Labels & designers

Meet a designer(s?): Jackie Morgan

When I first saw this Jackie Morgan label, I pictured some perky blonde woman with a beehive or a flip and big dangly earrings. Turns out, this maybe isn’t the most accurate mental image of Jackie Morgan, though it’s difficult to tell from this photo:

jackie-morgan-press-photo

Right. Is he wearing sunglasses? It seems that Morgan’s active years were 1950-1960, because that’s pretty much the only time period he gets any mention in the papers. He mostly does small local fashion shows in southern California (Los Angeles, Pasadena, Long Beach) and up north in San Rafael, the county seat of fancy pants Marin County, where he seems to have some sort of special deal with local department store called Luana’s.

I found a number of ads highlighting Jackie Morgan designs, mostly sheath dresses (like this one just listed) together with matching coats. Unfortunately, if mine ever had a matching coat, it is no longer matched up.

1950s-jackie-morgan-black-lace-sheath-dress-3

I found dozens of references to Jackie Morgan in papers all across the country, but mostly in California. A store called Phillips of Rosemead advertised Jackie Morgan “costumes” frequently–this one is from 1956:

Screenshot 2015-04-20 21.49.07

 

This ad, also from 1956, is for a southern California showing:

Screenshot 2015-04-20 21.56.28

Seems pretty straightforward, no? Jackie Morgan, Jack Morgan, same guy. Not sure who “Lillian” is, but whatever (sidenote: in 1940 there was a Jackie Morgan living in Los Angeles with a sister named Lillian; they would have been 31 and 28, respectively, in 1956). By 1957 Jackie Morgan is doing fashion shows in more upscale locations, like Haggarty’s and Robinson’s in Beverly Hills. Things go on like this through the 1950s until

Screenshot 2015-04-20 22.12.13

Uh

So

There are a couple possibilities here. One, this is the same person, and Jack/Jackie is trans. Around 1960, Jack became Jackie full time. Two, these are different people, and the name is a coincidence. Either way, after 1960, there is no Jackie Morgan design or fashion company in the phone book, and nothing further advertised in the paper. The word mark was never registered.

There are probably more possibilities than these two, of course. In the 1980s, Jackie Morgan was a well-known interior designer in the Los Angeles area. In 1987, a (female) Jackie Morgan helped organize a benefit fashion show, including “a red silk jersey designed by MGM’s Helen Rose, a gray men’s [ed: did Adrian ever design menswear?] Adrian suit from 1946 and a 1926 Chanel black dress with silver fox furs.” Seems like she may have been involved in fashion at one time, no?

An interesting mystery; a very cute dress, now on sale.

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in April 21, 2015

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3 Comments

  • Carrie April 21, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    What if Miss Jackie Morgan was actually Lillian? Maybe she transitioned from toiling behind the scenes designing all the clothes while Jack took all the credit to being the face of the company when Jack mysteriously disappeared!

    Reply
    • Jessica Parker April 21, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Hm, and interesting thought! Perhaps she kept the name since it had been moderately successful?

      Reply
  • Michelle spankie October 17, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I have a plastic bottle that contains pins, buttons, a thimble, etc. on the pink top is impressed, ” JACKIE MORGAN 738 So. Los Angeles St. L.A. 14 California. The container is clearly antique. It even has a blue rope handle. Might you be able to help get further info?

    Reply
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