Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management
Apparel, Merchandising, and Design
Sara B. Marcketti
This research investigates the development of the children's ready-to-wear industry between 1920 and 1969 from the point-of-view of industry insiders, including significant manufacturers, designers, and trade journalists. The goal of this study was to analyze an idea proposed by industry designer Robert Love during the mid-1960s. Love believed that the first two phases of the evolution of the children's wear industry were (1) the establishment of large children's ready-to-wear manufacturing firms; and (2) the growth in influence of children's wear specialist designers during the 1950s and 1960s. This study draws from the history of children's ready-to-wear firm Joseph Love, Inc. as well as the careers of children's wear specialist designers Helen Lee, Suzanne Godart, and Betsy Daniels in order to examine the two stages of industry development and evaluate the accuracy of Love's statement. Through an analysis of trade and popular publications, archival collections, and oral histories, this research identifies and explores the marketing, branding, and advertising strategies employed during each period.
During the purported first phase, the building of brand names was crucial to the success of the children's wear manufacturers operating within a new industry. Establishing strong and recognizable brand names was also a precursor to the rise of designer names in association with children's clothing. Children's wear designers of the 1950s and 1960s frequently worked under the auspices of major children's wear brands. Themes of manufacturing, marketing, and designer and brand recognition inform this study of children's wear firms and designers, as this research begins to contextualize the growth of designer branding in the children's wear industry.
Jennifer Farley Gordon
Gordon, Jennifer Farley, "The development of the designer children's wear industry, 1920-1969" (2016). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 14973.