U.S. Boys' Clothing Pattern Companies: Vogue

Figure 1.--T.

Vogue is another fashion magazine which offered patterns. Vogue began offering patterns in 1905. At first, however, they were not size graded. Conde Nast purchased Vogue in 19??, determined to make it the leading American high-society fahion magazine. Vogue patterns became a major feature of the magazine. The patterns were primarily for women's fashions. Butterick purchased the pattern business in 1961, but retained its seperate identity. We note in 2002 that Vogue was owned by McCalls.

Vogue Magazine

Vogue is one of the most prestigious fashion magazine. Vogue was founded in 1892 and has always been fashion oriented. Few magazines have had such an impact on American fashions. The focus has always been on women's fashions. By the 1930s, however, Vogue was giving considerable attention to children's fashions. Attention to children's fashions appears to have declined since the 1970s, perhaps the impact of the Women's Movement. Fewer women are now so concerned with children's fashions as was the case of stay-at-home moms. Women's style and fashion continues to dominate Vogue.

Rosa Payne

Vogue Patterns began with Rosa Payne in 1905. She walked into the Vogue office and asked them to produce a pattern that she had made. Edna Woolman Chase, then editor-in-chief of American, British and French Vogue, decided to do so. This decesion was to lead to Vogue becoming a leader in designer original patterns. Previously Vogue readers purchased a pattern by clipping a coupon in the magazine and mailing it in with $0.50. Mrs. Payne's pattern was hand-cut on her dining room table. It was only made in one size--a bust measurement of 36 inches (91.5cm).

Conde Nast (1873-1942)

Conde Montrose Nast was born in New York City during 1873. His father left the family for Europe when Conde was 3 year old. Conde did not see him again for 14 years. Without mens of her own, Conde's mother moved her four children back to St. Louis where her family lived. Nast grew up largely in the company of women. He was raised essentialy by his mother and his Aunt Fanny also played an important role. There were also two sisters. This is perhaps one reason that Nast did so well with magazines that appealed to largely women readers. Nast was a major force in American publishing. He was the first person to own a magazine chain. His short performance at Collier's Weekly was legendary. Vogue was purchased by a still relatively unknown publisher, Conde Nast, in 1909. Nast was determined make Vogue the leading fashi magazine in America. Nas apointed Chase as Vogue's editor in 1914. The work of these two was to create perhaps the most important publication in the world of high fashion. His publictions had a major impact on magazine layout. He was the first with colored pages, the double-page spread, and the special number. major marketing inovation was to divide the United States into marketing areas. This proved advantageous because Nast realized that some products needed to be promoted on a regional basis. Nast's strategy was extremely inovative. Rather aiming at a vast national circultion, he sought to publish "class publications". Nast targeted specific groups offering exciting, timely information on arts, politics, and entertainment. Nast was the first major U.S. publisher to focus on common or special interest magazines. Today this is the major thrust of U.S. magazines. There are magazines on topics as diverse as wines, dance, soldiuers of fortune, fishing, skateboarding, and a long list of other interests.

Vogue Patterns

Vogue Patterns began in 1905 began as a regular mail-order feature. It was so popular that Vogue Patterns Magazine was created just to sell the patterns. Vogue's patterns proved so popular that Nast decided to create a separate department. Chase made the "Vogue Pattern Department" a monthly feature in magazine. The name was changed to the "Vogue Pattern Service" in 1913, by which time it had become a major feature. publication.

World War I

Germany declared war on France and attacked through neutrl Belgium, launching World War I in 1914. The war affected thEuropean clothing industry. Mills were destroyed in Belgium and northern France and other areas where fighting occurred. The U-boat campaign in the Atlantic and War0time shipping priorities affected the supply of raw materials. Production was shifted to uniforms and other war material. As the War waged in Europe, therewas little time for fashion--especially high fashion. High scociety in neutral America ety had to look for domestic fashion houses.

