Monday, 19 November 2012

Eight Maids a 'Missing'

Dutch milkmaid Company logo
Colonel Elliot was a war hero in World War I, a flying ace who inherited several run down cotton mills in South Carolina.  Springs nursed them back to health during the Great Depression and into prosperity during the second World War. In the booming post war economy he manufactured sheets and pillow cases. But his company and brand were unknown. He needed a way to draw attention to his product and the advertising campaign he dreamed up is still the textbook example for how to establish a successful brand.
Elliot Springs Cotton Mill 1931 - the 'Tony Stark' of Textiles
Elliot Springs' factory had an in-house beauty contest and took the winners up to New York where they were sketched by leading illustrators.

James Montgomery Flagg sketching Springmaid beauty queen Billie Etters 1947

Elliot Springs incorporated the sketches into pin-up style style adverts. Springs provocative ad campaign changed the face of marketing. His risqué advertising made Springmaid Textiles famous and sales more than doubled. The ads also provoked considerable disapproval. Springs enjoyed the controversy, as long as people were talking about his company, he didn't care what they said.   

Springmaid  original Persian paisley detail
only the girl on the left remains in the reproduction fabric
In the original fabric, a very large horizontal stripe features 12 girls from the  Springmaid ad campaign.  The bevy of beauties was cut down to only four in the 1990's reproduction of the fabric by  Daisy Kingdom. The provocative poses of the infamous ad campaign were cut and only the four Dutch dairy maids remain.

Now you know why those 'maids went a 'missing!'  I never knew until yesterday, that the fabric in my mother's dress had such a 'colourful' history!  
Late 40's advert - boxer shorts!

No comments: