- Simpson, Wesley, d. 1975
- Call number
- JSN 08-2
- Physical description
- linear feet ( boxes)
- Preferred Citation
- The Wesley Simpson Custom Fabrics, Inc. Swatch Book Archive, Science, Industry and Business Library, The New York Public Library
- Science, Industry and Business Library
- Access to materials
- Restricted access.
Wesley Simpson was a textile executive and designer of fabrics and textiles. Adele Simpson was a designer who played an important part in bringing French couture to postwar America in the form of ready-to-wear, and affordable, classic fashion. They were married and in 1949 Mrs. Simpson formed Adele Simpson, Inc., which Mr. Simpson joined her in developing and later they formed Wesley Simpson, Inc. As a designer of fashionable rayon prints, Mr. Simpson sold his designs to various fashion designers, department stores and pattern companies, most notably Vogue and McCall's. In the early 1940's, Mr. Simpson commissioned several artists to create new designs for his firm. Among them were Salvador Dali, Marcel Vertes, Ludwig Bemelmans and James Reynolds, whose work he promoted in various ads, linking their names with fashion designers who used their designs, such as Adrian, Claire McCardell, Hattie Carnegie, Tina Leser, Herbert Sondheim, and his wife Adele Simpson. He died in 1975 at the age of seventy-two. Mrs. Simpson was born Adele Smithline in New York City in 1904. After completing design studies at Pratt Insititute, she joined her older sister Anna as head designer for Ben Girshel, then an important Seventh Avenue manufacturer. A few years later, she went to work for Mary Lee, another Seventh Avenue manufacturer. Mrs. Simpson's popularity spanned more than three decades, from the late 1940's through the 1970's. Her coming of age as a designer mirrored the development of American sportswear, which was defining itself and growing in importance as the mass-market of technology that followed World War II left its mark on fashion. She died in 1995 at the age of ninety-one. The Wesley and Adele Simpson textile samples are a collection of fabric samples. These samples represent a collection of swatches of fabrics produced by Wesley Simpson Custom Fabrics, Inc. and other companies. Majority of Wesley Simpson swatches are approximately 50x50 cm. and are stored 50 to a box. Sample fabrics of other companies are usually in folded sample displays or small books of samples.
Source of acquisitionGift, Brooklyn Museum
Using the collection
LocationScience, Industry and Business Library
Science, Industry and Business Library
188 Madison Avenue @ 34th Street, New York, NY 10016-4314