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Guide to the John Weitz papers, 1945-1998

Collection Overview

Repository
Kellen Design Archives
Creator - Designer
Weitz, John
Title
John Weitz papers, 1945-1998
Extent
70 linear ft: 23 boxes, 33 oversize boxes, 5 oversize folders
Summary
A leading figure in the development of American ready-to-wear clothing, John Weitz (1923-2002) established one of the first American signature menswear lines. Through various licensing arrangements combined with self-referential advertising campaigns, he established an international consumer base and became a multi-millionaire. In addition to fashion design, Weitz pursued an array of other interests, becoming a successful racing car driver, yachtsman, best-selling author and photographer. Weitz was a visiting lecturer at Parsons School of Design between 1975 and 1995. The collection includes sketches and design drawings, exhibition files, scrapbooks, newspaper and magazine clippings, publications, photographs, and audiovisual recordings of promotional campaigns, fashion shows and television commercials.

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Biographical note

John Weitz was an American fashion designer best known for his menswear collections and for his pioneering in the field of fashion licensing. Additionally, Weitz's effective use of his name and likeness in fashion marketing presaged the widespread practice in later decades.

Born in Berlin in 1923, John Weitz (born Hans Werner) completed his education in London at the Hall School and at St. Paul's School, after which he apprenticed with fashion designer Edward Molyneux. Weitz's parents, assimilated German Jews, immigrated to the United States in response to the rise of National Socialism. Weitz was able to re-join his family in the United States after a stay in Shanghai, a city in which many German and Austrian Jewish refugees lived during the late 1930s. Weitz became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1943 and enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces that year. He served through 1945, returning to Germany as an American soldier. Over four decades later, the Federal Republic of Germany honored him with a First Class Order of Merit for his wartime contributions.

In the late 1940s, Weitz began designing women's apparel and was noticed by Dorothy Shaver of Lord & Taylor, thus beginning a multi-decade relationship with the retailer. Weitz initially specialized in women's sportswear and was often featured in print advertisements with sports cars, a serious hobby that he would cultivate and employ extensively in fashion styling and marketing (in 1979, he designed his own car, the X600, and used Bloomingdale's store windows as the site of its first public display). Weitz also made numerous in-store appearances to promote his clothing, serving as commentator for his own fashion shows, an uncommon idea at the time. He would continue this practice into the 1980s.

By the mid-1960s, Weitz had primarily shifted his attention to menswear and is recognized today as one of the first American menswear designers. He received a Special Menswear Coty Award in 1974. Weitz also frequently expressed his opinions regarding how American men should dress, groom, and conduct themselves, writing articles, being interviewed by style journalists, and appearing on television and radio programs to promote his mantra of functionality, modernity, and masculinity. Cosmopolitanism played a large role in the marketing of Weitz's menswear, with Weitz proposing that a modern man should be at home anywhere in the world. Weitz returned to designing women's apparel in 1979 with a much-publicized women's collection. He would design both men's and women's clothing for the rest of his career as a fashion designer.

A savvy businessman, Weitz was one of the earliest American designers to enter into licensing agreements. His name, likeness, and signature were associated with numerous accessories and a wide range of men's apparel, making him a multi-millionaire. In 1954, Weitz left Lord & Taylor to found an independent company, John Weitz Designs, Inc., although his menswear continued to be sold through Lord & Taylor's Man's Shops.

In 1968, Weitz entered into a major licensing deal with Teijin, which at that time was a fabric manufacturer. Teijin sold John Weitz Design fashions and home furnishings to Japanese consumers through the Daimaru department store chain, a venture that lasted several decades. Weitz traveled regularly to Japan, making in-store appearances throughout the country. As in American campaigns, Japanese print and television advertising relied heavily on Weitz's likeness and represented him as an "all-American" man. By 1981, the Japanese market represented approximately 30% of Weitz's retail sales ("Japan Ready Market for U.S. Clothing," DNR, June 29, 1981). Weitz also entered into licensing agreements with department stores in Mexico and in the U.K.

In 1970, Weitz published a best-selling novel about the fashion world, The Value of Nothing (his first book  Sports Clothes for Sports Cars, appeared in 1958). Four years later, he released an advice book for men,  Man in Charge: The Executive's Guide to Grooming, Manners, and Travel. In 1982, he turned his attention to historical fiction, writing about a young man in Nazi-era Germany in  Friends in High Places. This was followed by two works of non-fiction in the 1990s,  Hitler's Banker and  Hitler's Diplomat. In addition to book-length works, Weitz wrote extensively for a variety of publications as a columnist and contributor. Frequent topics include fashion and style, cars and driving, New York City, and Nazi Germany.

John Weitz died in 2002 in Bridgehampton, Long Island at the age of 79. His is survived by his third wife, actress Susan Kohner, and four children.

