The Arrow brand became well known for its shirts with detachable collars and is the result of a number of company mergers, of which only the main ones will be mentioned here on the blog.
The brand’s history begins when, in 1820, the detachable collar for men’s shirts was invented in the USA to make washing clothes cheaper. Realizing the potential of a possible successful business, in 1851, messieurs Maullin and Blanchard formed a partnership and opened a collar factory. In 1889, they merged their business with the company Coon & Company, and soon afterwards created the Arrow brand.
Arrow was already consolidated in the market when there was another merger, transforming the company into Cluett, Peabody & Co., Inc. At the same time, the artist J. C. Leyendecker was hired to illustrate the Arrow collars.
The partnership with the artist was a success and lasted from 1905 to 1931, generating a legion of fans, of both sexes. The fans were fervent and often sent love letters containing even marriage proposals. The Arrow models, which, it is worth remembering, never existed, became known as “The Arrow Collar Man” and the term became synonymous with an elegant man.
With the end of the first world war, men’s shirts started to be made of lighter materials, which were not so compatible with detachable collars, and it was at this time that the collar attached to the shirt returned to fashion. Arrow returned to producing shirts with collars, as well as pre-shrunk and anatomically cut ones.
With the end of the Second World War, new fabrics that had been developed during the war were introduced for the daily use of the civilian population. The use of colors in shirts also became fashionable, and in that period Arrow returned to be one of the major shirt producers.
Arrow still exists today and belongs to the company PVH. The brand continues to sell shirts and other products.
Bibliography: Allan, Georgina O’Hara; Fashion Encyclopedia: From 1840 to the 1990s: Companhia das Letras, 2010.