Vintage early to mid-1940s New York Creation transparent wide brim sailor hat in bittersweet brown synthetic braid features a shallow crown, front ribbon bow, and net dotted with white chenille pom poms. The brim edges are decoratively woven with a combination of flat braid and cinnamon brown thread. A back strap in matching grosgrain with elastic insert helps secure the hat to the head when it is jauntily angled forward as was the vogue of the day.
Two labels are present; one reading “R.H.Stearns Co.Boston” and the second with “New York Creation, Adjustable” on one side, and “Mfd under Fair Labor Standards, Consumer Protection Label”, on the other.
The “New York Creation” label was introduced in 1941, a joint venture of the New York Dress Institute and the ILGWU to promote New York City as the fashion center of the world—a necessary step due to the Nazi occupation of Paris during WWII, and a savvy one as well, due to mounting competition from midwestern US garment manufacturers. 800 New York garment firms began attaching the labels to their products starting in July, 1941, following an inaugural ceremony attended by both NY Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The New York Dress Institute was reorganized as the “Couture Group” in 1952.
Founded in Boston in the mid-19th century, the R.H.Stearns department store added a handful of nearby branch stores to its flagship location before going out of business in the late 1970s.
Photo #8 shows a selection of sailor silhouette hats sold at R.H.Stearns in the early 1940s, as well as a 1943 New York Creation dress designed by Maurice Rentner and sold at Stearns (Maurice Rentner became president of the New York Dress Institute in 1943).
Measuring 17” around the inner grosgrain ribbon, the hat has a brim width of 4”, a crown height of 1.5”,and a diameter of 13”. As the tag indicates, it will accommodate a variety of headsizes, as it is meant to perch rather than sit deeply on the crown of the head.
Very good condition, with remnants of the veil on top of the hat only; the section that would have fallen over the brim & face is no longer present.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild
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