So right before we opened we were doing interior sprucing up on our soon-to-be vintage store, Fashion By Robert Black and found all kinds of interesting items from the former owners who ran our building, then known as The White Hogan. This got us very interested in finding out what was happening in the fashion world circa, 1950 in Downtown Scottsdale. I set off to learn more by visiting the Scottsdale Public Library, the Scottsdale Historic Society and even the library at my old school ASU. As I poured through file after file I discovered nothing relating to what Scottsdale looked like as a fashion mecca but discovered all kinds of articles on the big opening of the big giant mall, Fashion Square. (Side note: one of the greatest stores Scottsdale ever had was Michelle's that opened in 1961 in Fashion Square Mall... so back then the big box was not all that bad!) Now I was even more curious, so I started chatting up the folks at the Phoenix Art Museum, The Heard Museum and local shop owners that were still around. Over the last five years I have started to piece together some very interesting things about our little Fashion hub.
In the 1950’s Harper’s Bazaar magazine once staged a fashion show called “Sunset Pink” on Main Street in Scottsdale. The models took a train from New York to Scottsdale to walk a huge runway down the middle of Main Street dressed in all pink fashions. (Grab the book Historic Scottsdale by Joan Fudala to learn more) Shops like Lloyd Kiva, Leonna Caldwell, Novis Denne, The Monogram Shop, Maharanis, and even Goldwater’s offered the latest and greatest in fashion for the locals as well as the tourists that flocked here. The valley of the sun also had Hanny’s that carried designers like Adrian and Irene, Korricks, Switzers, Diamonds, Miriam’s, Fantasia and Phyllis De Trano! We were not lacking for fashion sources in our past...
In my quest for information I decided we needed to archive the clothing from these stores, so one of our collections was born. We are always buying items for the store and our collection, so if there is a Kachina, Cactus or Roadrunner on the item we want it!!!