If you run across a dress, suit or coat with the Nat Kaplan label, you should take a closer look at it. You will probably find it extremely well made from very nice quality fabrics. It will very likely have a classic look to it and be finely tailored. Because these are the kinds of fashions Nat Kaplan’s company manufactured from 1935 to around 1986.
Nat Kaplan 1952 tweed jersey suit courtesy of Dovima is Devine’s photostream .
After his untimely death in 1956 his wife Sylvia. who was a teacher and homemaker with four children, decided to take over the running of the company, along with her son, Richard.
From a newspaper article in the Hutchinson News Herald, January 1957.
“Mrs Kaplan figured that when a woman buys a dress she not only wants something fashionable and flattering, but that is comfortable and easy to wear. So she started trying on every dress in the line before it was ever cut for production. ”
So, while raising her children alone, she also ran the dress company and was the fit model as well! I get exhausted just thinking about it!
She said “I know the things I look for when I buy a dress. I want to be able raise my arms without pulling the sleeve seams, I want to be able to get into the dress easily, and I want to be able to move freely in it. So I try on every dress in every design and if it binds anywhere, we correct the fault.”
“There are lots of things that are the same in running a home and a business. If you apply the same sense to buying fabrics that you do to ordering groceries, if you try to be courteous and thoughtful in your business dealings, and if you appreciate efficient and loyal help, I don’t see how you can go wrong.” Simple, yet sage advice from a lady whose fashions ended up being quite sought after, selling for hundreds of dollars and up.
A 1960 article by Mary Brandel Hopkins for the Capital Times described her collection that year as “styled in the height of fashion, from quality materials, with careful workmanship, the clothes speak softly of beauty with restrained elegance.”
Bravo to Mrs. Kaplan for keeping the family business together, saving the jobs of many employees who had worked at the company for up to 20 years and putting out a fabulous clothing line to boot!
Vogue Ad 1966- “Nat Kaplan never does the obvious”
Here are the Nat Kaplan labels to look for , courtesy of the Vintage Fashion Guild Label Resource.
Because the Nat Kaplan label is not as well known as some other collectible vintage labels, you can still pick up some very nice pieces for much less than they originally cost. A good value that will likely increase as quality vintage gets harder and harder to find.
And we’ve just recently listed this cute classic, mint condition, 60s Nat Kaplan Couture summer dress in a lovely black eyelet fabric. Dress measures 38″ bust, 31″ waist. Perfect for an informal summer wedding or cocktail party! Click on image for more info.