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August 28, 2022

30 Vintage Van Heusen Shirts Ads You Won’t Believe Existed!

Take a step back to the Mad Men era of American advertising. It’s a time when a Pottsville classic, the Van Heusen shirt, adopted some aggressive and, some would say, offensive marketing campaigns. You see this most in some really bawdy and at times, sexist ads, by today’s standards.

The Van Heusen story began in 1881 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Moses Phillips & son Isaac began selling shirts which were hand-sewn by Moses’ wife Endel and their daughters, to the local coal miners. Quickly successful, Phillips expanded the operation to New York City.

Almost 30 years on, in 1919, Dutch immigrant John Manning van Heusen was granted a patent for a new process he created that fused cloth on a curve, creating a comfortable soft-folding collar that retained the stiff-collar look of the era.

In New York, Van Heusen met with Isaac Phillips, who bought the U.S. patent for Van Heusen’s revolutionary soft-folding collar, and the Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) alliance was born. From the 1930s, Van Heusen shirts were imported to Australia from England in small quantities, and a manufacturing plant was established in Melbourne in the mid 1960s to meet the growing demand for the brand in Australia.

Below is a selection of 30 vintage Van Heusen Shirts ads you won’t believe existed:




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