Editor’s Note: Thanks again to James Taylor, Waterhollow Tweed. It still freaks me out when he likes a song I do on FB. James Taylor likes.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF H. ORITSKY, THE ‘NATURAL SHOULDER’ COMPANY
Many people are familiar with the “Big Name” tailors of Ivy Style, such as Corbin, H. Freeman, Hickey Freeman, PBM, and Samuelsohn. And many are aware that these were rivaled by many smaller and lesser-known (but still august) tailors, such as Josef Borg, GGG Clothes, and (later) Martin Greenfield.
But occasionally a tailoring company flies under the radar despite their association with some of the more well-known Ivy retailers.
Such a company is H. Oritsky.
H. Oritsky was founded by Herman D. Oritsky likely in the late 1930s; Herman graduated from Albright College, PA, in 1935, and by the early 1940s had a Government contract to produce Ike jackets for the U.S. Army.
The company was founded in Reading, PA, and made all of its clothing in its Reading factory. It specialized in making Ivy Style, natural shoulder jackets for sale under the private label of local stores. In 1963 the Colorado Gazette ran an article on them noting that although few had ever head of them, yet they were the makers of some of the best suits produced in the US at that time. And they were very successful: Herman used some of the profits frrom the company to endow research grants in physics and medicine (inclduing at his alma mater, Albright).
Herman died in 1967, and the company passed to his son. In 1987 it was acquired by HartMarx so that that company could expand into making private-label clothes for retailers such as O’Connell’s.
The company is still going strong, and you can find H. Oritsky products at Dann Online–along with clothing from Corbin, Bill’s khakis, and Berle trousers!
By James Taylor