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Monday, 27 April 2015

FOUND - Stories Echo in A Silk Scarf


I found this silk scarf at the monthly Avenue Vintage & Antique Market (AVAM) CLICK HERE in West Ealing. It's the product of an American maker founded by a husband & wife team on their wedding day in 1923. New Yorkers Edgar and Theresa called their new venture Echo, an acronym of Edgar C Hyman & Co. Eventually headquartered on 5th Avenue, the scarf maker built up an impressive archive of prints. In 1956, Edgar Haymen's son-in-law had the job of finding the best way of getting the company's product, now made in Italy, to American shores. He chose the newest and much-heralded transatlantic vessel, the Andrea Dora. On the night of 25 July, just off the east coast of the USA, bound for NYC, the ship collided with a Swedish liner, the USS Stockholm. Echo's Fall line of scarves was lost to the depths of the sea. It was the height of summer and the Italian manufacturers were due to close for the season but as a testament to the good will Echo had forged, the factories stayed opened and re-made all of the drown silk accessories.   



In 1974 inspired by a request from the Smithsonian Institute to create a replica of the 1876 World's Fair commemorative scarf, Echo established a custom design division, working with the likes of MOMA and The Art Institute of Chicago. And the Windy City connection would continue when in 2003 Echo opened its first free-standing concession inside the city's famed Marshall Fields department store. This silk, I repeat silk, beauty was just £9 at AVAM. It's relatively new but I like to imagine it washed up on British shores, once a neatly folded passenger on the ill-fated Andrea Dora. Look out for 2nd-hand Echo scarves - they're quality items with a storied pedigree.       

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