Friday, December 23, 2011

Tis The Season....

What better way to capture the holiday spirit than with the fabulous and festive illustration of artist Pete Hawley. Whether a mischievous Santa on a rooftop, a carousel rider on a regal reindeer or an elfin trimming the tree, his love of fun and frivolity is evident. After all, it is the most anticipated and celebrated time of year for presents and to “give yourself a Jantzen figure.”

The above ads were produced for the Jantzen Foundation Division from 1943 to 1947. They appeared in Mademoiselle, Harper’s Bazaar and Junior Bazaar magazines. Pete Hawley’s artwork for Jantzen continued until 1962.

Let the fun begin! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gobble, gobble!

The turkey is the most recognized symbol of the modern day Thanksgiving even though there is no real evidence that it was served at the Pilgrims’ first harvest. The charming feathered fowl in this whimsical illustration by artist Pete Hawley seems to be headed for the table. He is unfortunately two years too early for a presidential turkey pardon which was first performed by Harry Truman in 1947 and is a tradition that continues to this day.

In 1941, after much debate, Franklin Roosevelt declared the national holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. “any minute now” appeared in the November issue of Mademoiselle magazine in 1945.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans, We Salute You!

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, all hostilities of the first World War stopped and Armistice Day was declared. Today the holiday is renamed and dedicated to military veterans of all wars.

A 1943 billboard, by Artist Pete Hawley, pays homage to servicemen and the “girl of his dreams”, who is wearing a red Velva-Lure suit called “Coquette”.

Jantzen’s first allegiance in 1944 was to country and war production for the government, regular civilian lines were interrupted. Gas masks, bomb parachutes, blankets, sleeping bags, marine swim trunks, army sweaters and mufflers, various carrier bags and flags were among the items they produced for the military and our troops.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Black Magic at it's BEST!

In wicked raiment and Jantzen suits called “Wonder Girl”, more enchanting witches would be hard to find. Switching from broomsticks to broomskiis they are seen in a water review casting a spell on the crowd at Cypress Gardens, Florida in 1954. For decades, Jantzen was the official suit of the Gardens, worn by celebrities, staff, for photo shoots and events.

Wickedly Spellbinding!

A sorceress mermaid casts her magic spell wearing an alluring suit of Lastex faille called “Olympus”. Her supernatural wand is disguised as a broomstick to avoid suspicion. The photo is by legendary Silver Springs underwater photographer Bruce Mozert.

The suit, produced 1959-1964 is by Jantzen of course...

Happy Enchanted Halloween!

Friday, September 30, 2011

NEW HORIZONS: Swim designs of the jet age

Jantzen partnered with Pan American World Airways to promote global glamour with the only American jet airliners flying at the time. The revolutionary era of passenger jets was born and with it exciting fashions for exotic destinations. The ad combines the stunning International Set, a collection of swimsuits from Jantzen design studios on five continents with Pan Am ports around the world and a promise to any beach in minutes.

Each swimsuit represented its country of origin; each airliner was identified by name, call signs and a blue globe logo. Credited with cutting edge innovations, Jantzen and Pan Am were industry leaders and icons of the 20th century...a jet age dynamic duo.

Women’s Wear Daily, August 27, 1958

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Stork Club Orchids

Before the Playboy nightclub chains, the Stork Club in New York was the epitome of American elegance and sophistication for night life. From 1929 until 1965 the club was the icon of American culture. It became the symbol of the elite of cafe society as movie stars, celebrities, showgirls, aristocrats and the wealthy mingled together.

In 1945, the movie, The Stork Club, was produced starring Betty Hutton, Barry Fitzgerald and Don DeFore. In a series of studio tryouts the above models were selected as “the Stork Club Orchids” to appear in the movie in a fashion show sequence. For their daily work out they can be seen wearing the 1945 Jantzen swim line reflecting their status with the latest in styling and glamour.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to “America’s Mermaid”

Esther Williams is a famed movie star known for her “aqua musicals” but she is also a retired competitive swimmer having set many national and regional records in her late teens. In 1940 she participated in the National Swimming Championships for Women and the 1940 American Olympic Tryouts at Jantzen Beach Pool in Portland, Oregon. She also appeared in Jantzen’s 1942 swimsuit catalog as a model.

