Let's go glamorous this #FashionFriday with a photograph from the 'New York Couture' folder of Hagley Library's collection of Dupont Textile Fibers Product Information photographs (Accession 1984.259).
The Textile Fibers Department of the DuPont Company, established in 1936 as the Rayon Department, specialized in researching and developing synthetic fibers for fabrics such as Rayon, Nylon, Teflon, Corian, and Kevlar. This collection consists of the Fabric master files and Textile reference files maintained by the Product Information Department, a division of DuPont organized in 1952 within the Public Relations Department.
Its main purpose was to create news releases accompanied by photographs that would be run editorially by trade journals and newspapers to create inexpensive publicity and indirect advertising. This 1961 photo, is accompanied by text declaring that:
"Glitter as an integral part of evening elegance ranks high in this season's fashion picture. The glittering understated evening dress, uncomplicated but lavish, is a specialty of Roxane of Samuel Winston, interpreted here in nylon and metallic lace re-studded with gold paillettes. Ceil Chapman who has helped make women across the country evening fashion conscious, presents the ultimate in this asymmetric gown, a delicate nylon lace embroidered in a gossamer pattern in gold lame."
To be used, the news releases had to include genuinely interesting information about a DuPont product, its development, manufacture, or applications. Direct commercial promotions of products, however, remained the work of the Advertising Department.
Public Relations staff members in Product Information were assigned to specific operating departments, and they reported jointly to the heads of PR and the specific department. Product Information for Textile Fibers was handled out of that department's office in New York City's Empire State Building.
This section also issued photographs and press releases for editorial use. These were designed to establish and strengthen in the reader's mind the connection between DuPont, as a maker of fibers, and the garment and fashion industry.
This collection has been partially digitized; you can view a selection of images from it in our Digital Archive by clicking here.