Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 329



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 329

designers. They were manufactured by the gross, and sold in bundles to the retailers. Bok secured a list of the buyers of these labels and found that they represented some of the leading merchants throughout the country. All these facts he published. The retailers now sprang up in arms and denied the charges, but again the denials were in general terms. Bok had the facts and they knew it. These facts were too specific and too convincing to be controverted.

The editor had now presented a complete case before the women of America as to the character of the Paris-designed fashions and the manner in which women were being hoodwinked in buying imitations.

Meanwhile, he had engaged the most expert designers in the world of women’s dress and commissioned them to create American designs. He sent one of his editors to the West to get first-hand motifs from Indian costumes and adapt them as decorative themes for dress embroideries. Three designers searched the Metropolitan Museum for new and artistic ideas, and he induced his company to install a battery of four-color presses in order that the designs might be given in all the beauty of their original colors. For months designers and artists worked; he had the designs passed upon by a board of judges composed of New York women who knew good clothes, and then he began their publication.

The editor of The New York Times asked Bok to conduct for that newspaper a prize contest for the best American-designed dresses and hats, and edit a special supplement presenting them in full colors, the prizes



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