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Scope and Contents note

The John Weitz papers document the practice of fashion design and marketing in the United States during the second half of the twentieth century through administrative files, artwork, clippings, correspondence, drawings and design sketches, exhibition records, photographs, printed materials and publications, reports, scrapbooks, and audiovisual materials.

The papers are of a professional nature, either created and received by John Weitz in his capacity as a designer, artist, or author, or by John Weitz Designs employees Helen Berkowitz, Barbara Khoury, Andrea Peterson, and Michael Wynne. Files chronicle the relationship between fashion designers, textile manufacturers, and the garment industry. In addition to men's, women's, and children's clothing, the papers also include designs for a sports car and a yacht. Weitz's roles as author and artist are also documented, though not extensively.

In addition to fashion and product design, the papers evince a range of fashion merchandising practices, from fashion illustration and photography, to advertising copy and marketing campaigns represented by press kits, publications, and highly choreographed fashion shows. Roughly five decades of fashion marketing materials are present. The John Weitz papers also provide a window into a vanished world of family-owned, regional retailers and localized fashion merchandising. Because Weitz was one of the first American designers to enter the post-war Japanese retail market, the papers are noteworthy for including documentation on promoting American fashions to Japanese consumers.

Advertisements for John Weitz Designs were innovative in their use of celebrity and lifestyle marketing. They also frequently exploit anxieties regarding evolving gender roles, such as humorous campaigns for women's office attire and seasonal collections with suggestive titles like "Big Man." Weitz, along with his longtime advertising agency, C. J. Herrick Associates, recognized the increasing sophistication of American consumers, developing brand-focused advertising featuring John Weitz's face, name, and logo rather than products. In 1979, Weitz became the first designer to advertise on New York City municipal buses ( WWD, Janaury 31, 1979, p. 27). Another campaign involved excerpts of mock stories (written by Weitz) in which John Weitz Designs' products are mentioned by name within the context of the story. The increasingly self-referential advertising generated much publicity on its own. The papers include extensive publicity materials for John Weitz Designs' apparel and licensed products.

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Organization and Arrangement

The papers are organized into five series by function, and arranged alphabetically. Fashion shows and press kits in the Publicity series and some scrapbooks are arranged chronologically because of repetition in or absence of original folder titles.

The papers are organized into five series by function, and arranged alphabetically. Fashion shows and press kits in the Publicity series and some scrapbooks are arranged chronologically because of repetition in or absence of original folder titles.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Kellen Design Archives September 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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated by Susan Kohner Weitz, John Weitz's wife, 2004.

Processing note

Because John Weitz Designs consistently re-used older materials in new advertising campaigns, multiple copies of materials in a variety of formats were encountered throughout the files. Additionally, many reproductions of clippings, photographs, and other printed materials were created in the preparation of press kits and mailings. When multiple copies were encountered during the processing of this collection, a sample was retained, with preference given to formats closest to the original (i.e., negatives, sketches) and to the final product. Materials documenting the design process, such as proofs with markings or reproduced sketches with annotations have also been saved.

File titles have been changed or altered when the original title was absent, unclear, repetitive, or inaccurately labeled.

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Related Materials

Photographs of John Weitz acting as a visiting critic for the Fashion Design Department of Parsons School of Design will be found in the Kellen Design Archives Photographs and Slides collections (PIC.04).

The Fashion Institute of Technology holds an oral history recording conducted with John Weitz and video recordings of his fashion shows.

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • C. J. Herrick Associates (Firm).
  • Daimaru, Inc.
  • Galey & Lord.
  • John Weitz Designs, Inc.
  • Lord & Taylor.

Genre(s)

  • Drawings.
  • Exhibition records.
  • Fashion photographs.
  • Photographs.
  • Posters.
  • Press kits.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Sketches.
  • Slides (photographs).
  • Tear sheets.

Occupation(s)

  • Fashion designers.

Subject(s)

  • Advertising -- Fashion.
  • Automobiles -- Design and construction.
  • Department stores -- United States -- 20th century.
  • Fashion design.
  • Fashion merchandising.
  • Fashion shows.
  • Fashion -- Forecasting.
  • Japan -- Description and travel.
  • Licensed products.
  • Men's clothing industry.
  • Uniforms.
  • Women's clothing -- United States -- 20th century -- Pictorial works.

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Collection Inventory

Series I. Exhibition files circa 1979-1989 

Although he had earlier participated in art showings in the 1980s Weitz began actively planning and exhibiting original works of art and design in New York galleries, often using the opening receptions or previews to raise funds for local charities. Files here may include original artwork, photographic documentation of artwork and the installation, publicity materials for mailings, and exhibition and event planning records. Scrapbooks featuring publicity generated by the exhibitions will be found in the Scrapbooks series.

