Vintage Label to Look For-History of the L’Aiglon Apparel Company

LAiglon Dress Vogue 1957

Well, it’s been quite a while since I last did a blog post.  And I wish I could say it is because I was on a round the world cruise, dining and dancing to the wee hours, and much too busy sipping cocktails in exotic locales to take the time to do a post.  If only.  Instead I contracted a heinous upper respiratory virus.  Could have been the flu. Who knows. I only know it knocked me flat on my butt.  If you’ve had it this season, then you know what I’m talking about.  It was a good two weeks before I could even think about working. And another couple of weeks for my energy to return.

Anyway, I’m back to tell you about one of my favorite dress labels, L’Aiglon, an American apparel company that was in business from the late 1800’s to the 1970s.  If you’re already a vintage clothing collector, you may already be familiar with them.   But I’d like to share some background on this business whose owners were pioneers in the ready to wear fashion industry.

Founded by the Biberman brothers, Russian immigrants, who established the company in 1898 and were based out of Philadelphia, Pa.  As a matter of fact, their original factory building is still there, having been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Their first dress labels read “Biberman Make” and their focus was on producing easy care “housedresses” or “wash dresses”, also referred to back then as “tubable”,  along with uniforms for nurses and maids. In 1919 the label was changed to L’Aiglon.

 

L'Aiglon Uniform ad 1922

L’Aiglon Uniform ad 1922

Source

L'Aiglon dress ad 1914

L’Aiglon dress ad 1914

L'Aiglon dress ad 1922

L’Aiglon dress ad 1922

Photos via Flickr

 The company eventually evolved into producing high fashion dresses for the “average American housewife and girl with a job.”

L'Aiglon dress ad 1930

L’Aiglon dress ad 1930

 

The company also introduced a junior line, labeled Jeanne D’Arc.

 

L'Aiglon Jeanne D'Arc line 1939

L’Aiglon Jeanne D’Arc line 1939

 

L'Aiglon dresses 1943 Vogue

L’Aiglon dresses 1943 Vogue

L'Aiglon dress ad 1947

L’Aiglon dress ad 1947

 

In the 1950s L’Aiglon expanded.  It was the post WW II economic boom.  And with an end to  fabric rationing women were eager for new fashions and designs. The  couture houses in Paris were back in business and American women wanted in on the styles.  L’Aiglon was happy to oblige!

“casual dresses that are worn and loved by women in every income bracket from the mink and mansion set to the budget and bungalow crowd.”

Laiglon dress company article 1955

Newpaper article on L’aiglon Apparel Company 1955

 

L'Aiglon Apparel Company article 1955

L’Aiglon Apparel Company article 1955

During the 1950s  L’Aiglon dresses were worn by  actresses in the popular daytime soap opera “The Edge of Night

L'Aiglon dress 1954

L’Aiglon dress 1954

 

L'Aiglon dress ad 1952

L’Aiglon dress ad 1952

 

L'Aiglon dress ad 1962

L’Aiglon dress ad 1962

 

In 1962 L’Aiglon dress prices averaged from $18 to $30.  According to this inflation calculator that would make them $150 to $250 in today’s dollars!

L'aiglon dress ad 1968

L’aiglon dress ad 1968

 

L'Aiglon dress ad 1972

L’Aiglon dress ad 1972

 

L'Aiglon dress ad 1973

L’Aiglon dress ad 1973

Despite over 70 years of success L’Aiglon was out of business by 1976.  Like many other apparel companies since, they couldn’t compete with the cheaper labor of imported clothing.

There was so much great clothing made in the US back before most manufacturing went offshore.  And I feel it is important that we don’t forget about companies like L’Aiglon who employed so many and produced stylish, affordable, quality fashions for middle class women. It’s labels like these that offer a timeless alternative to the fast fashion brands of today, yet are priced more moderately than the more well know designer vintage labels.

So if you love feminine vintage styles,  be on the lookout for the L’Aiglon label.

 

Tell next time…..

 

 

 

 

 

By | 2018-03-26T08:40:23+00:00 March 26th, 2018|Fashion, Labels to Look For|2 Comments

About the Author:

Theresa Campbell

2 Comments

  1. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell March 30, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Thanks Vix. Seemed like it was never going away, but I’m definitely feeling much better now. I think you’re right about the housedresses in UK. Makes perfect sense. House dresses over here originally were invented post war as an alternative to aprons.

  2. Vix March 29, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Hello Theresa! So sorry to hear you’ve been ill, that flu strain this year seems particularly virulent and lingering. Hope you’re well on the way to recovery now.
    I’m not aware of L’Aiglon but I love the early twentieth century advertisements.
    I’m not sure house dresses were a thing in the UK, our lot used to wear aprons and overalls over their dresses – I suppose we were so poor in and after WW2 there wasn’t the money for indoor clothes. xxx

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