Category Archives: Retailing

Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Kandahar Designs

Last week we received a donation of some clothing primarily from the 1970s to the 1990s. Amongst the items was a late 1970s striped grey cotton ‘A’ line sundress with the label ‘Kandahar Designs – Boston’. A few google searches … Continue reading

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The Year That Just Keeps Taking…

COVID-19 has decimated retail. Since the beginning of May American retailers Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, J.C. Penney, Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor and now Lord and Taylor have all filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to shed debt and break expensive leases for their stores. Lord … Continue reading

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Brooks Brothers Bites the Dust

I was not surprised when I read this morning that Brooks Brothers was filing for bankruptcy protection. The company blames the pandemic, but is that really the problem? I knew they were in trouble years ago. Founded in 1818, the … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Army & Navy (1919 – 2020)

In March 1919 Sam Cohen, a native of San Francisco, and his brothers Joe and Harry opened a store at 44 West Hastings Street in Vancouver, B.C. to sell surplus army boots. Originally known as the Liberty store, the name … Continue reading

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Bullock’s department store downtown L.A.

These interiors are from Bullocks downtown Los Angeles store and were designed by Tony Duquette in about 1940 to represent various seasons in the season-less Los Angeles climate. I found this interesting lecture by Hutton Wilkinson, who was Duquette’s business … Continue reading

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Rossiters of Paignton

I acquired this c. 1955 dress about 15 years ago from a theatre costume department in Toronto. It isn’t in perfect shape but I like the brocade pattern, and the style is classic 50s. The English dress is labelled Rossiters … Continue reading

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Barneys (1923 – 2019)

Founded in 1923 by 29 year old Barney Pressman, the men’s clothier grew to become a New York institution. Barney originally acquired his stock from bankruptcies and manufacturer overstocks, offering deep discounts to his working class clientele. Barney’s son Fred … Continue reading

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Forever 21 may not get much older than 35…

Forever 21 just filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will close almost 1/4 of its stores and withdraw from some overseas markets. Originally called ‘Fashion 21’, the company was founded in April 1984 by Korean born Do Won Chang … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Rosbergs

Jacob Wolfe Rosberg and Mary (Mindel) and their four children emigrated from Kielce, Poland to Toronto in 1913. After a few years, the family moved to Niagara Falls to open a menswear shop that supplied workers at the Queenston hydroelectric … Continue reading

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Fashion in Art – Jack Shadbolt (1942)

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