Hands Up Who’s Heard Of Jane Trahey?

Jane Trahey:Madison Avenus Magazine
Fashion advertising isn’t like advertising.

Attitude can be more important than idea.
The photographer can more important than the writer.
What you say is less important than how you say it.
The font is often more important than the argument.
And the gut is definitely more important than the head.
It’s a odd world.
Paul Smith is rumoured to have been on the lookout for an agency for decades.
Organising chemistry meetings every couple of years, but he never ends up appointing an agency, because he can never find one that ‘gets it’.

Jane Trahey got fashion.

She started writing ads in 1947 for Neiman-Marcus in Dallas.
In 1956 she moves to New York to found 425 Advertising Associates for Julius Kayser Inc, as their in-house agency.
Only a couple of years later she leaves to open Jane Trahey Associates.
In New York in 1958 openly lesbian women didn’t start ad agencies.
Vikings probably started more agencies in 1950s New York than lesbians.

From the get go the work is simple, stylish with a kind of sassy, New York attitude.Jane Trahey - Hoffritz 'Throwing Knives'* Jane Trahey, Hoffritz 'Window' adJane Trahey - Wragge 'Architects'-01  Jane Trahey - D'Orsay 'Blechman'*
Jane Trahey, D'Orsay 3 Blechman Jane Trahey, D'Orsay 2 Blechman
Jane Trahey Franklin Simon 'Please'-01Jane Trahey, Elizabeth Arden ;Race Track'-01Jane Trahey - Bill Blass 'Feel Free'-01 Jane Trahey - Bill Blass 'Things go better'-01Jane Trahey, Swansons 'Bill Blass' Jane Trahey, Oscar DeLaRenta 'Plane' Jane Trahey, Polozzio 'Cab' Jane Trahey, Echo Scarves 'Be Careful'' Jane Trahey , Elizabeth Arden 'Sand'' Jane Trahey - Rob Roy 'Wise Guys'Jane Trahey, I. Miller 'Grrrr'Jane Trahey, I. Miller, 'Heels'Jane Trahey, I. Miller 'Builds'
She has her finger on the pulse.
She picks an up and coming local illustrator to give help her I.M Miller ads charm, his name is Andy Warhola.
Jane Trahey Goes To The Mission - Andy Warhol-01Jane Trahey, I. Miller 2, Andy Warhol-01Jane Trahey - I.Miller, Andy WarholJane Trahey, Flemming Joffe, Andy WarholIn 1959 she brings a partner to help manage the business starting to come in.Jane Trahey, 'Trahey Cadwell Brochure'
Although Jane was a writer, really she wrote slogans.
She would conjure up a handful of words for a brand to give it attitude.
Those words would stay there for years, sometimes ten, in one case forty.
These words would rarely be product based.
More often than not they had a kind of ‘fuck you’ flavour.
Take Dynel; a kind of synthetic  fur like fabric.
Most rational people would position it as the inexpensive alternative to real fur.
That was far too mealy-mouthed and apologetic for Trahey Cadwell – ‘It’s not fake anything, it’s real Dynel.’ (You may as well put schmuck at the end of that sentence.)
Jane Trahey, Dynel 'Red' Jane Trahey, Dynel 'Taxi'Jane Trahey, Union Carbide, 'Babette'
Or Danskins.
Straight to the point, with attitude.Jane Trahey, Danskins, 'Spotlight'Jane Trahey, Danskins, 'Ski'Jane Trahey, Danskins, 'Legs'
Considering she was a writer, it’s amazing to see consistently strong the art direction is over a thirty year period.Jane Trahey, 'Trigere Cult 'Street. Melvyn Soklansky-02 V19670915-TrigereCult $(KGrHqJHJCwFBp!dR02zBQfKH2WFTQ--60_57Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 14.41.221988688902_5c7615ace3_oSKMBT_C20310072310441Jane Trahey - Charles Of The Ritz 'Faces'*Jane Trahey - Charles Of The Ritz 'Ice'*Jane Trahey - '$350.00'*Jane Trahey - Wragge ' Monet'-01Jane Trahey - 'Hand'*Jane Trahey - Paraphenalia 'Field'-01
In the late sixties, former Haprer’s Bazaar Art Director Henry Wolf was bought in as a partner.
He shot and presumably art directed these Olivetti ads.Jane Trahey, Olivetti 'Twiggy'Jane Trahey, Olivetti 'Suzy'Jane Trahey, Olivetti 'Pearl'Jane Trahey, Olivetti 'Duke'
Through the seventies Trahey continued to battle anyone still against equal rights.Jane Trahey, Women & POwer article
Jane Trahey Article, %22angry article'Jane Trahey, Article, Life-01
In ’72 she gets involved in he National Organisation of Women.
And starts writing ads.Jane Trahey, Womanpower 'Legs'*-01 Jane Trahey, Womanpoer 'Degree'-01 Jane Trahey, Womanpower 'Boardroom'*-01 Jane Trahey, Womanpower 'Born'-01Jane Trahey , 'Vital Statistics'
One of her last, but most famous campaigns was for the Great Lakes Mink Association.
Realising that the name is too much of a mouthful she rechristened them ;’Blackglama’.
She then figured that because the lustre of black mink didn’t show up in photographs, she needed stars to give Blackgama lustre.
First she got Richard Avedon to shoot them.
hen she got stars.
And when I say stars I mean STARS.Blackgamma ad,1968, bette davisBlackgamma ad - 1968, barbra streisandBlackgamma ad - 1969 joan crawfordBlackgamma ad - 1968 lauren bacallBlackgamma ad - 1969 marlene dietrichBlackgamma ad - 1970 bridget bardotBlackgamma ad - 1970 barbara stanwyckBlackgamma ad - 1970 maria callasBlackgamma ad - 1972 carol burnettBlackgamma ad - 1973 diana rossBlackgamma ad - 1973 liza minnelliBlackgamma ad - 1975 raquel welchBlackgamma ad - 1977 diana vreelandBlackgamma ad - 1976 Martha graham, Rudolf nureyev, Margot fonteynBlackgamma ad - 1977 shirley maclaineBlackgamma ad - 1977 liv ullmannBlackgamma ad - 1979 lillian gishBlackgamma ad - 1980 maggie smithBlackgamma ad - 1981 gloria swansonBlackgamma ad - 1981 luciano pavarottiBlackgamma ad - .Ray Charles
owards the end of her life Jane wrote and edited books.Jane Trahey 'Harpers Bazaar 100 Years' Book-01