In the 1950s Jantzen was the official suit worn at the beautiful Cypress Gardens in Florida, the sight of many photo shoots, television specials and water show performances. Esther appears at a pool named for her in a suit called “Chez Monaco”. It is from Jantzen’s 1957 line and features shoe button fastenings at the halter neckline.

She also wears “Summer Shimmer”, a shiny knit lame suit made with Mylar yarn that stays bright and flexible in the water. Additional Jantzen suits from 1957 can be seen around the Cypress Gardens pool.

In 1958 Esther visited Jantzen while taking part in Portland’s well known Rose Festival. She is pictured with Paul DeKoning (L) and founder J.A. Zehntbauer.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!

The colors belong to the United States, red for courage, white for peace and blue for freedom. All across America they will be worn and flown on Independence Day, the 4th of July. The “smile” belongs to Jantzen and the legendary ad campaign and slogan that began in 1960 and continued for a decade. So let the fireworks begin, the marching bands march and the “star spangled banner” fly. There is no better way to celebrate than with “a smile and a Jantzen”.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Jantzen Week

This is National Jantzen, sweltering days, just in time for the fourth of Julyand getting away to summer camps or the seashore.Don’t forget to take your Jantzen, “the suit that changed bathing to swimming”.In department stores across the nation, Jantzen is “the National Swimming Suit”,promoting the sport in favored colors, with patented features insuring a perfect fit.This is the week that will prove it as seen in this ad in The Saturday Evening Post, June 30, 1923. Illustration by McClelland Barclay.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Celebrate the Summer Solstice!

Summer is here and there is no better way to dive right into our favorite season than with the summer solstice, the longest beach day of the year! The summer solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year when the Sun's apparent position in the sky, as viewed from Earth, reaches its northernmost or southernmost extremes.

The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun's path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction.

What this means to us sun lovers is that we get more time to relax on our favorite beach and kick off the summer right! Why not enjoy those extra hours and extra rays in a Jantzen? We'd have it no other way!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I pledge allegiance...

I pledge allegiance...

For over 200 years the U.S. flag has been the symbol of our nation’s strength and unity.

Before the American Revolution each of the thirteen colonies had its own flag. On January 1, 1776, George Washington ordered the first Grand Union flag hoisted near his headquarters in Boston. On June 14, 1777 the Continental Congress resolved that the flag should have thirteen red and white stripes and a union of white stars on a blue background. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14th as Flag Day, and a national day of celebration. The 50th and last star was added in 1960 for the new state of Hawaii. Often called “Stars and Stripes” or “Old Glory”, the original designer is not known for certain.

The above photo from 1943 shows a beautiful flag being raised at Jantzen Knitting Mills headquarters in Portland, Oregon. One of the founding fathers, Roy Zehntbauer and Australian cadet, Ron Sharp, share the honor. Flags for our armed forces in Australia and the South Pacific were among the many war products manufactured by Jantzen during WWII.

Happy Flag Day!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pretty Little Lady

The Jantzen Archive has a new little lady and she is a doll. She first appeared in the 1958 catalog sporting the most fashionable and glamorous swim caps of the day. She is wearing “El Dorado”, a glitter cap of gold metallic cloth from the same year. Retail price $6.95

Created by Maury Wolf and David Vine, mannequin makers in L.A., she is a little sister to the famous 21’ Jantzen fiberglass Diving Girls which were displayed around the world in 1959.

Glamorous then...glamorous now

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Button, button, who's got the button?

“Button, button, who’s got the button?” ask the children who have played this traditional game for more than a century. The first buttons appeared over 3,000 years ago and were originally used for decoration. Functional buttons for clothing made their debut in Europe in the 13th century. Buttons of great value and artistry were worn in France by the aristocracy; the peasants were permitted to use only cloth. In 1520 King Francis I of France, bedecked with 13,600 buttons, met King Henry VIII of England who was similarly covered with the elite symbol of status and ornamentation.

This fabulous sheath of black Lastex faille is total glam with the adornment of shining white buttons. It was produced by Jantzen 1953 and named “pick-a-pocket”. The retail price was $19.95. Our ancestors in the Bronze Age got it right to begin with and so did we, proving that the button and the brand remain timeless representatives of status and beauty.