Nast decided to take advantage of the situation and in 1914 prepared Vogue. He decided to create an entirely new pattern business. He arrangd for stores in major cities (New York, Boston, San Francisco, and London) to carry Vogue patterns. Nast also opened Vogue pattern showrooms in important American cities. The showrooms not only offered Vogue patterns, but provided advise on fashion. Nast by 1917 was selling his patterns in important department stores such as B. Altman in New York and Bullock's in Los Angeles, and specialty shops in Canada.

Inter-War Era

The War had a huge impact on both women and fashion. Women in America and other conbatant countries had entered the work force to replace men at the front. Many women became aware of their skills and talents as never before Some like the financial and personal independence. The gaining of the vote in most coyntries after the War further empowered them. Young women after the War wanted clothes that were simple and practical. This was also the direction that children's clothing moved in of course because these same young women were mothers. The Paris couture industry was quickly was back in business after the War. It was dominated by new designers such as, Coco Chanel and Jean Patou who catered to the new generation of women and their daring new changes.

Vogue magazine after the War returned to covering European high fashion and the collections of the important fashion houses. The new style of simplicity was a boon to the home sewer. Vogue pattern business had grown significantly during the War. So beginning with the May 1920 edition Nast and the editors decided to no longer carry the patterns in the magazine. Instead Nast began featuring the patterns in a separate publication published six times annually. The Vogue Pattern Book featured over 350 patterns, selling for $0.65 (for blouses and skirts) and $1.00 (for a more complicated full-length dress or coat).

Vogue Patterns continued to expnd in the 1920s and 1930s. The cost savings of home sewing made there ws a continued demand for Bogue patterns even during the Great Depression. Vogue expanded both in America and abroad. The British edition of the pattern book proved so successful that Nast set up a London manufacturing and publishing facility. A subsidiary was later opened Australia in addition to more pattern distribution offices in U.S. cities.

World War II

Post-World War II Era

The Vogue Pattern Book had included high fashion "couturier" patterns as early as 1937. These patterns were, however, not exact reproductions of actual fashions created by the European fashion houses. Rather they were Vogue creations based loosely on styles created by those houses. Vogue Patterns announced in 1949 that for the first time "A New Pattern Service: Paris Original Models Chosen From The Collections." The April/May 1949 pattern book featured photographs of styles chosen from the eight prestige fashion houses, including Balmain, Schiaparelli, Lanvin, and Jaques Fath. It was first use of originals from Paris designers for which consumers could now buy patterns. Only Vogue was licensed by the major designers. The most styles were from the French designers. This lasted until the mid-1970s when Italian and English designers became popular. French designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Hubert de Givenchy continue to be major sellers.

American designers also began to make their mark in the 1960s. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy helped stablish the popularity of the "minimal elegance" of American designers and their clean lines. Vogue in 1967 released a series of "Americana" patterns, veaturing the styles of Oscar de la Renta, Teal Traina, and Chester Weinberg. Vogue continues to features popular American designers such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Anne Klein, Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass, and Oscar de la Renta.

Butterick Licensing

Butterick's association with Vogue after World War II helped to give the Butterick patterns a fashion cachet--especially their womens fashions.Butterrick took a major step in 1961. They licensed the name and trademark "Vogue Patterns" from Conde Nast Publications, Inc. and purchased their pattern division. Butterick did not, however, merge the two oprtation. They maintained separate merchandisers, designers, artists and editors. The two brands continue to be distinct and the products still exhibit their different identity.

Late 20th Century

Vogue Patterns launched the "Vogue Individualist" program in 1984, creating a otlet for promising young designers. Their styles had a international style that appealed to avaunt guard clints. Many of these designers proved to be very popular and eventually joined the ranks of important designers: Issey Miyake, Isaac Mizrahi and Claude Montana. Vogue in 1990 replaced "Vogue Individualist" with "Vogue Attitudes", introducing another new generation of designers: Anna Sui, Byron Lars, and Isabel Toledo

Actual Garments

We do not yet have any Vogue patterns.


Butterick Company, "Butterick: Our History"

Christopher Wagner

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Created: October 26, 2002
Last updated: October 27, 2002