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Location June 1949:

Garay, Inc.
33 East 33rd. St.
New York

Acording to a "VETERANS OF THE INDUSTRY" feature in the June 1961 issue of "Handbags & Accessories," page 76, Morris Moscowitz MMMorrisMoskowitz "associated in the founding of Garay & Co., Inc. in 1937."


The 1940s

Gaytwine fabric and carved wood frame in this Garay bag and belt combination exemplified the conversion of design to non-restricted materials as part of the editorial Cotton's In The Bag, by Virginia Jewel, Fashion Director of the Cotton-Textile Institute and National Cotton Council. (April 1942 Luggage & Leather Goods, page 36.) 1942CottonSInTheBag

One of a group of "Gaytwine" bags and belts in a colorful collection exclusive with Garay & Co. Inc. "Gaytwine is a hardy rough cotton fabric that is equally at home with tailored summer costumes or playclothes. The bag and belt shown are developed in an attractive design in several colors. The deep pouch bag to retail at $6 is topped with a carved natural wood frame. Matching belt sells for $1. "Gaytwine" may be had in solid colors or combinations.
A classified ad in the January 3, 1944 New York Times, pg. 34, sought women and girls for Garay factory work.

"GIRLS FOR STOCK- Light work, pleasent surroundings. Good salary, experience unnecessary. GARAY 33 East 33rd, 3rd floor."

WWII brought many changes to life at the Home Front, not the least of which were Luxury Taxes were imposed to help fund the war effort. Can you imagine tacking on 20% Federal Tax to your bill? This ad from page 7 of the October 22, 1945 Christian Science Monitor takes note to the continuation of the tax.

Display ad pge 38 June 1949 "Handbag Buyer"

On page 47 of the same issue, the trade news included this item.

Garay Has Boston Office

"Dan Silverman of Garay & Co. has opened a Boston office at 115 Chauncey Street. This has been done for the convenience of buyers in the New England area."

A00418: A stylish 40's Black Jersey Garay handbag with a double engraved hoop closure echoing the shape of the front trim. The real surprise comes when the bag is opened. The hoop closures lift individually to open separate interior sections. One side is fully lined in sparkling black satin. This side features a large metal zip pocket and a black satin coin purse, attached to the frame with a safety chain. The other side is lined in sumptuous gold satin with a single gold-corded open pocket carrying the Garay fabric label. Excellent condition, inside and out. Measures 9 x 3 x 7 1/2".

Valued at $90 and available at The Bag Lady Emporium

This purple jersey box bag probably date late 1940s.

A00424: This splendid purple jersey box bag by Garay has the feel of suede. The shapely contours are highlighted by the gracefully curving lid flap. The handle ends are trimmed in covered button details. The interior is fully lined in spotless tan simulated leather. There is one tiny slightly discolored pink spot on the front shoulder of the bag, which is merely imperceptible. Measures 8 3/4 x 3 3/4 x 4 inches. SOLD


1950s

Garay display ad on page 70 of the February 1950 "Handbags and Fashion Accessories"

china milan straw bags... by GARAY

''"For the first time ever, smartly styled Milan straw bags to sell at $3.00 retail! Wonderful colors, all the natural, beige, Cocoa and tan shades plus red, kelly, navy, purple and black.
Price: $22.50 dot. Terms: 3/10 e.o.m. Delivery: 10 Days

See the complete Spring straw - Milans, Madagascars and novelties. In any of the Garay showrooms.''

GARAY & CO., INC
33 E. 33rd St., N.Y.C.

Chicago: 36 So. State Street
Los Angeles: 607 So. Hill Street
Boston: 115 Chauncy Street

July 1954 Handbags & Accessories reports honors for Arnold Garay.

Garay made these hot 50's vinyl-over-fabric bags, encasing floral bouquets that keep their beauty over the decades.

A00264: Snappy Garay vinyl covered fabric Handbag featuring a front bouquet of daisies and pink asters. Gold cording details the edge of the bag. The gold satin interior is spotless. Chain handle folds inside if desired. The interior has a large metal zip pocket. Excellent condition inside and out. Measures 12 1/4 x 3 x 9 inches. SOLD

Garay show some sense of humor in these accessories features on page 28 of May 1955's issue of Handbags & Accessories.

Pre-Holiday buyer's guidance in the October 1955 "Handbags & Accessories" pointed to this Garay vinyl ensamble in transparent tortoise vinyl with pearl embellishment. (page 30)

Offer the unusual in gift belts

''Glitter, interesting material, gay decoration will help you sell more belts as gift items this Christmas season''

'THIS is the time of year when fashion departments can put the emphasis behind the novel and the interesting, and make many an impulse sale. Belts are particularly adaptable to this kind of treatment, for an unusual idea in a belt will often mark it as a gift item. Varied treatments are used on the belts offered for Christmas this year. In addition to glitter treatments, rich effects are obtained by use of luxury materials such as gold or silver kidskin, velvet, metal. Jewel trims, nailheads, gay ornaments also lend a festive air— and interesting shapes and closures make many a belt a conversation piece.'

TORTOISE VINYL. Belt and matching bag of transparent vinyl in tortoise design; bag studded with pearls. Both Garay

Garay's belt and bag coordinates, made of glossy Sommers Alkor Star black roller patent vinyl, were hot fashion necessities in December 1955. They are classic vintage collectibles today. Condition problems are common, especially scratches (so easy to happen and impossible to repair) and bottom corner wear. (December 1955 Handbags & Accessories, page 6)

Vary your collection to meet day, evening, sport and dress needs. Keep an eye on the future — continue to show resort bags now

"TWISTED GOLD bracelet handle is attached to the gold frame of large foldover clutch in satin or faille. There is a large outside pocket across the front. In black, brown or navy. From Garay" (Handbags & Accessories December 1955, page 17)

Bags for Spring 1956 were presented on January 3, 1956 by agreement as a member of the National Authority for the Ladies Handbag Industry. 1956NationalAuthorityMembers

Glorious examples from 10 prominant makers illustrated the article "New textures give new faces to casual bags for fall" on pages 14-15 of the August 1956 issue of "Handbags & Accessories." Garay's contribution:

VELVETEEN barrel is sparked by patent gussets, handle, tab; belt is patent piped. Brass hardware marks drop leaf flap of flannel bag. Garay, 33 E. 33rd St.