Friday, May 13, 2011

White River Valley Museum Exhibit

Jantzen will be on display at the White River Valley Museum in Auburn Washington for their "Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini and Tummy Crunches" exhibit celebrating a century of female bodies and swimsuits. The exhibit opens on May 4th and will be available to the public through July 31st. Here is a sneak peek:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Family and the green suit, will go on forever.

There are some things about childhood that make a lasting impression...a favorite person, a nostalgic time, indelible memories. Aunt Virginia’s green swimsuit is a classic example. “Old Green”, as the article by Penny Ward Moser mentions, was worn year after year, decade after decade dispensing tireless consistency and love. The beloved suit became the symbol of stability and was cherished by a third generation in the hopes that the “family and the green suit will go on forever”

Made of nylon Moire for fast drying, this featherweight suit could face any situation. Jantzen produced the “Postage Stamp” in 1953, so named because “that is about the size and weight of it in the hand”. It is a swimsuit powerhouse, beautifully shirred and stylish today with a glamour legacy for eternity. National ad illustrated by Pete Hawley.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Royal Wedding

In anticipation of the royal wedding the photos of William and Catherine on London buses recalled this image of the double- deckers from by gone era. The iconic Diving Girl has displayed a strong presence in London since the construction of the Jantzen Plant on Great West Road in Brentford in 1929. The illuminated exterior of the building featured her in neon and was a landmark for decades. A description and image of her on the building appeared in Anthony Powell's novel "Dance to the Music of Time" and in recent years in a display at the Wallace Museum in London. She can be seen in Jantzen ads in "Punch", "Sketch" and "The Tatler" as far back as 1929. The Diving Girl adorned London buses throughout the 1930s as pictured here and reappeared on them again in the early 1990s and also on miniature replicas produced by Jantzen.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jantzen 2011 Behind the Scenes

We are proud to share with you a behind the scenes glimpse at our 2011 campaign shoot. Hope you love the footage as much as we do!

Check out the new Jantzen You Tube channel to stay up to date with all our behind the scenes action.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vive la V

“Long live the V neckline! The most universally becoming neckline ever to come from a designer’s sketch pad”

This text from Jantzen’s 1958 advertising booklet was illustrated with this gorgeous suit of Lastex faille. The “Scarf Ring” sheath features gentle side shirring and gathers draped fullness into scarf ring loops. The timeless “V” combined with Jantzen’s signature color of the iconic red Diving Girl presents a fashion classic...beautiful then...beautiful now.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Enter to Win: Jantzen's Glamorous Getaway

Now is your chance to win Jantzen's Glamorous Getaway! Win a 4-day, 3-night stay at the luxurious Boca Raton Resort & Club, one of the country's premier resort destinations, where our 2011 campaign was shot on site.

The winning stay includes a 50-minute massage for two and dinner for two at 501 East Restaurant serving burgers, steaks and popular American favorites. Resort amenities include an award-winning spa, 7 swimming pools, a half mile of private beach, world class dining, three fitness centers, a private marina, two championship golf courses and one of the country's top tennis programs.

Visit our website to enter: Jantzen's Glamorous Getaway

The contest runs through June 1st, 2011. Please visit our site for official rules.

Friday, March 25, 2011

In honor of Elizabeth Taylor

In her honor we present this lovely photo of Elizabeth Taylor. It appeared in Photoplay Fashions in 1951 to advertise her latest movie “A Place in the Sun”. She wears a white pique beach dress over a coral Jantzen swimsuit for her role in the movie. The cover up was designed by academy award winning designer Edith Head. The stunning suit worn by her is appropriately named Shirr-Fire and was part of Jantzen’s 1950 line. A classic suit worn by a classic beauty...both elegant and timeless, the epitome of timeless glamour.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Green

For the wearing of the green on St. Patrick’s Day and everyday, shades of green are in the fashion forefront. The brand again offers timeless trends as seen in this vintage ad and suit. Beautifully illustrated by artist Pete Hawley in 1951 the ad appeared in the June issue of Life Magazine. The suit is called "Hot Stuff" and combined the new Stay bra and a shirred top. The swimsuit also appeared on the cover of Mademoiselle Magazine in May and was described as the “latest shape in swimsuit, the sheath”...there’s nothing like a Jantzen.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Origin of the French Curve

The year is 1949. The New York Yankees win the World Series. “South Pacific” opens on Broadway and Americans buy 100,000 television sets a week. “Diamond’s Are A Girl’s Best Friend” is a song favorite. Revlon introduces “Fire and Ice” lipstick and nail polish and the strapless swimsuit is the latest sensation.