Title Box Folder
All-American Sportswear (Fashion Institute of Technology), 1984-1985  1 1
Title Box Folder
Berlin Summer, 1988-1989 

For video recordings of television journalist Morley Safer interviewing Weitz about Berlin Summer, consult the Publicity series, Audiovisual recordings.

1 2-6
17 1-4
k_OSxxx-3 11
OSx-25 1
OSxx-5 2
Design Project 82, 1982  1 7-15
Future Four, 1984  1 16-17
Title Box Folder
A Happy Look Back, 1985 

John Weitz Designs' scrapbook pages used in preparing this historical exhibition have been retained here as part of the exhibition files.

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17 5
2 1-10
OSx-25 2-8
OSxx-5 3-4
Manhattan Faces, 1983-1985, 1988  2 11-17
Night of 100 Trees (charity auction), 1986-1987  2 18
Title Box Folder
X600 (sports car), circa 1979-1980  2 19
OSx-26 1
OSxx-5 2

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Series II. Professional files 1956-1996 

Professional files are divided into three subseries: Awards and citations; Travel; and Writings. Travel includes itineraries, business cards, dayplanner sheets, correspondence, and clippings documenting Weitz's domestic travel, often for conferences or speaking engagements. Writings includes clippings and tear sheets, drafts, and correspondence regarding article and book projects. It also includes materials created for presentations, presumably given by John Weitz.

Awards and citations 1956-1994 

Includes clippings, correspondence, photographs, programs and other printed materials. Additional clippings will be found in the Scrapbooks series under Thematic scrapbooks. The General folder includes reproductions and color prints of awards and citations that are not part of this collection.

Title Box Folder
General, 1956-1994  3 1
Brilliant Pen Award (MFI), 1975  3 2
Cartier Award for Design Excellence, 1981  3 3
Caswell-Massey Awards, 1964-1967  OSx-26 2
Coty American Fashion Critics' Award, 1974  3 4
Cutty Sark Menswear Award, 1986  3 5
Ellis Island Medal of Honor, 1990, 1992  3 6
Mayor's Liberty Award, 1986  3 7
Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1988  3 8
Travel 1975-1994 

Files on international travel will be found in the Publicity series under Foreign licensing.

Title Box Folder
Chicago, 1978-1994  3 9
Cleveland, 1983-1990  3 10

Includes correspondence regarding Weitz's donation of his X600 sports car to the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, Western Reserve Historical Society.

Dallas, 1990  3 11
Detroit, 1986-1994  3 12
Kansas City, 1985  3 13
Tampa: Maas Brothers in-store appearance, 1975  3 14
Writings 1958-1996 
Title Box Folder
Articles and short pieces 1961-1996 

Files may include clippings, correspondence with editors, and drafts. Articles and short pieces include on-going columns and series as well as one-time contributions.

General, 1961-1996, undated  4 1-3
Automobile magazine, 1988-1989  4 4
Cosmopolitan magazine, 1967-1969  4 5
Esquire, 1994-1995  4 6
F.I.T. Review, "Licensing a Designer Name," 1987  4 7
New York magazine, "Home Away from Home: Berlin Diary," 1990  4 8
New York Times magazine, "On Wearing Your Car," 1988  4 9
Parents Review magazine, "On Becoming a Fashion Designer," 1978  4 10
Sportscar magazine, 1972-1973  4 11
Town and Country magazine, 1993-1995  4 12-13
Books 1958-circa 1992 

A large sample of video and audio recordings of Weitz being interviewed about his later books will be found in Audiovisual recordings subseries. Most documentation here concerns The Value of Nothing (Stein and Day, 1970), Weitz's first novel. Files primarily concern publicity and marketing activities. Weitz's book manuscripts are not included in this collection.

Hitler's Diplomat, circa 1992  4 14

File originally titled, "Position Paper -- John Weitz's Qualifications for This Book."

Man in Charge, 1974-1975  4 15
Sports Clothes for Your Sports Car, 1958  4 16
The Value of Nothing, 1969-1974 
Correspondence: Agent, 1970-1974  4 17
Correspondence: Congratulations, 1970  4 18
Correspondence: Publicists, 1970  4 19
Correspondence: Publishers, 1970-1971  4 20
Title Box Folder
Publicity materials, 1969-1970  4 21
k_OSxxx-3 12
U.K. edition, 1970-1973  4 22
Presentations, reports and speeches circa 1960s-circa 1990s 

These mostly-typed presentations probably date from the 1970s and 1980s when Weitz was actively presenting his views on marketing and forecasting. Additional documentation of Weitz's presentations on the subjects of international licensing, fashion design, and marketing will be found in the Audiovisual recordings subseries. Another presentation given at a 1994 Detroit Autoweek event will be found in Travel.

