joseph, Inc.
Herbert, Myron, Inc.
Horwitz and Duberman
Illinois Dress Company
International Dress Company
Janowitz-Conrad, Inc.
Junior Formals, Inc.
Junior Guild Frocks, Inc.
Junior League Frocks, Inc.
Kane-Weill, Inc.
Kaplan & Grabois, Inc.
Kaplan & Wassner, Inc.
Kass, Samuel Gowns, Inc.
Katz-Stark, Inc.
Kondazian, Charles & Papaz, Inc.
Lang, Charles-Cooper, Charles, Inc.
Lang-Kohn, Inc.
La Rue Dresses, Inc.
Laura Lee Frocks, Inc.
Lee, Lettie, Inc.
Lenkowsky Dresses, Inc.
Levine, Joe Dress Co., Inc.
Marcus, E. N. & Co.
Margot Dresses, Inc.
Mary Lee, Inc.
Mil-Jay, Inc.
Miller, Charles, Inc.
Milmont Gowns, Inc.
Monarch Garment Co., Inc.
Monteil, Germaine, Inc.
Morris & Strong, Inc.
Muffet, Mary, Inc.
Musman-Pincus, Inc.
Mutual Rosenblum Corporation
Nudelman, Chas. W., Inc.
Parnes, Paul, Inc.
Parnes, Samuel R., Company
Parnis, Jerry, Inc.
Paris-Levinson, Inc.
Patullo Modes, inc.
Perkins, Patricia, Inc.
Pickwick Dress Co., Inc.
Pierrot Dress Co.
Reich Dress Co.
Reich-Goldfarb & Co., Inc.
Reig, Ben, Inc.
Ren-Eta Gowns, Inc.
Rentner, Ira and Miller, Inc.
Rentner, Leonard, Inc.
Rentner, Maurice, Inc.
Robbins, C.H.D. Co.
Robinson Bros. Co.
Rosenberg, Zoltan
Rosenstein, Nettie Gowns, Inc.
Rosenthal & Kalman Co., Inc
Rudolf Gowns, Inc.
Ruffalo Bros., Inc.
Salkin, Philip, Inc.
Schwade, William, Inc.
Shane, Susan
Sheila-Lynn Dresses, Inc.
Silver Dresses, Inc.
Sondheim, Herbert, Inc.
Spectator Sports, Inc.
Sport-Craft, Inc.
Star-Maid Dresses, Inc.
Starr, Frank-Friedlander, Inc.
Steinberg, Sam & Co., Inc.
Strauss-Miller, inc.
Taylor, Janet, Inc.
Troy, Hannah, Inc.
Warshauer & Franck, Inc.
Westheim, David S. Corp.
Witkin & Schneider

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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1 Response to Off The Rack – F.O.G.A. – Fashion Originator’s Guild of America 1932-1941

  1. Pingback: Vintage Miscellany – January 4, 2015 | The Vintage Traveler

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