The 1960s

Garay used a variety of materials for frames and fabrics. This February 1961 ad for Queen City Lucite Frames Vinyl fabric by Charles S. Field features Garay vinyl bags.

A Funky Fake Fur bag and belt by Garay figures prominently in the Teen Style article 1961TeenageTrends on page 36 of the June 1961 "Handbags & Accessories."

The tiger's roar is this fake fur bag and contour belt from Garay, 33 E. 33 St. The belt's buckle and handbag's catch are gleaming brass.

More on the Garay's Fall 1961 line is to be found on page 60 of the June 1961 "Handbags & Accessories."

"Sashes, shoestrings, and lowered waist contour belts dominate the fall line at Garay, 33 E. 33rd St. Cowhide, seton leather and fake furs promise to be important. The black and white look will continue into the fall in tiger and leopard and dalmation fake furs. Sashes from $2 to $5 in every width, color, and ornamentation will remain popular. Dangles, gimmicks, initials, whistles, stones and a very interesting Tiki god decorate the belt line. Detailed soft leather "fashion" belts from $4 to $10 in green, otter, fuchsia, mulberry, burnt orange, gold, and aura blue round out this extensive line. In handbags, Garay likes fur, tapestry, textured gros point, barley knits, velvets and leather. Bags are $5 - $10"

Times and styles change and so did Garay's handbag line.

A00386: Garay embroidered black satin evening bag, a convertible clutch, with elegant fluid leaf in berry design. The black satin covered tubular handle folds inside if desired. The leaf motif is echoed in the gold leaf shaped latch. Gold satin interior features one large open pocket, which is slightly damaged on one corner of the opening. Slight soiling is present at the bottom of the lining. The metal frame is covered in black satin and shows some abrasion at the corners. Still the bag is a beauty! Measures 12 1/4 x 1 1/4 x 6 inches. SOLD

B00242: The original tag says "Gleaming patent 100 percent Virgin Vinyl by Garay." Vintage bags don't get better than this! The pure white front of the bag is emblazoned with flag-like stripes of Red and Blue. The sparkling Silver frame and disc-shaped latch opens to reveal a spotless navy taffeta interior with a single metal zip pocket. Measures 9 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches with a twelve-inch handle. Valued at $85 and available at The Bag Lady Emporium

After decades in business, the company's demise is recorded in a Decision of the National Labor Relations Board, April 29, 1982. [[http://www.nlrb.gov/nlrb/shared_files/decisions/261/261-74.pdf|Garay & Co. vs. Local 3128 Production and Service Employees Union, United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America, AFL-CIO Case 2-CA-17302]].

The case dates the end of sales of imported handbags purchased in the Orient as June 1980. Production, distribution and sale of belts continued at the time of the decision in 1982. "The Company occupied space in two buildings in New York City. The 33rd Street facility contained a showroom and office which housed most of the clerical employees involved herein. On 14th Street the Company occupied two floors, each of which measured 26,000 square feet. About one-fifth of one floor was used for the manufacture of belts, and the balance was used for the warehousing of handbags. The other floor was devoted to the receipt of belt materials, and the manufacture, storage, and shipment of belts. It also included the factory management offices, a few clerical employees, and the design functions. In 1979, the Company processed 84,148 invoices with sales totaling $11,029,127.

Sometime in February or early March, Stephen Golub was hired to be controller of the Company. He was interviewed by a member of Respondent's board of directors, and was told that the Company was in financial trouble. The former president and controller had been dismissed, the Company was out of cash, and the records were in a state of total confusion.3 On assuming his position on March 17, Golub was immediately deluged with telephone calls from creditors demanding payment of past due debts. Within the next few weeks, Golub was able to appraise the situation. He found out that the Company had two computers, one which was not used at all and another which was not operating correctly because it was improperly programmed; in addition, the Company did not know its inventory position; there were no summaries of what was being produced and sold; the Company owed the bank about $500,000; cash in the bank was virtually zero; accounts payable were around $900,000; although the accounts receivable ledger shown to Golub indicated S1 million due the Company, the records were so confusing, it was very difficult to determine just what the receivables were at that time; and the handbag operation was in the process of being discontinued.' In addition, belt sales were dropping. However, Golub was advised by the sales force that with the coming of the first market week in May, 5 sales of belts would improve. This did not prove correct. The day before the May market week commenced, a significant portion of the Company's sales force left the Company, thereby leaving the Company unrepresented.

According to Golub, the handbag operation was extremely unsuccessful. It required a tremendous cash outlay. Shipments from the Orient were made under letters of credit which were exercised when the handbags arrived in the U.S. and automatically the bank drew a note payable in 120 days. Thus, paying in advance for merchandise created a cash flow problem. The Company therefore decided to discontinue the handbag operation before Golub came on the scene, and the sale of the handbag inventory continued until it was completely liquidated in June."

An attempt to unionize the office workers, layoffs and dismissals were the cause of the suit. Finding the actions were necessitated by the company's dire financial condition and that there was not sufficient evidence of anti-union activity by the company, the suit was eventually dismissed. But the company did not survive.


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