General, circa 1970s-1990s  4 23
"I am certain that fashion designers should be seen," circa 1986  4 24
"Shoes: A Presentation in 23 Slides," probably 1960s  4 25

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Series III. Project files 1958-1991 

Originally labeled, "Files," the bulk of the series consists of fashion design project files. Project files document various design and styling projects, including fashion design, product design, and designs for a sports car and a yacht. In addition to design drawings and sketches, files may include correspondence with manufacturers and licensees, fabric swatches, legal documents, photographs, press kits and publicity materials. There is also substantial documentation on the design, construction and publicity surrounding the unveiling of Weitz's X600 sports car.

Fashion design 1958-1991 

Documents Weitz's designs and styling for products ranging from men's, women's, and children's apparel to accessories such as ties, watches, socks, and footwear. Folders are arranged alphabetically by commissioner, manufacturer, licensee, or client.

All publicity materials associated solely with a particular manufacturer or licensee will be found here. Publicity materials such as press kits, posters, or tear sheets, created for or featuring products associated with multiple manufacturers or licensees will be found in the Publicity series.

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Title Box Folder
General 1962-1970 

Includes designs for men's and women's clothing.

Coolcoat, 1970  5 1
Current fabrics and labels, undated  5 2
Title Box Folder
General Tire & Rubber sportswear, 1962 

Includes illustrated publication, "Fashion '63."

19 5
5 3
Title Box Folder
Simplicity Pattern Co., 1980-1984 

Includes correspondence, sketches, catalog pages, and promotional materials. Weitz models some of his own designs in Simplicity catalogs.

17 6-8
21 1-4
k_OSxxx-3 12
OSxx-6 1
Children's and teen's 1965-1982 
Brooks Industries/J.J. MacIntyre (Spring 1973), 1972  5 4-5
Go Getter Sportswear, 1982  5 6
Outwear (Fall 1968), 1967  5 7
Supak outerwear, 1965-1968  5 8-11
Menswear 1965-1988 
General 
Title Box Folder
At Ease shirts, 1977-1978 

Includes a print advertising campaign featuring classic movie stars in casual dress.

19 6
5 12
Calvin Clothing Co. (Fall 1977), 1976  5 13
Cotton, Inc., 1976  5 14
Glasgo Knits, 1967  5 15
Great George, 1981  5 16
Hickok, 1976  5 17-18
Host, 1968-1988  5 19-24
Lord Jeff, 1980-1981  5 25
Monaco, 1972-1973  5 26
Playboy Creative Menswear Show, 1970  5 27
Shelbourne Shirt Co., 1981-1986  6 1-2
Solomon Brothers Thomasville, Alabama, circa 1965  6 1-3
Sutton Shirt Corp., 1987-1988  6 4
Trevira/Hoechst fabrics, 1969-1984  6 5-8
Unidentified: Fall '77, 1976  6 9
Unidentified: "A look ahead...", 1977  6 10
Unidentified: Spring '80, 1979  6 11-14
Unidentified: '80 Men, 1980  6 15
Title Box Folder
Van Baalen robes and swimwear, 1966-1980  21 5
6 16-23
OSxx-6 2
Accessories 1965-1987 
Bally shoes, 1969-1971  7 1-2
Better Made Headwear, 1968-1969  7 3
Bonwit [Teller?] tie swatches, possibly 1980s  7 4
Burma Bibas ties, 1966-1975, 1980  7 5-10
Title Box Folder
Camp Men's Hosiery, 1966-1981  7 11-15
OSxx-6 2
Title Box Folder
Daniel Hays Co./Gates-Mills gloves and slippers, 1965-1966  7 16-17
OSx-26 3
Destino design and patents, 1967-1976  7 18-19
Elmer Little & Sons gloves, 1973-1978  7 20-21
Hickok Jewelry, 1976  7 22
Maro Hosiery, 1985, 1987  7 23
Paris Men's Accessories, 1969-1973  8 1-3
Sheffield Watch, 1972-1973  8 4
Watches, 1967-1972  8 5
Outerwear 1965-1979 
General, 1965  8 6
Alligator, 1965-1966  8 7
Barrie Walt, 1967  8 8
Breezy Point/Pollack Leather (Fall 1969), 1968  8 9
Title Box Folder
Casualcraft, 1976-1982  19 7
8 10-11
Creative Menswear (Playboy), 1969, 1972  8 12
Excel (Fall 1968), 1967  8 13
Falk, circa 1966  8 14
Title Box Folder
Harbor Master, 1970-1976  8 15-17
OSxx-6 2
Title Box Folder
Lakeland Manufacturing ("Brawny Breed"), 1964-1968  8 18-21
OSx-26 4
McGregor, 1971-1973  8 22
Schacter & Salles, 1979  8 23
Zebco, 1966  8 24
Uniforms 1961-1990 
General and unidentified, 1961-1990  9 1-2
American Airlines, 1967  9 3
Baseball uniform sketches, 1990  9 1
Clairol, 1961  9 2
Title Box Folder
Dick Cavett Show, 1969 

Includes an enlarged proof of a TV Guide piece, "Unisexing with Cavett and Caron," featuring these designs.

