Posts Tagged ‘Garment district’

The bears and foxes in a Garment District lobby

December 1, 2014

224west30thstreetskyscrapermuseumA little south of the main Garment District, in the West 30s and 40s at Seventh Avenue, is one of its apparel-related offshoots, the dwindling Fur District.

And in the small lobby at handsome 224 West 30th Street, the animals who gave the skins off their backs to this industry are celebrated in art.

Walk through the front entrance, and the decorative foyer contains what look like two small bear heads flanking each side.

Farther inside, along a wall above the security desk, are two larger fox sculptures in front of bas reliefs of fox heads and the heads of what might be otters or beavers.

224west30thstreetthreefoxes

This is a building that the attendant told me was still home to many furriers, along with a mix of other businesses.

224west30thstreettwofoxes

224west30thstreetfoyerbearcuThe animal images probably date back to the building’s opening in 1926, when the fur industry was thriving and well before wearing animal fur became a fashion faux pas.

This other Fur District building down the block also pays homage to the animals who built its financial success.

[Top photo: Collection of Andrew S. Dolkart via the Skyscraper Museum]

Ghostly ads of the Garment District

April 26, 2010

One of the best concentrations of faded ads is in the Garment District, where clothing and accessories companies once—perhaps still—manufacture dresses, coats, belts, and other industry staples.

I love the 1960s-ish 45-single logo on this ad, for Baar and Beards accessories is on 37th Street. It’s close to their headquarters at 350 Fifth Avenue.

Vintage Robert Bestian handbags are for sale all over the internet, but other than that, there’s not much information this brand out there. The ad is on 33rd Street.

Does this really say “Style Undies” above a list of children’s clothes words like pajamas and play togs?

Manhattan faded ad mysteries

December 14, 2009

In Murray Hill: Magid handbags and the Coblentz Bag Co. are easy to read. But the others may have faded into garment-district history:


Up in East Harlem is this puzzling ad. Liver: a butcher shop? Cod liver oil? Livery stables? Another mystery.

The coolest dress ad on 37th Street

June 20, 2009

Ghost ads of the old garment district can be seen on lots of random midtown buildings, like the side of this one off Seventh Avenue. But few of them have such old-fashioned illustrations!

The top part reads “Gigi Young Originals” and the banner down the right side is “Suzy Perette.”

Lombardydresses

Lombardy Dresses is described in a 1949 New York Times article as “one of the largest producers in the low-end field.” Suzy Perette was big in the 1960s, known for their “small-waisted, petticoated look,” according to another Times piece.

Old-school signs in the Garment District

November 3, 2008

The West 30s and 40s are a gold mine of faded and forgotten store signage. “Petite Button” is still open for business off of Sixth Avenue, selling buttons and buckles:

This sign, for the long-shuttered “All Wool Clothes” on Eighth Avenue, only became visible when a contemporary store went out of business and took that sign with them. The typeface looks very 1940s:

Furs and waists in the garment district

May 9, 2008

It’s hard to read, but the lowest part of this cool old ad in the West 20s—for Schwartz & Schwartz coats and waists (an old-fashioned term for a woman’s blouse)—deserves a close look.

I couldn’t find anything about the Schwartz Brothers, but I did learn that Mr. Greenblatt, the furrier, was a Polish immigrant who manufactured his furs at 305 Seventh Avenue. He died in 1938.