According to the US patent office’s Official Gazette of Patents and Trademarks, the name in the logo for Zani women’s hats is “fanciful.” That indicates, of course, there was no millinery designer named Zani.
Zani was a millinery line sold by Scheer Brothers of New York. The 1940 US census records for brothers Seymour Scheer (1910-2005) and Sidney Scheer (1908-1988) indicate they were born in New York and at the time of that 1940 census they were both working as salesmen for “Ladies Millinery.” Their WWII, ca. 1940, draft registration cards record Sidney’s employer as Bergson Hats in NY and Seymour’s employer as Wilshire Hat Co. Both hat businesses were at the same address.
An announcement appeared in a January 1943 newspaper that Scheer Brothers and Louis Cooper (another former employee of Wilshire Hat Co) were establishing a new firm to be called Scheer Brothers & Cooper, Inc. Just six years later Louis Cooper announced the formation of his own firm, Louis Cooper Hats, Inc. and the Scheer brothers were on their own.
Four years after the start of Scheer Bros., the Scheer Brothers launched the Zani line of hats, in 1953 according to trademark information. Zani ads started to be seen in newspaper advertisements from stores as far from NY as Nebraska and Seattle. Zani hats of velvet and straw serge continued to appear in ads through the second half of the 1950s and into the 1960s. In the early 1970s ads for Scheer Brothers hats did not mention the Zani line and one 1972 ad promoted Scheer Brothers knit hats, something not seen in the 1950s or 1960s. The presumption, then, is that Zani hats were no longer marketed by Scheer Brothers after the 1960s.
Written by LKRanieri