Clothing Illustrations From or Inspired by the 20s to the 60s

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
J. C. Leyendecker, I believe, created what became the Paul Stuart logo "The Man on the Fence." It is one of the very few logos I actually like (discretely place on a few casual items) as it is beautiful and, pretty much, no one knows what it is anyway.
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drpeter

Super Member
Agreed. It's a nice image, and a good logo.

I did a bit of research on it. I think the fence-sitter is based on the fictional character Dink Stover, in Owen Johnson's 1912 novel Stover at Yale, set during the early 20th century. I haven't read it, but the description of the book reminded me of another novel I have actually read about campus culture, set in the late 1950s: The Final Club (1990) by Geoffrey Wolff.

The image (or its concept) was chosen by Clifford Grodd, who was CEO of Paul Stuart. I'm not sure if the Leyendecker artwork was selected from a variety of similar images, or if Grodd had a particular affinity for the Stover character. Grodd passed away in 2010.
 
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Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Agreed. It's a nice image, and a good logo.

I did a bit of research on it. I think the fence-sitter is based on the fictional character Dink Stover, in Owen Johnson's 1912 novel Stover at Yale, set during the early 20th century. I haven't read it, but the description of the book reminded me of another novel I have actually read about campus culture, set in the late 1950s: The Final Club (1990) by Geoffrey Wolff.

The image (or its concept) was chosen by Clifford Grodd, who was CEO of Paul Stuart. I'm not sure if the Leyendecker artwork was selected from a variety of similar images, or if Grodd had a particular affinity for the Stover character. Grodd passed away in 2010.

I've read both books you reference and you are correct, there's a somewhat similar vibe. "Stover at Yale" is a very of-it-period book in style and plotting, which might turn some off, but I enjoyed it. Fitzgerald's "This Side of Paradise" also captures some of that "a young man at an Ivy school who doesn't quite fit in," theme as well.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
He did, but prior to being appropriated by Paul Stuart, it served a different commercial interest -


View attachment 61597

That is neat. I've seen it as the Interwoven ad before, but don't remember it having color in the tie (or at all), but that could very easily just be my memory being wrong. Do you know if the original illustration had color as shown here?

The more I think about it, I realize, I just don't remember as I've looked at this illustration for many years in many iterations and no longer have a clear memory of its progression through time.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
That is neat. I've seen it as the Interwoven ad before, but don't remember it having color in the tie (or at all), but that could very easily just be my memory being wrong. Do you know if the original illustration had color as shown here?

The more I think about it, I realize, I just don't remember as I've looked at this illustration for many years in many iterations and no longer have a clear memory of its progression through time.

I believe it did. I'm first familiar with the image as an ad in vintage Esquire, and believe that was its original use. Don't know if the ad also appeared elsewhere. I've got the entire original ad archived among my Esquire and/or Interwoven Socks images, and will dig it out when I've a bit more time. Unfortunately, by archive is rather haphazard and isn't searchable, so I require a bit of time to locate it. But I enjoy doing it.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
I believe it did. I'm first familiar with the image as an ad in vintage Esquire, and believe that was its original use. Don't know if the ad also appeared elsewhere. I've got the entire original ad archived among my Esquire and/or Interwoven Socks images, and will dig it out when I've a bit more time. Unfortunately, by archive is rather haphazard and isn't searchable, so I require a bit of time to locate it. But I enjoy doing it.
Please don't put yourself out as, one, I'm sure your memory is correct and, two, it's nothing more than idle curiosity. My guess, somewhere along the line, I saw it in black and white and that's what stuck in my head. Any which way, it's just such a cool illustration.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
Please don't put yourself out as, one, I'm sure your memory is correct and, two, it's nothing more than idle curiosity. My guess, somewhere along the line, I saw it in black and white and that's what stuck in my head. Any which way, it's just such a cool illustration.

No bother, you've got me curious now too.

And you've got far more confidence in my memory than I do! ;)
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
That is neat. I've seen it as the Interwoven ad before, but don't remember it having color in the tie (or at all), but that could very easily just be my memory being wrong. Do you know if the original illustration had color as shown here?

The more I think about it, I realize, I just don't remember as I've looked at this illustration for many years in many iterations and no longer have a clear memory of its progression through time.

Have looked through my archive and can't find a better version of the image than the one I posted, though I can swear I've seen the full page ad. Should I run across it in the future, I'll post it.

One of the reasons I believe the color is original to this ad is that orange is always the signature color for the brand's logo, and all the color in the ad is orange. Of course, that's not to say that other non-color versions weren't also published contemporaneously.

An added bit of interest I learned in my poking around is that the Interwoven ad is from 1921. As such, it predates Esquire, so I was mistaken about seeing it there.

Edit: Thinking further about the nature of the illustration made me curious concerning it being Dink Stover.. I don't know if that character featured in any other book, but the one I found is Stover at Yale. And the copy I found lists a Frederick R. Cruger as the illustrator, clearly not the Leyendecker illustration of the subject ad. Though that certainly doesn't preclude Leyendecker from having done a later illustration of the same character.
 
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Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Have looked through my archive and can't find a better version of the image than the one I posted, though I can swear I've seen the full page ad. Should I run across it in the future, I'll post it.

One of the reasons I believe the color is original to this ad is that orange is always the signature color for the brand's logo, and all the color in the ad is orange. Of course, that's not to say that other non-color versions weren't also published contemporaneously.

An added bit of interest I learned in my poking around is that the Interwove ad is from 1921. As such, it predates Esquire, so I was mistaken about seeing it there.

Edit: Thinking further about the nature of the illustration made me curious concerning it being Dink Stover.. I don't know if that character featured in any other book, but the one I found is Stover at Yale. And the copy I found lists a Frederick R. Cruger as the illustrator, clearly not the Leyendecker illustration of the subject ad. Though that certainly doesn't preclude Leyendecker from having done a later illustration of the same character.
In recompense here's another particularly nice George B. Shepard illustration. This was also part of an Interwoven ad.


View attachment 61623

Thank you for all the sleuthing. ⇧That's a wonderful illustration.
 

drpeter

Super Member
I thought he still had a book. No? I just Googled it and I think the book is still there, but you could be right.
You're right. He still has the book, judging by a couple of examples I looked at.

I think the book and the pipe symbolized college students in those days. Pipe smoking was considered a collegiate habit well into the fifties, perhaps.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur

Very '50's! :icon_cheers:

I wore a suit or sport jacket and tie when traveling by air into the early '70's. It was just a thing that was done. I recall taking a couple weeks leave in June '70 and visiting London and Edinburgh and wearing same on both international flights. Though I didn't on the BEA flight from Heathrow to Edinburgh. Good thing too! The poor stewardess managed to douse the same passenger twice with drinks during the short flight! 😁
 
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