9 4
OSxx-6 2
Henry Dreyfuss & Co., 1961  9 2
Michael Brown Enterprises Inc. for Du Pont's World's Fair Show, 1964  9 5
Pan-American Airlines, 1979  9 6
Pepsi-Cola, 1969-1972  9 7
Sag Harbor Community Band, undated  9 1
St. Regis-Sheraton Hotel (New York, New York), 1971  9 1
State of South Carolina uniforms sponsored by U.S. Rubber Co., 1966-1967  9 8-9
U.S. Bobsled Team, 1966-1967  9 1
U.S. Forest Service, 1975-1976  9 10
U.S. Marine Corps, 1971-1994  9 11
Title Box Folder
Western Airlines, 1977  17 9
9 12
Women's 1958-1991 
General, probably 1960s  9 13
General: Spring 1967  9 14
General: Tiger print dinner dress, 1963  OSx-26 5
Abercrombie and Fitch, 1967-1969  9 15-18
Alligator coats and jackets, 1966  9 19
Bert Paley, 1966-1967  9 20
Creslan Shows, after 1956  9 21

Creslan was an acrylic fiber manufactured by the American Cyanamid Company (Cytec) beginning in 1956.

Crest Apparel/Wavelengths swimwear, 1978-1980  9 22
Dorian-Macksoud, 1967  9 23
Glamour Sportswear tank tops, 1983-1984  10 1
Title Box Folder
Haspel Bros., 1979-1981 

Fashion photographs depict a professional dressed in office attire throughout her workday. The office in which she works appears to be the John Weitz Designs office.

10 2-8
OSxx-6 3
Title Box Folder
Her Shirt, 1977  10 9
OSxx-6 3
Host Apparel, 1989-1991  10 10
Leather Line (Hygrade Handbags), 1982  10 11
Mallory Leather Collection, 1958  10 11
March & Mendl junior raincoats, circa 1960s  10 12
Perma-Lift, 1966  10 13

File originally titled, "A. Stein." Designs for a line of corsets.

PRL, circa 1960s  10 14
Shoe-Town, 1987-1989  10 15
U.B.A. International (Spring 1987), 1986  21 6
Wallis Shops, circa 1960s  10 16
Title Box Folder
Weatherbee, 1981-1982  10 17-19
OSxx-6 3
Product Design 1964-1988 
Title Box Folder
Burlington bedding, 1978  11 1
21 7
Flents Product Co. eyeshades, 1964  11 2
Ford car project, 1979-1980  11 3
H.B. Strauss ice buckets, 1977  11 4
Henry Rosenfeld Luggage, 1987-1988  11 5
Stanley Roberts flatware and aprons, 1980-1983  11 6-7
Storm Hero boots and umbrellas, 1977-1984  11 8
Sports car "X600" 1979-1980 

Files document a sports car designed by Weitz and built by Mallalieu Cars in England. The "600" is a reference to the address of Weitz's Madison Avenue office. Weitz debuted the car at Bloomingdale's and later transported it to Japan. He also designed a line of racing-inspired clothing incorporating the X600 logo. In 1981, Weitz received the Cartier Award for Design Excellence for his work on the X600. Documentation regarding the award will be found in the Awards subseries. Weitz used the car extensively in his fashion marketing; examples of clippings, proofs and tear sheets featuring the X600 will be found in the Publicity series.

Photographs depict models of the X600 photographed by John Weitz, the vehicle under construction in England, its installation in Bloomingdale's department store, and the car in various locations in New York and Japan.

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Title Box Folder
Armband, circa 1980  12 1
Design drawings, circa 1979-1980  12 2-4
Title Box Folder
Photographs, 1979-1980  12 5-16
17 10
Press kits and invitations, 1979-1980  12 17-19
Publicity, 1979  12 20
Stencil for logo, circa 1979  OSx-26 6
Automobile Quarterly, 1980  12 21
Yacht "Milagros" 1971-1973 

Weitz designed this boat, named "Milagros," and featured its flag in some of his nautically-inspired fashion collections. He also used photographs of himself aboard the yacht for publicity purposes. Files includes correspondence with the ship builder, yacht stationery, photographs, and publicity materials.

