Friday, October 29, 2010

Jantzen in the AHA Fashion Show

Jantzen participated in the 2010 GO RED FOR WOMEN Fashion Show last week. Jantzen’s parent company, Perry Ellis International, was the exclusive clothier benefitting the American Heart Association in their fight against the #1 killer of both women and men: heart disease.

Hosted at the sophisticated Bass Museum on Miami Beach on Thursday, October 21st, the fashion show showcased nine (9) of the twenty-nine (29) Perry Ellis International brands, including: Perry Ellis, Laundry by Shelli Segal, C&C California, Original Penguin by Munsingwear, Cubavera, Callaway, Perry Ellis Swim for Women, Original Penguin Swim for Men, and Jantzen.

Jantzen showcased styles from its current 2011 collection, as well as vintage men’s and women’s suits from eras gone by.

The evening was co-hosted by Mariana Rodriguez, TV personality and host of Acceso Total on Telemundo 51 in Miami; and Paulo Quevedo, Mexican-born actor, model and singer. Please enjoy the images and videos from the fashion filled night of philanthropy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jantzen's Centenary Office BBQ

Jantzen’s 100th birthday was celebrated by Portland Staff last month. It was a hot, hot party in more ways than one. The weather was in the 90s, sizzling for Portland. The parking lot was roped off and eight cars from the Flying Eagles A’s Model A Ford Club lined the street. Linda Van Engen, long time employee in the Sample Sew department and her husband Dennis are members and arranged for the car participation. Jantzen employees can be seen wearing red t-shirts with a vintage Diving Girl logo. Both staffers and club members enjoyed a barbeque pot luck. Gift items including centenary mugs, towels and other prizes were a hit but the highlight was a photo shoot with the cars. A select group changed into old fashioned reproduction swims provided by the archive dept.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Jantzen Reunion

Starting as the Portland Knitting Company with a few knitting machines above a small retail store in downtown Portland, Oregon, and later incorporated in January 27, 1910, Jantzen is now celebrating it's 100th year. A reunion was held to honor this monumental occasion.

A reunion celebration to mark the centenary milestone of the company started out as a small gathering but soon grew to impressive numbers due to an overwhelming response from former and current employees, almost 500 in total. The scheduled events over the course of two days, began with a golf scramble at Lake Oswego Municipal Golf course. The evening followed with a picnic at Historic Oaks Park on the Willamette River. Ironically this is the same river that the founders swam in 100 years earlier when testing Jantzen's first bathing suits and when rowing as members of Portland Rowing Club.

There were over 300 participants that dined on picnic fare and mingled together under a huge tent amid the giant oaks to the tunes of a single man band. They were treated to centenary t-shirts, cups and cooler bags that were handed out by current employees wearing old fashioned swims supplied by the archive dept. Many brought Jantzen memorabilia to share and seemed thrilled to be in the company of former friends and co-workers.

The next evening, festivities were held at the Double Tree Hotel. Guests, including current and former employees came from all over the country. They included former executives, designers, models, sales force, many departments and descendants of the Zehntbauer family. Licensees came from Mexico and Japan. As they entered the ballroom they viewed a display of beautiful suits on mannequins from the Jantzen Heritage Collection. Socializing and dinner followed. The program began with organizer Al Zindel speaking about the Women's division, Bob Ludeman, the Men's division, Ron Gustaff, the International Division and Jeff Harden, the Foundation D. Videos followed including the Zehntbauer Sisters at Jantzen and Lori Medici's Behind the Scenes, and Through the Decades. Robin Inman, granddaughter of founder John Zehntbauer, summed up the evening perfectly when she said, "It is humbling, all the love that is pouring out of you (attendees) for this company".

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

From the Archives: Donated Suit

In 1926 Jantzen Knitting Mills hired physical education and swimming expert Paul Huedepohl to head the Jantzen Swimming Association of America. The company’s object was to promote swimming as an all year sport for men and women of all ages. The slogan was “Clean Water”.

Learn to Swim weeks started in 1927 for communities nationwide. The Jantzen Swimming Association and its program engaged pool operators, the local press and retailers in a successful campaign that continued into the 1940-50s. It was a winning situation for all.

Susan Filler Lane recently donated her childhood Jantzen suit to the Archives. It is the first donated suit with a direct connection to the “Learn to Swim” campaign. Susan recalls that her friend’s mother drove the both of them to classes at Jantzen Beach, Oregon...”quite unusual in those days”. The two have remained friends.

The suit is a beautiful red jacquard named Moon Flower and is in excellent condition. It was produced in 1939 and retailed for $2.95.

The newspaper photo shows her being instructed by Paul Huedepohl in 1942.