Sportwhirl, Inc. 1951-1977 (page 1 2 3 4)
Betty, Arthur and Bernie
1951--Jeanne had been invited,
and joined, the design house of Sportwhirl, Inc. as the new designer.
Jeanne was a long time friend of Lorraine Budny who preceded her
(Lorraine worked at Sportwhirl for four years before returning
former employers at Adler & Adler.) Located at 498 7th
Avenue, Sportwhirl was founded by partner-brothers, Rubin
and Arthur Goodman in
1945. The third and youngest Goodman brother, Bernard, was
the treasurer of the firm, and Arthur's wife, Betty, became
director. Much later, in the early 1970's, Arthur and Betty's
son, Peter, joined the company. The Goodmans supported Jeanne's
strong belief in practical, colorful, informal clothes, and
her conviction that young women should be able to buy high
at a reasonable price. The tight Goodman family management
formed the backbone of the business, and Jeanne became the
Sample Makers (left to right): Hella,
Hilda and Maria 1964
Jeanne finally had the staff and assistance that she always dreamed
of. Sportwhirl was a bigger house, one of the major sportswear
companies, and offered her more opportunities to be creative. Jeanne
got to work and proved herself worthy of her position, however,
she gave the Goodmans even more than they anticipated--26 years
Jeanne produced lines for Sportwhirl similarly to what she had
done for Loomtogs, except they were larger and more diversified.
Less resortwear, and more daytime suits, skirts, jackets, coats,
blouses, pants (with a fly in the front, like men's pants--which
she argued for), dresses, shorts, etc. all of which she had five-years
of experience in. The one thing they asked her to do, that she
hesitated about was dressy holiday separates.
was just that I didn't see how I could project myself into dressy
clothes of any kind," Jeanne says. "They weren't in
I thought. That had always been the one thing I thought I could
never do. But of course when I really got started," she
adds, "I found doing dressy clothes allowed me as much freedom
as sports clothes. I managed to be pretty daring finally--splashed
sequins here and there and used all sorts of fancy details." An
excerpt from Beryl Williams', "Young Faces in Fashion".
Jeanne's designs weren't extravagant or terribly trendy. They
weren't expensive like the Norman Norell's, James Galanos' or Pauline
Trigere's were. They were clothes for every woman designed to be
As Jeanne said to Women's Wear Daily, when chosen one of their
1970 "Women of the Year", "It's a no-age, no-price
look. And it's up to the person who wears it to make the look."
In the book, "The Wheels of Fashion", Phyllis Lee Levin
described Sportwhirl's buyer and designer,"...for the thrifty,
busy, bright young woman who spends money on sports, schools, on
trips as well as clothes. Luckily, Sportwhirl's designer not only
understands this woman but is this woman."
Ms. Levin also went on to say, "Perched on a radiator top
sipping Coke while reviewing a salesman's sample books of buttons
or fabric swatches (she sees about 130 lines), Sportwhirl's designer
looks exactly like a nice young woman you'd run into at the frozen-food
counter of the A & P. Her complete understanding of her work
and of her audience probably accounts for her being the only designer
in her price market to be crowned with honors and prizes usually
reserved for men and women making clothes in the rarefied brackets."