Skip to content

Evelyn Pearson was the part-owner and president of Evelyn Pearson Inc. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Pearson spent the summer of 1930 vacationing with her family in New York City. She fell in love with the city and was determined to stay. In order to support herself in the bustling new environment she took a modeling job at Russek’s department store. This first foray into fashion would ultimately lead to a long and successful career. In 1936 she began modelling for the Elias Sayour Company, manufacturer of a popular loungewear label, Saybury. Over the next eight years Pearson was repeatedly promoted. She moved into sales and eventually climbed to the role of designer of the Saybury line.

In 1944 she took an executive position as the merchandise manager for Textron, Inc. Just six years later Pearson, and her business partner, Louis Wardi, purchased Textron’s women’s division and formed Evelyn Pearson, Inc. For the next forty years the company was a major name in the American loungewear industry. They made all manner of in-home apparel. Their robes, bed jackets, pajamas, dusters, and wrap dresses were meant for lounging, sleeping, housekeeping, and even informal entertaining.

In 1975 famed sportswear designer, Bonnie Cashin, designed a line for Evelyn Pearson. Ten years later Bill Blass was recruited to lend his name and design skills to the label. This partnership lasted until 1990. The same year, Evelyn Pearson Inc. was sold to Leslie Fay Companies, Inc. and by the mid-1990s the Evelyn Pearson line was discontinued.

Written by Jennifer Binns of Hollie Point Vintage

See also, Saybury