Tom Brigance

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Tom Brigance
Tom Brigance.jpg
Tom Brigance, c.1951
Thomas Franklin Brigance

(1913-02-04)4 February 1913
Died14 October 1990(1990-10-14) (aged 77)
New York City
Known for American sportswear
Awards Coty Award, 1953

Thomas Franklin Brigance (February 4, 1913 – October 14, 1990) was a Texan-born New York–based fashion designer noted for his work in sportswear in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. [1] [2] As a house designer for Lord & Taylor, Brigance was best known for bathing costumes and play clothes, and for his clever use of flattering details such as pleats and darts. [1] [3] During the 1930s Brigance was a rare example of a male working in the female-dominated world of American sportswear design. [2] In the late 1930s, he was regularly mentioned alongside Clare Potter as a leading name in mid-range priced sportswear. [2] Like Potter, Brigance was skilled at designing smart, fashionable clothing which could easily be mass-produced, making his work attractive to manufacturers as well as to customers. [2]

After serving in the Army during the Second World War, Brigance resumed designing for Lord & Taylor and for Charles W. Nudelman; branching out into a wider range of garments, including suits, coats, and formal wear. [1] [3] [4] He was known for his clever use of unusually textured and/or unexpected fabrics, such as a flannel swimsuit, and in 1953, reportedly designed over half of the textiles in his collections himself. [3] In 1953 Brigance was awarded the Coty Award for his designs. [3]

Brigance continued designing during the 1960s and 1970s, focusing on swimwear for various companies. [1] One of his swimsuit designs for Gabar, produced before his retirement in the late 1970s, was still a best-selling design for the company in 1990. [1] He died in New York in 1990. [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Schiro, Anne-Marie (18 October 1990). "Thomas F. Brigance Dies at 70; Designed Sophisticated Swimwear". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Arnold, Rebecca (2008). The American look : fashion, sportswear, and the image of women in 1930s and 1940s New York. London: I. B. Tauris. pp. 9, 107, 120–122. ISBN   9781860647635.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Staff writer (28 September 1953). "A Bonus for Brigance". LIFE. pp. 77–79. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  4. Martin, Richard (1998). American ingenuity : sportswear, 1930s - 1970s. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 79. ISBN   9780870998638.