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June 1956 address:

Lyn-Art Bag Company
34-36 West 32nd St.
New York

Location February 1961:

Lyn-Art Bag Company
22 West 32nd St.
New York

Display ad on page 72 of the June 1956 issue of Handbags & Accessories announces the formation of Lyn-Art Bag Co. by Dave Sitzman. His son informs me the firm took its hyphenated name for the family offspring, LYNda and StuART Sitzman.

''Dave Sitzman announces the formation of a new company LYN-ART BAG CO., INC. 34-36 West 32nd St., New York 1, N". Y. CHickerine: 4-2887-8 He's happy to tell all his friends of the formation of his own company, to operate from the same address that he has occupied for 19 years as president of Reliable Novelty Handbag Co., Inc. He will continue to turn out smartest calf, suede andv inyl handbags. To retail at $7.95 and $10.95''

What drew my eye to the company was its outstanding design. Not only are the bags remarkable sculpture, they are also beautifully made. Little or nothing has been known about the company, so the bags were not as appreciated by collectors as they should be.

This full page ad for Hunt-Rankin Leather Company graces page 1 of the February 1961 issue of "Handbags & Accessories." The stately, tailored Lyn-Art bag illustrated is a prime example!

Enter Michele Howard, proprietor of Vintage in Style, a stunning vintage bag site. She has the best and ONLY Lyn-Art bag for sale online!

The bag is available at Michele's site LEA35-3 Lyn-Art Leather Bag for $75

Not only did Michele consent to sharing her prime Lyn-Art example, but she put me in touch with Dr. Stuart Sitzman, son of the founder! He was kind enough to share some unique family history with collectors!

"My father, David Sitzman, was the sole owner of Lyn-Art Handbag. The business address was either 34 or 36 W. 32nd St. New York City. (32nd street was the "center" of all the leather handbag manufacturers during 1940s - 1960s.)

My father was a young man of 54 at the time of his death in 1963. In those days the leather handbag industry was highly competitive. Because I was in Medical School and our family was very inexperienced in running a business, the raw materials of the business were sold to his closest competitor, Triangle handbags Triangle. The business and it's name, Lyn-Art went defunct in late 1963. (Of note: Lyn-Art's factory employed 30-40 union employees. Many had difficulty finding work in the industry after Lyn-Art's closure because manufacturers were attempted to separate from the unions.)

The Lyn-Art handbags he designed were many and varied, including leather clutches and full-sized handbags. In the early days of Lyn-Art, (1950s) and for many years therafter, each of the bags were high quality calfskin leather, framed, fully leather or silk lined and each contained a mirror. The handbags were sold to major department stores around the country as well as specialty stores in and around the metropolitan NY area. One of his biggest customers was Gimbels, a nose-to-nose competitor with Macy's. His bags were often used to accessorize many of the fashion shows of the time as well as were carried by the "Hollywood" crowd. He did venture into alligator and exotic animal hides for a few years but because of the high costs, those lines were discontinued.

Lyn-Art always continued to manufacture leather hand bags but added other materials into it's lines. One successful line which was carried for many years were tote bags made of imported Italian tapestry on the front side and leather backed.

Prior to the formation of Lyn-Art Handbag, my father was the co-owner of Reliable Handbag Co., another leather handbag company. The co-owner was Phil Friedman. (I think Mr. Friedman and his two sons, Larry and Arnold formed another leather handbag company following the dissolution of Reliable Handbag.)" {My note: the firm was possibly Friedman-Lobel Friedman-LobelInc}

Less than 24 hours after Dr. Sitzman contacted me, I discovered photographs of the open of the Lyn-Art Bag Company showroom and factory at 22 West 32nd St. (page 23 February 1961 issue of "Handbags & Accessories.")

"LYN-ART BAG Company opens new showrooms and factory at 22West 32 Street, New York. Open house guests during Market Week included (left): salesman Harry Weiss; Betty and Ruth Ziman of Ruth Ziman, Scranton, Pa.; and host Dave Sitzman. CENTER: Mr. Sitzman; I. Hedman of Outlet Co., Providence, R. I.; Irving Druck; Lynda Sitzman; M. Garber, The Outlet; Jerry Wolfson, representative in south; Hilda Hallet, Thalheimer's, Richmond, Va.; L. Appleby, southern representative."

Lynda appeared so serene in the midst of the festivities, I assumed she was involved in the company. Dr. Sitzman set me straight. "Lynda is my sister. She was too young to design or be involved with the company at that time. My father along with 2 designers styled each season's line of bags."

Display ad June 1961 "Handbags & Accessories," page 57


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