Vintage Jantzen: The Pin-Up Powerhouse

So… any Mad Men fans in the ‘haus? No spoilers in the comments, please, because I’m not sure if Mer and Zo have had a chance to catch last Sunday’s Season 4 premiere. But without giving away any plot points, I just want to ask: what was up with Don Draper pulling a Dov Charney with his horrible Jantzen pitch? Our colleague Copyranter eats this kind of American Apparel shit for breakfast. The Portland-based swimwear company was portrayed as a stodgy, conservative business to whom Draper declares angrily, “you’re too scared of the skin your two-piece was designed to show off.” I guess he (and/or the show’s writers) never saw Jantzen’s Vargas-inspired campaign, which ran in LIFE in 1947 (below). Dear readers, I proudly tag this post “Stroke Material” and present you with my stash of vintage Jantzen advertisements from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Sun-kissed beauties with Bettie Page smiles and space-age swimsuits – as well as a few clever parodies – after the jump.

A mashup of two vintage Jantzen advertisements Bob Bobster

Parody by Stephanie D. Guessing that the original e read, “Lure him away from the pool.”

8 Responses to “Vintage Jantzen: The Pin-Up Powerhouse”

  1. dr.hypercube Says:

    Riding the dolphin – is that what they called it then? The ad 2 above the delphine debauch (the orange skirted number) makes me think of a favorite eurofunnybook – early period Rocco Vargas. Torres really nailed that style. Thanks – good stuff.

  2. joasakura Says:

    these are some pretty rockin’ swimsuits, I must say.

    (also, I LOVE these ads!!)

  3. Zoetica Says:

    Definitely caught season premiere on Sunday — at a viewing party no less!

    This one is my favorite! And yes, I would absolutely wear some of these.

  4. lilah wild Says:

    Dig the saucy lacing on the men’s briefs in that last one!!

    I love the way they’ve put boyshort bottoms with sweetheart necklines – they come off looking like corsets made for the beach. Throw on some straps and this would totally be my dream one-piece.

    Frederick’s of Hollywood was working in this kind of stuff too – for a while I was collecting their older catalogs off ebay, and was surprised to see how long it took them to jump completely into photography, didn’t happen until 1986. Adorable to see this kind of pinup-style illustration, but dressed in 70’s/80’s fashions.

  5. Cass Says:

    Yeah, I totally wanted to spank Don in that scene – it was just ridiculous! These images are great – thanks for sharing them!

  6. Nadya Says:

    @Cass – I’m sure Don would’ve liked that, if some of the other shenanigans in this episode are any indication. /spoiler

  7. gimp Says:

    “Lure him away from the poolboy” – what are they suggesting??

  8. alicedoom Says:

    god i adore these swimsuits.
    i think they are much more attractive than most sold today at major department stores and such.