Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Lillian Montaldo: Early Fashion Entrepreneur
The "Montaldo" label originates from a fabulous chain of high fashion stores that were owned and managed by an early pioneer in fashion retail, Lillian Montaldo. In 1918 she opened her first fashion store in Kansas. Lillian would continue to open more shops in cities through out the south, mid-west and even in Colorado during her long career in retail. Her stores were popular for high end designer fashions that came from New York and were also sold in stores along 5th Avenue.
Known for their luxury, Montaldo's attracted women who wanted to wear the best. Even the interior design of the shops was styled with luxury and presented a French allure.
During her career, Lillian worked from New York to procure the latest fashions for her shops. Her concept of a high fashion chain of retail stores was an early venture into ready to wear fashion in the U.S. She is also unique in that the fashion business was still a 'man's world' at the time she began her career.
Lillian was honored for her achievements in fashion in the late 1960's. Her 'empire' would last until the 1990's, more than 70 years of success.
The "Montaldos" label satin dress shown here was probably sold in the very late 1940's or early 1950's during the "New Look" trend. The gown has heavy embellishment of sequins and chenille on the bodice and a long flared box pleated skirt that falls to below knee level. It has a traditional side zipper of metal. The house label is sewn into the bodice lining.
More photos of this gown are shown at Pintuck Style, my shop on Etsy.
Other resources on Montaldo's: Lillian Montaldo is profiled by Betsy L. Hendrix
Advertisement from 1923: HERE