David Crystal was a manufacturer rather than a designer. The firm was started in 1906 by David Crystal, and was later headed by his son, Philip E. Crystal. By the early 1930s, the company was known for their women’s suits and coats. By the 1940s they had expanded into sportswear, and had become a leading producer of sporty ensembles – wrap skirts and blouses with matching shorts and shawls.
The company grew under the leadership of their chairman of the board, Vincent Draddy. Draddy had begun work at David Crystal in 1930 as a salesman.
From the 1940s and throughout the 1950s they made shirtwaist dresses and inexpensive suits. In 1957 they had a special line, “Christian Dior Junior designed for David Crystal.” They also produced a line designed by French designer Carven. During the 1940s, Bill Blass worked for David Crystal in one of his first design jobs.
In 1952, David Crystal Company signed an agreement with Lacoste to import, and, in 1966, to make Lacoste shirts and polo shirt dresses in the United States. David Crystal was also the owner of the Izod and Haymaker labels, and so the crocodile logo is seen on garments with quite a few different labels. These shirts and dresses were very fashionable in the middle 1960s and in the early 1980s, and came to typify the “preppy” look.
In 1968 David Crystal, along with the other labels owned by the company, was sold to General Mills. The company became known as Crystal Brands, though the David Crystal label was still used. The company closed in the mid 1990s.
See Also: Lacoste
Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com