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Monday, December 6, 2010

Cole of California Swimwear Advertising in the 1940s and 1950s

Fred Cole used various ingenious advertising techniques in his ads from the 1940s and 50s. We show share of them here.


Cole developed Matletex, an elasticized fiber, that helped to create the shape of women.


Wartime restrictions in the 1940s placed American companies on the amount of fabric they could use in fashions including swimwear. This is an ingenious way Cole used 'Parachute Colors' in advertising.

Ren Wicks was one of the artists Cole of California used in their ads in the 1940s and 1950s.


This is one of my favorites from Cole in the 1940s. Text for the main image reads "Backless Strapless swimsuit by Cole in EVERFAST. Exciting new bra engineered to stay put, trunks shirred with Lastex for perfect control. Sizes Small, Medium, Large $10.95. matching barrel skirt, ideal weekend accessory. $10.95

And here is a stand alone ad featuring the same 'backless strapless' swimsuit paired with another skirt. I have yet to come across one of these types of backless strapless swimsuits. I would love to actually see the construction and how they really fit.

Esther Williams became the spokes model for Cole in the late 1940s. You can read more about that effort on our blog here. Overall, I believe these were successful and brilliant advertising techniques in their day.

1 comment:

Karen said...

If you ever DO find one of those suits, I'd love to know how they work, too! ADORE that skirt that transform the suit into a sundress. WHY oh WHY can't swimsuit designers extert a microbe's worth of this kind of creativity today? Thanks for sharing...these are truly wonderful!
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