Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vintage Mystery

My in-laws came to visit us last weekend and we spent Sunday afternoon out in Moorseville at Gray Brother's cafeteria (totally worth the drive every time) and then stopped at a couple of antique stores. At antique/vintage/thrift shops I look at pretty much everything, but my favorite things to look for are -vintage jewelry and clothing -old Disney memorabilia -Beatles memorabilia -NASCAR memorabilia. I didn't find anything at the first one we went to but the hubby did find some old pins. The second shop I struck gold. I had wandered to the back where they keep most of the clothing. In a large armoire there were some dresses, a wool swimsuit (I kid you not, wool and green!) and a couple of coats. Most of the items were the same ones from when had last been there but there was a new coat I didn't recognize. The price tag added by the shop just said "1970s faux fur coat". I pulled it out and tried it on, and it fit! MIL and the hubby both agreed it looked really good, and the price couldn't be beat, $25! It's in almost 100% perfect condition with a few stains (on the inside so who's gonna see anyways) and I think it's missing a button/hook in the front to keep it closed (but it has a belt so that's ok).

Here's a few pictures:

So here's where the mystery comes in. The tag sewn into the coat has intrigued me to try and discover the story behind this coat. I did some digging and cannot find much about the "Central Park Zoo" company (except the actual zoo in NYC). I could only find a few articles about a designer named Stan Herman who in the 1960s was one of the first designers to use faux fur. And I think in the 60s or 70s he designed a line of clothing to raise money for the Central Park Zoo in NYC. So my gut is telling me that Mr. Herman might be the designer behind the coat. Unfortunately his company in New York does not have a website or email (at least that I can find). However I did find the website for Kinnaird Ireland whom Mr. Herman has been designing chenille robes for several years (and has great success selling them on QVC). So I used their "contact us" and sent an email asking for help but so far I haven't heard anything back.

So that's where I'm at right now with this vintage mystery. If I hear anything back I'll certainly post about it. If anyone out there has any ideas I'll certainly be happy to hear them. And if this mystery never gets solved that's ok as well. The cute is till really cute and warm and I'll be wearing it this winter.


  1. I know your post is several years old but I'm so glad I came across it. I found a gorgeous long fur coat at a local thrift shop with this exact same tag. I only paid $5.99 for it! It is so warm and I just love the way it looks. I've been trying to research "Central Park Zoo" but haven't come up with anything other than the actual zoo. It's so nice to come across an article with some insight to my coats past. Have you learned any more about the designer/company since writing the article? I'd love to know. Thanks!

    1. I haven't learned anything. You'd think with the power of the internet we could find something! Oh well, they are nice coats aren't they?