Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Mary LaskerMary Lasker
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

doing of it, I went to see someone at an agency called Lord & Thomas, and this man said to me, “Why do you do this? This isn't a good idea. Why don't you do something with fashion? It's much easier to do, and you'll never break into the publishing business. Why don't you do something with fashions, patterns, or something?” And I thought about this, and this friend who had been working with me, Mary McSweeney, her husband was working for Conde Nast, and we went to see the head of the pattern company at Conde Nast with the idea that we would sell what we were going to call Hollywood patterns to the chain stores, if they would manufacture the patterns at a low price. And we would get releases to associate the dress designs with the clothes of the stars.


By chain stores you mean?


Woolworth's, W.T. Grant, Newberry, H.L. Green, chains of that kind. I had never heard of them till this time, but at any rate I got to know these people through having sold something else to them, and I actually did get Conde Nast to say that they would make the patterns and I did get the releases to use the movie stars pictures on the envelopes of the patterns and did sell them to about four or five chains of stores to start. And they went on sale the day the banks closed, in 1933.

So this was a very bad time to start anything, and also I knew nothing about what kind of designs should be sold and

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help