Title Box Folder
Correspondence, 1971-1973  11 9
Photographs, circa 1970s  11 10
Publicity, 1972-1973  11 11

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Series IV. Publicity 1945-1998 

Includes publicity materials that encompass multiple products, manufacturers, and licensees. Materials advertising John Weitz Designs generally; or products for which no design records exist will be found in the Project files series. Project files should be consulted for publicity created for specific products, licensees, and manufacturers. Weitz is not always identified as the designer in advertising publicity from the 1950s.

Materials created for marketing purposes outside of the United States will be found in Foreign licensing. However, Japanese commercials produced for Daimaru and video footage of the Tokyo International '85 fashion show will be found in the Audiovisual recordings.

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General 1945-1988 
Title Box Folder
Consolidated Cigar Corp., 1974-1979  11 12

A 1975 16mm film commercial for Capitan cigars will be found in the Audiovisual subseries. Fashion photographs of models - including John Weitz - smoking cigars will be found in the Fashion shows and Press kits subseries.

Correspondence, 1966-1978  18 2

Includes three cartoons parodying advertisements for John Weitz products, addressed to John Weitz from the graphic designer Henry Wolf, with holiday and birthday greetings.

Fashion illustration, circa 1959  k_OSxxx-3 13

The illustration, which depicts a woman holding a rifle, was used in an advertisement for Galey & Lord textile manufacturers, a division of Burlington Industries. The newspaper advertisement in which this illustration appeared was reproduced in Weitz's historical exhibition, A Happy Look Back.

Photographs 
General, 1950s-1980s  18 1
Title Box Folder
John Weitz portraits, 1950s-1980s  11 13-15
18 3
Le Cirque for Palm Beach, 1985 Dec 4  11 16
Military, circa 1945  11 17
Outerwear (Photographer: Guyon), circa 1973  18 4
Store windows and displays, circa 1951-1973  11 18
Title Box Folder
Rendering of a John Weitz booth, undated  k_OSxxx-3 14
Ricky Hall & Associates speakers bureau, 1988  11 19
Transcript: "Interviewed by Eric Ullman," 1982  11 20
Audiovisual 1950-1993 

Includes recorded sound and moving images in a variety of formats as well as some textual documentation regarding the recordings. Recorded sound is primarily on audiocassette, while moving images are on video cassette (including Ampex masters) and 16 mm film. Recordings consist of domestic and foreign (Japan and U.K.) commercials for John Weitz Designs products, products advertised by licensees, and public service announcements; interviews with journalists and news programming; and documentation of events such as fashion shows and lectures.

With the exception of the earliest recordings, most interviews, particularly those from the late 1980s onwards, focus on Weitz's books about Nazi Germany, Hitler's Diplomat (1992) and  Hitler's Banker (1997).

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Title Box Folder
General, 1950s-1992  16 1
Burrell's T.V. Clips, 1982-1993  16 2
Charlie Rose show, 1992  16 3
Title Box Folder
Jockey, Inc., 1969-1972  16 4
OSx-26 7
X600 fashions for Macy's commercial, 1980  16 5
Title Box
Audiovisual recordings, 1974-1997  24
25
26
27
Commercials 
Fashion shows 
Interviews and news programming 
Clippings and tear sheets 1950-1998 

Formerly labeled, "Press," these files consist of printed materials in their final format as they were published and distributed. Includes advertisements, articles, and excerpts of books either wholly about John Weitz or in which Weitz is referenced. Additional newspaper and magazine clippings will be found in the Scrapbooks. Clippings of articles authored by John Weitz will be found in the Writings subseries.

Title Box Folder
Advertisements, 1959-1989  18 5
21 8-11
OSxx-6 4
Title Box Folder
Articles, circa 1950-1998  18 5-10
21 12-24
Boardroom Reports interviews, 1976-1988  22 1
Book excerpts, 1965-1968  22 2
Lord & Taylor, 1965-1976  21 24
Women's Wear Daily full-page advertisements, 1979-1986  OSxx-6 5
Fashion shows 1951-1981 

Files may include swatched sketches of garments with notes about fabrics and construction, correspondence with manufacturers, room lay-outs, line-ups, menus, invitations, guest lists and correspondence with journalists and publicists, fashion photographs, model headshots and composites, and press releases, some written by fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert. Shows feature garments produced by multiple manufacturers and licensees. Sketches of clothing and accessories featured in the shows may be found in the Project files. Weitz served as commentator for his own shows, and can be seen on-stage with a microphone in some photographs.

Title Box Folder
General, 1951-1975  11 21
National Cotton Council of America, 1966  18 11
Unidentified show, circa 1969  OSx-26 8-9
Big Man, 1969  11 22
Big Man in the Sun (Spring 1970), 1969  11 24
American Designer Showings (Spring 1970), 1969  11 23
Menswear (Fall 1970), 1970  13 1

Folder was originally labeled, "Cigar Institute -- Press Show -- Fall Menswear." Includes correspondence from the Cigar Institute outlining its contributions to a menswear show and fashion sketches labeled, "cigar."

