Oldest Clothing Brands in the US

10 Oldest Clothing Brands in the US

As fashion trends come and go, some clothing brands have stood the test of time and have been around for over a century. These brands have not only survived but thrived in the competitive fashion industry. From Levi’s to Brooks Brothers, the US has some of the oldest clothing brands in the world. These brands have a rich history and have contributed to the evolution of fashion over the years.

This article will look at the ten oldest clothing brands in the US and explore their stories and contributions to the fashion world. So, if you’re a fashion enthusiast or just curious about fashion history, read on to discover the fascinating stories behind some of the most iconic fashion brands in the US. 

10. Gap

Year Founded: 1969
Industry: Retail
Founder(s): Donald Fisher, Doris F. Fisher
Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Gapphoto source: BBC

Gap is a well-known clothing brand in the US that was founded in 1969 by Donald Fisher and Doris F. Fisher. The company’s headquarters are located in San Francisco, California. Gap started as a single store selling jeans and has since grown into a global brand with a wide range of clothing and accessories for men, women, and children.

Gap’s clothing is known for its casual, comfortable style and classic designs. The company operates stores in many countries worldwide, including the US, Canada, and the UK, and also has an online store for customers to shop from. Gap is more than just a clothing brand in the US; it operates several other brands, including Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta.

Did You Know?

The company’s name, “The Gap,” was inspired by the generation gap between young people and their parents.

9. Lilli Ann

Year Founded: 1934
Industry: Clothing manufacturing
Founder(s): Adolph Schuman
Headquarters: San Rafael, California

Lilli Annphoto source: Pinterest

Lilli Ann is a clothing brand established in the United States in 1934. The brand was founded by Adolph Schuman, who named the company after his wife, Lillian. Lilli Ann became known for its high-quality women’s clothing, sold in high-end boutiques nationwide.

Lilli Ann was known for its use of luxurious fabrics, such as mohair, cashmere, and alpaca, as well as its attention to detail and impeccable tailoring. The brand’s clothing was often designed with clean lines and classic silhouettes, making it a favorite among women who appreciated timeless, elegant fashion.

Did You Know?

By the 1980s, Lilli Ann had ceased production, although vintage pieces from the brand continue to be highly prized by collectors and fashion enthusiasts.

8. Schott

Year Founded: 1913
Industry: Clothing manufacturing
Founder(s): Irving and Jack Schott
Headquarters: New York City, New York

Schottphoto source: Porterhouse Clothing

Schott, a clothing brand, was founded in 1913 in New York City by brothers Irving and Jack Schott. The company started making raincoats and eventually expanded into other types of outerwear, including leather jackets, bomber jackets, and motorcycle jackets. Schott is credited with creating the very first leather motorcycle jacket, which it called the Perfecto, in 1928.

Over the years, Schott has become a highly respected fashion brand known for its high-quality materials and attention to detail. The company’s leather jackets have become iconic thanks to their classic designs and rugged durability. In addition to motorcycle jackets, Schott offers a wide range of other clothing and accessories, including sweaters, shirts, and hats.

Did You Know?

In the 1960s, Schott partnered with the rock band The Ramones to create custom leather jackets that would become a signature part of the band’s look.

7. L.L.Bean

Year Founded: 1912
Industry: Retail
Founder(s): Leon Leonwood Bean
Headquarters: Freeport, Maine


photo source: Wikipedia

L.L.Bean is a retail company founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean in Freeport, Maine. The company was originally known for its hunting and fishing gear, including the famous Bean Boot, a waterproof leather boot that became a favorite among outdoors enthusiasts.

The company’s focus on high-quality materials and durable construction quickly made it a favorite among hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Over the years, L.L.Bean has expanded its product offerings to include a wide range of clothing and accessories for men, women, and children, as well as home goods, outdoor gear, and other products. Despite its growth, the company has remained committed to its core values of quality, value, and customer service.

Did You Know?

One interesting fact about L.L.Bean is that the company has a very generous return policy, which allows customers to return any item they purchase for any reason, at any time, with no questions asked.

6. J. Press

Year Founded: 1902
Industry: Clothier
Founder(s): Jacobi Press
Headquarters: New York City, New York

J. Pressphoto source: J. Press

Founded in the US by immigrant Jacobi Press in 1902, J. Press is a clothing brand famous for its sophisticated men’s apparel that exudes a classic Ivy League style. The company gained a reputation for producing high-quality clothing in a short period.

