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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
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