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Guide to the Chester Weinberg publicity scrapbook and sketch, 1953-1975

Collection Overview

Repository
Kellen Design Archives
Creator
Weinberg, Chester
Title
Chester Weinberg publicity scrapbook and sketch, 1953-1975, (Bulk, 1966-1975)
Extent
1.8 linear ft: 1 scrapbook
Summary
Chester Weinberg (1931-1985) graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1951 and served as a visiting critic and lecturer on fashion design at the school from 1955 to 1985. Weinberg rose to fame in the 1960s, establishing his own label, Chester Weinberg Ltd. in 1966. He later became a consultant and was appointed design director of Calvin Klein jeans in 1981. The collection consists of a scrapbook containing news clippings, fashion print ads, and photographs primarily chronicling Weinberg’s career from 1966 until 1975, and one fashion sketch.

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Biographical note

Chester Weinberg was born in New York City in 1930. He attended the Brooklyn High School for Music and Art and later attended Parsons School of Design, where he graduated with honors in 1951. At the time he was alleged to be the youngest Parsons fashion graduate. Weinberg also received a B.S. in art education from New York University.

After graduation, Weinberg went on to work anonymously as an assistant designer for several manufacturers. From 1951 until 1954, he served as assisant designer to the designer and manufacturer Leonard Arkin, a company "specializ[ing] in interpretations of Paris originals for the moderate to bridge market" (Vintage Fashion Guild website). Weinberg then designed for Copeland-Patullo Modes and Harvey Berin. In the early 1960s, Weinberg designed for Herbert Sondheim and Teal Traina.

In 1966, Weinberg partnered with manufacturers Paul and Edward Parnes to open his own firm. The collaboration proved successful and Weinberg received great notoriety for his designs, appealing to the young social elite in New York, including Mrs. Samuel Peabody (Judith Anne Walker), Mrs. Henry Fonda (Shirlee Mae Adams), and Mrs. Carter Burden (Amanda Jay Mortimer). Two years after opening his own company, Weinberg earned the Cotton Council Fashion Award, followed by the Gold Coast Award in 1968. In 1970, he received the Coty American Fashion Critics award, followed by the Maison Blanche "Rex" award in 1972.

After Weinberg's company folded in 1975, he designed for the Jones Apparel Group until 1978, when he began designing for Calvin Klein, first as a consultant and later as Calvin Klein Jeans design director.

Chester Weinberg frequently taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, and for the duration of his career served as a visiting critic and lecturer at Parsons School of Design. He also served on the Parsons Board of Overseers. Among the many students who worked under Weinberg's guidance are Marc Jacobs, Isaac Mizrahi, Charlotte Neuville, and Peter Speliopoulos. The Chester A. Weinberg Memorial Scholarship Fund at Parsons School of Design was established after his death, in 1985.

Selected Sources:

Bender, Marylin. "Designers About Town." The New York Times, May 24, 1966.

Editorial, "S.A. Newest Entry." Women's Wear Daily, May 17, 1966.

"Leonard Arkin," on Vintage Fashion Guild website. Accessed October 13, 2011. http://vintagefashionguild.org/label-resource/arkin-leonard/.

O'Neill, Dorothy. "Fashions: Young Designers Wind Early Acclaim." The New York Times, November 15, 1953.

Reisman, Jessica. Contemporary Fashion. Ed. Taylor Benbow-Pfalzgraf (Farmington Hills, MI: St. James Press, 2002).

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Scope and Contents of Collection

The scrapbook contents, predominantly newspaper and magazine articles and advertisements, cover Chester Weinberg's career through 1975, and primarily document the period when he was designing under the Chester Weinberg Ltd. label (1966-1975). It does not document Weinberg's years of affiliation with the Jones Apparel Group or Calvin Klein, nor does it cover his education at Parsons School of Design, with the exception of one photograph.

Tear sheets are predominantly from Harper's Bazaar,  Vogue, and  Cue magazines, and feature photographs by Richard Avedon, Hiro, and other notable editorial photographers of the 1960s and 1970s. Additional scrapbook materials include Weinberg's 1954 buyer's card for the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne as a representative of Leonard Arkin; an invitation to Weinberg's Fall 1966 collection showing; 1968 National Cotton Council of America fashion show ephemera; and a small amount of correspondence.

The scrapbook has been dismantled, and newsprint articles are housed separately from other materials to prevent discoloration. A preservation photocopy of the complete scrapbook was created by the Kellen Design Archives prior to the dismantling, showing the original page order and layout. All non-newsprint materials have been retained, as have newsprint materials featuring color printing.

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Organization and Arrangement

The photocopied pages are arranged in the order of the original scrapbook. Scrapbook contents are arranged in the order in which they appeared in the scrapbook.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Kellen Design Archives December 19, 2011

66 5th Ave./
lobby level/
New York, NY, 10011
212.229.5942
archivist@newschool.edu

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the Kellen Design Archives. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

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Related Materials

Photographs of Chester Weinberg as a student will be found in the Kellen Design Archives' Parsons School of Design Alumni Association records (PIC.03.002.1). Photographs of Weinberg as a visiting lecturer and critic will be found in the Parsons Photograph and Slides collections (PIC.04.001). Award boards and croquis of student work for which Weinberg served as a critic will be found in the Fashion Design Department records (PIC.02.002.1). Although the collection pre-dates Weinberg's affiliation with the firm, the Herbert Sondheim fashion business scrapbooks (KA.0039) in the Kellen Design Archives document the activities of one of Weinberg's early employers.

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Genre(s)

  • Clippings (information artifacts).
  • Scrapbooks.

Occupation(s)

  • Fashion designers.

Subject(s)

  • Clothing and dress -- United States -- 20th century.
  • Fashion design.
  • Women's clothing -- United States -- 20th century.

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Collection Inventory

Title Box Folder
Scrapbook [photoreproduction]  OSx-1 1-4
Title Box Folder
Scrapbook elements  k_13 1-2
k_3 1
Sketch  k_13 3

Collection guide Last Updated: 08/30/2012

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