“Of all the directors we worked with, the name of Lester Bookbinder caused the deepest breath.
No detail was beyond his eagle eye.
On a square foot basis, his sets were by far the most expensive and time consuming to make.
One of his tricks was to direct a carbon arc light across the set to highlight any imperfection, and woe betide if found any were found.
To have him walk on set on the morning of the shoot and just nod his head in approval was one of the art director’s highlights.”

That’s from one of the guys responsible for building a set for Lester, film art director Mark Hill. (There’s more from Mark on working with Lester  here: http://marchill.org/apollo/index.php/film/89-film/123-working-with-lester-bookbinder.)

I’ve been trying to track down the results of this ‘eye’ for a while now, turns out they were all sitting on arrowsarchive.com, run by the good folks at The History of Advertising Trust, they’ve been kind enough  to gather them together for me to show here.
At the time they were spellbinding, like nothing else in an ad break, ads like the one for Chanel No 5 felt like entering a more exotic world.
Looking at the ads now, some feel a little old-fashioned, their age given away by the ‘addy’ voiceover or long forgotten product.
Some feel a bit sexist for 2015.
Some appear to have virtually no discernible idea, ‘woman hangs around in a room for 25 seconds, cut to Bally logo’.
But all look amazing.
Many use a type of lighting you no longer see, the result is whether it’s a rolling Liqourice Allsort or a foot tapping, you’re 


I could only find one music video Lester shot, so I’m attaching it to his commercials.