Casual Man II (Spring/Summer 1971), 1970  13 2-3
American Designer Showings (Spring 1971), 1970  13 4
Big Man (Fall 1971), 1971  13 5-7
Big Man Freestyle (Spring 1972), 1971  13 8
American Designer Showings (Fall 1972), 1972  13 9
Fountain House Show, 1979  13 10-14

Show was notable for reintroducing Weitz as a women's fashion designer after many years designing menswear. It is also identified as the "Special Women's Collection."

Title Box Folder
X600, 1979 

Folder was originally titled, "Doubles," as the show took place in the private club of that name, located in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel.

13 15-16
14 1
Man in the Sun (Spring 1981?), 1980  14 2-3
X600, 1981  14 4

Show may be connected to Weitz's acceptance of the Cartier Award for Design Excellence.

Playboy Club and Great Gorge, 1981  14 5
Foreign licensing 1965-1994 
Title Box Folder
Germany, 1969-1994  22 3-4
k_OSxxx-3 15
Japan 1970-1990 

Materials documenting John Weitz Designs' marketing activities in Japan include correspondence, a photo album, and a program for a fashion show organized by one of Japan's largest newspapers, Asahi Shimbun. The album includes photographs of Weitz visiting the Japanese exhibition of his photographs,  Manhattan Faces. More photographs of John Weitz visiting Japan will be found in the Scrapbooks.

Japanese commercials for John Weitz clothes and a video recording of the Tokyo International fashion show will be found in the Audiovisual subseries.

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Title Box Folder
Clippings and publicity materials, 1970-1988  19 8
22 5
k_OSxxx-3 15
OSx-26 7
Fashion show: Snapshots, 1982  22 6-7
Title Box Folder
Fashion show: Tokyo International Collection '85, 1984-1985 

Includes clippings, correspondence, photographs, and a program.

19 9
22 8-15
Printed materials, 1975, 1977, undated  22 16
Teijin/Daimaru, 1972-1975  22 17
Travel, 1984-1990  22 18
Women's Wear Daily Japan multi-product advertisement materials, 1981  23 1
U.K. 1965-1979 
Austin Reed, 1972-1974, undated  23 2
Burton Group, 1976-1979  23 3-7

Includes press kit, promotional book of John Weitz matches, and a document titled "Report on the Qualitative Evaluation of the John Weitz Concept."

Title Box Folder
Clippings, 1965-circa 1980  19 10
23 8
Title Box Folder
Mexico, 1972-1973  23 9-11
Press kits circa 1950-1986 

Generally for a specific season's fashions, kits may include press releases, fashion photographs with captions, product information, reproduced clippings, and portraits of John Weitz. Original folders housing the kit materials have been retained. Files identified as "General" include materials that may have comprised press kits at one time. Press kits for Weitz's exhibitions and for specific products, manufacturers or licensees will be found in the Exhibition files and the Project files, respectively.

Title Box Folder
General: Fashion photographs, circa 1950-circa 1973  14 6
19 11
General: Illustration reproductions, circa 1960-1969  14 7
General: Textual materials, 1962-circa 1993, undated  14 8
Esquire's International Designers Conference, 1968  14 9
John Weitz Takes His Men's Fashions to Europe, 1968  14 10
Big Man (Fall 1969)  14 11
Big Man in the Sun (Summer 1970), Casual Man (Fall 1970)  14 12
Casual Man (Summer 1971), Big Man (Fall 1971)  14 13
American Designer Showings (Spring 1972)  14 14
Big Man Freestyle (Summer 1972), Big Man (Fall 1972)  14 15
1972 Dec  14 16
1974 Jul  14 17
1976 May  14 18
John Weitz Boy, 1976  14 19
Glentex gloves (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter 1977)  14 20
MEM Company/John Weitz Toiletries, 1978-1982  15 1
Spring/Summer and Fall, 1979  15 2-3
Women's Collection (Fountain House Benefit), 1979  15 4
X600 Collection, 1979  15 5
U.S. Luggage and Leather Products, circa 1980  15 6-7
Fall 1980  15 8
Palm Beach (Spring 1981)  15 9
Fall 1984  15 10
Palm Beach (Fall 1984)  15 11
Palm Beach (Spring 1986)  15 12
Fall 1986  15 13
Proofs, posters and ad slicks 1949-1995 
Title Box Folder
General, 1949-circa 1990, undated  19 1-4
OSx-26 10
OSxx-6 6
Dan's Paper, 1995  19 12
Lord & Taylor Man's Shop, 1969-1972  OSxx-6 7-8
Palm Beach, circa 1973-1979  OSxx-6 9
Publications 1959-1993 

Includes pamphlets, brochures, catalogs, and other multi-page printed materials intended for distribution.