Clean lines, natural fabrics, and a focus on traditional menswear details, such as button-down collars, rep ties, and tweed jackets, characterized the brand’s signature look. J. Press clothing was a favorite among college students and young professionals, who appreciated the brand’s timeless, understated style.

Did You Know?

J. Press clothing has been worn by presidents, including John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, as well as other notable individuals, such as the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and the actor Cary Grant.

5. Filson

Year Founded: 1897
Industry: Retail, wholesale
Founder(s): Clinton C. Filson
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

Filsonphoto source: www.filson.com

Filson is a clothing company that originated in Seattle, Washington, in 1897. The company started making rugged outdoor clothing for gold prospectors, loggers, and other workers in the Pacific Northwest. Today, Filson is known for its high-quality, durable clothing and accessories for outdoor enthusiasts, hunters, and anglers.

One of the key features of Filson clothing is its use of heavy-duty materials, such as waxed cotton, tin cloth, and wool. These materials are designed to withstand tough conditions and provide protection from the elements. The brand’s clothing is also designed with a classic, timeless style that has remained popular for over a century.

Did You Know?

Filson is also known for its high-quality luggage and bags. The company’s bags are made from durable materials like leather and canvas and are designed to last years of heavy use.

4. Carhartt

Year Founded: 1889
Industry: Workwear
Founder(s): Hamilton Carhartt
Headquarters: Dearborn, Michigan

Carharttphoto source: Gear Patrol

Carhartt is a clothing brand that has been a mainstay in the American workwear industry for over a century. Founded in 1889 by Hamilton Carhartt, the brand was initially focused on creating high-quality work clothing for railroad workers. Today, Carhartt is known for its durable, functional workwear and casual clothing that is popular among many customers.

Despite its origins in workwear, Carhartt has become popular among fashion-conscious customers who appreciate its rugged, functional aesthetic. The brand’s clothing is often seen on street style influencers and celebrities, who have helped to elevate Carhartt to a new level of popularity in recent years.

Did You Know?

Carhartt supports various charitable organizations and initiatives, including programs that provide job training and support for veterans and other members of the workforce.

3. Lee

Year Founded: 1889
Industry: Clothing wear
Founder(s): Henry David Lee
Headquarters: Greensboro, North Carolina

Leephoto source: Wikipedia

Lee is a denim and clothing brand that has been a staple of American fashion since its founding in 1889. The brand’s founder, Henry David Lee, started making workwear and overalls for miners and farmers in Kansas but soon expanded into the broader market for denim clothing.

One of the key features of Lee clothing is its focus on fit and comfort. The brand is known for its innovative use of stretch denim, which allows for a greater range of motion and a more comfortable fit. Lee also offers various fits and styles to suit different body types and personal preferences.

Did You Know?

Lee was one of the first companies to introduce zippered fly-on denim jeans and was also an early adopter of synthetic fibers in denim blends.

2. Carter’s

Year Founded: 1865
Industry: Clothing wear
Founder(s): William Carter
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Carter'sphoto source: Carter’s

Carter’s is a children’s clothing brand that has been a household name in the United States for over a century. The brand was founded in 1865 by William Carter, who started making baby clothes in Massachusetts. Today, Carter’s is known for its high-quality, affordable clothing for babies, toddlers, and young children.

Carter’s clothing is focused on comfort and practicality. The brand’s clothing is designed with babies and young children in mind and is made from soft, durable fabrics that withstand daily use’s wear and tear. Carter’s also offers various sizes and styles for different ages, body types, and personal preferences.

Did You Know?

Carter’s has also been a vocal advocate for children’s health and safety and has worked to promote awareness of issues like childhood obesity and car seat safety.

1. Brooks Brothers

Year Founded: 1818
Industry: Fashion
Founder(s): Henry Sands Brooks
Headquarters: New York City, New York

Brooks Brothersphoto source: Mental Floss

Brooks Brothers has been a cornerstone of American fashion for over two centuries, making it the oldest clothing brand in the United States. The brand was founded in 1818 by Henry Sands Brooks, who started selling men’s clothing in New York City. Today, Brooks Brothers is known for its high-quality, classic clothing and accessories for men and women.

The brand has a long history of innovation and leadership in the fashion industry. The company was one of the first to introduce ready-to-wear clothing in the United States and was also an early adopter of new materials and manufacturing techniques. In addition, Brooks Brothers has been a major force in shaping American fashion, with a client list that has included several U.S. Presidents, celebrities, and cultural icons.

Did You Know?

The brand has implemented several initiatives to reduce its environmental impact, including using organic cotton and recycled materials in its clothing and implementing energy-efficient technologies in its stores and factories.


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