This is the year for Jantzen’s® provocative French Curve, in soft shades of Seal Lastex that “lifts and molds with no earthly need for shoulder straps”. The suit, which retails for $12.95, is illustrated by artist Pete Hawley and appears in Jantzen® national ads in Mademoiselle and Seventeen Magazine. The French Cure is still fabulous today in a reinterpreted version of the original for Jantzen’s® current line.

2011 French Curve Maillot

Friday, February 25, 2011

10 Top Must Haves

Spring is the air and our Jantzen® marketing team has collaborated to bring you their top ten list of this season's must have items.

1. Clio's Cougar 3 ways to wear bandeau top and skirted bottom from the 2011 Jantzen® collection of course! This suit is perfect for the beach.

2. Kiehl’s #1 Lip Balm- because it’s really moisturizing without being sticky.

3. Clinique Sun SPF 50 face cream – because it is protective not greasy and is also good for sensitive skin!

4. Aviator sunglasses!

5. The Kindle, makes reading a breeze!

6. A digital camera to snap shots of our friends and family or anything that inspires us. We really love the Olympus- Stylus Tough it’s waterproof up to 16 feet, really compact, and is 14 megapixels so it takes great shots!

7. A fabulous hat.

8. A reusable water bottle, to keep hydrated.

9. Cute sandals, and a cover up for lunch after the beach.

10. Our great Jantzen beach tote to put it all in!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Swim Cap Glamour

Jantzen’s® earliest swim caps in the 1920s were knit of wool worsted yarn in shades that matched the color of their swimming suits. The intent was to protect the hair and keep water filters from becoming clogged as swimming pools became popular throughout the country. Gradually swim fashion began to dominate swim function and sparkling colors and striking styles began to emerge. The heyday was seen in the late 1950s as caps with colorful petals, flowers, ruffles and innovative designs came into vogue. The 1960s marked the last decades for demand of swim caps and by the mid 1970s they were no longer required for public pools.

The striking Head Swimmer cap that is featured here was produced by Jantzen® in 1960. It is a strapless cap with a contrasting flower and it retailed for $1.98.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

No matter what your relationship status is, celebrate Valentine’s Day because there is much to love in the world! The color red is linked to love worldwide and at Jantzen® red has been our signature color over 100 years. The rationale behind this red-hot color is that a lady in red always looks timeless, elegant and glamorous. And men have been writing songs and poetry about it for decades.

So, whether you’re single or hitched, Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to flaunt your sexy red suit.

And when it comes to bestowing tokens of love this holiday, we can’t think of a better gift than a red swimsuit; it’s sexy, stylish and chic. Our personal faves in the red arena are our bejeweled halters with shirred bottom, the one piece Heritage Maillot, and the Pretty Pin-Dot Halter Bra and Shirred Bottom. These Jantzen® suits will certainly turn heads… and hearts!

Lots of love & Happy Valentines Day!



Friday, January 28, 2011

From The Archives: 1950's Wonder Girl

Appropriately named “Wonder Girl”, this stunning sheath recently became a new addition to the Jantzen Archives collection. It is a classic beauty of elasticized taffeta shirring designed to flatter any figure and “make a body beautiful”. Rapidly becoming a best seller, it appeared in the line continually from 1951 through 1960 making it one the longest produced Jantzen swimsuits in history; truly a great run. This is swimsuit perfection at its best. The “Wonder Girl” continues today as an inspirational suit for our designers and our current collections which reference our historic suits.

The image features the “Wonder Girl” suit on the Wolf and Vine mannequin in 1956.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Our Jantzen corset one piece is now available at Victoria's Secret. It can be seen in the new 2011 Victoria’s Secret Swim issue or online. Check it out!