Title Box Folder
General, 1970-1988  15 14
19 13
General: Event programs, 1959-1992  15 15
Contour Clothes Wardrobe for LWL, circa 1966  23 12
Title Box Folder
In-Stock Program, 1986-1993  15 16
19 15
The John Weitz Lifestyle...Love It & Live It, circa 1983  19 14
John Weitz Slacks, circa 1980s  15 17
Lord & Taylor catalogs, 1967-1970  20 1
Palm Beach Advertising Support Guide (Fall 1993)  23 13
Signature Collection leather accessories, 1984  15 18
10 Years: John Weitz Menswear, 1974-1975  23 14-16
Unidentified menswear portfolio, probably 1970s  20 2-4

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Series V. Scrapbooks 1951-1993 

Scrapbooks maintained by John Weitz Designs to document publicity regarding John Weitz. Contents are of a professional nature, although family members are sometimes featured in publicity materials. Scrapbooks primarily consist of original or reproduced newspaper and magazine clippings, as well as ad slicks, proofs, and tear sheets. All photographic materials, print publications, press kits, and posters have been removed for preservation purposes and will be found elsewhere in the John Weitz papers. Original scrapbook backing pages have also been removed, except when glue was used to adhere contents.

Scrapbooks are divided into two categories, General scrapbooks (arranged chronologically) and Thematic scrapbooks (arranged alphabetically by topic). Weitz used the scrapbooks as a resource during the curation of his 1985 exhibition, A Happy Look Back, a restrospective of fashion advertisements for his women's wear. Scrapbooks documenting the years 1955-1964 are frequently missing elements or entire pages, some of which may be found in the Exhibition files under  A Happy Look Back.

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Chronological 1951-1993 
Title Box Folder
Loose pages and clippings, 1950s-1960s  OSx-2 1-7
1951-1952; 1953-1954; 1953-1965; 1956; 1958; 1959  OSx-1 1-6
1955; 1956; 1956-1964  OSxx-1 1-7
1956-1959 (Women's)  OSx-23 1-4
1957-1958  OSxx-2 1-6
1957-1960  OSxx-3 1-7
1958-1961  OSxx-4 1-6
1959  OSxx-5 5-8
1965-1967  OSx-3 1-6
1967-1968  OSx-4 1-6
1968-1969  OSx-5 1-7
1969-1971  OSx-6 1-7
1971-1972  OSx-7 1-7
1972-1973  OSx-8 1-8
1973-1974  OSx-9 1-7
1974-1975  OSx-10 1-5
1975-1976  OSx-11 1-8
1977 May-Sep (Men's); 1977-1981 (Boy's)  OSx-13 1-7
1976-1978 (Boy's); 1976-1978 (Women's); 1978 (Men's)  OSx-14 1-7
1979-1984 (Women's)  OSx-23 5
1979-1980 (Men's)  OSx-15 1-6
1981-1982  OSx-16 1-5
1983  OSx-17 1-9
1984-1985  OSx-18 1-6
1985-1986  OSx-19 1-6
1987-1988  OSx-20 1-5
1988-1990  OSx-21 1-4
1991-1993  OSx-22 1-2
Thematic 1956-1987 
Title Box Folder
Awards: Cutty Sark Award, Mayor's Liberty Award, 1986  OSx-24 1
Books: Man in Charge, 1974-1975  OSx-24 2-4
Books: Value of Nothing, 1970-1971  OSx-24 5
Exhibitions: Design Project 82, 1982  16 6

Reproduction of scrapbook. Original was provided to American Airlines magazine. The scrapbook provides identifying information absent from the Design Project 82 files in the Artwork and exhibitions series.

Exhibitions: Future Four, Manhattan Faces, Tokyo International '85, A Happy Look Back, 1984-1985  OSx-24 6-7
Title Box Folder
Foreign, 1968-1979  OSx-24 8
OSx-27 1-4
Hang tags, labels and logos, circa 1970s-1987  16 7-9
"John Weitz Non-Stop Sales for H. Liebes," 1956  16 10

Small, hand-made scrapbook documenting an in-store appearance and fashion show on September 6, 1956. Weitz was promoting his sportswear collection for Amco at H. Liebes & Co.'s San Mateo, California department store.

"John Weitz Signature Collection," circa 1986  16 11-13
Racing, 1955-1957  OSx-27 5

Consists of a single scrapbook page. It is unclear from which scrapbook this page originated.

Unidentified scrapbook, 1979-1985  20 5-6

Scrapbook comprised of clippings, photographs and printed materials covering all aspects of Weitz's life, including car racing, writing, and designing.

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Collection guide Last Updated: 08/30/2012

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