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Fashion Bar and Levy Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: B097

Overview

Siblings Hannah, Jack and Edward Levy immigrated to America in the 1920s. Jack Levy came to America in 1923, headed to Denver, and began working at his uncle's business, Hilb and Company. Edward Levy reached Denver in 1925 and also started working for Hilb and Company, eventually becoming the president. After working in New York City for 20 months at menial jobs, Hannah moved to Denver in the fall of 1927. Jack started as a traveling salesman for the Hilb company and Hannah as a shop-girl at Neusteters Department store, before Jack opened a hosiery store, which evolved into the Fashion Bar Corporation. Despite the Great Depression, the enterprise flourished, and within three years, Fashion Bar grew to five clothing stores. William Weil, a distant cousin, became a salesman for the company, and in 1968, he became president of the company. By the 1980s, Fashion Bar employed over 1700 people in over 84 specialty clothing stores. Fashion Bar became the largest privately owned chain in Colorado. Hannah and Jack Levy remained involved in the business until their deaths. The Fashion Bar Company was sold in 1992.

Dates

  • 1938-1993
  • Coverage: 1900-1993

Creator

Biographical / Historical

In the town of Haigerloch, near Stuttgart in Southern Germany, Raphael and Bertha Hilb Levy became parents of six children: a boy who died at age four, Hannah born 1905, Jack born 1908, Edward born 1909, Kate born 1916, and Ruth born 1919. Leopold Weil, a relative of the Hilb family, settled in Colorado around 1860 and moved to Denver in 1868. He was one of the founders of Temple Emanuel reform synagogue. Isidore Hilb, Bertha Hilb's brother, came to Denver in the early 1900s and founded Hilb and Company, a wholesale clothing supply company. Hannah, Jack and Edward Levy immigrated to America in the 1920s. Jack Levy came to America in 1923, headed to Denver, and began working at his uncle's company. Edward Levy reached Denver in 1925 and also started working for Hilb and Company, eventually becoming the president. After working in New York City for 20 months at menial jobs, Hannah moved to Denver in the fall of 1927. Late in 1927, Raphael and Bertha Hilb Levy, their daughters Kate and Ruth, and Bertha's mother Mina Hilb moved to Denver, where the entire family was reunited once more. Raphael Levy began working at Hilb and Company as a stock clerk. Jack started as a traveling salesman for the Hilb company and Hannah as a shop-girl at Neusteters Department store, before Jack opened a hosiery store in 1933, which evolved into the Fashion Bar Corporation. Despite the Great Depression, the enterprise flourished, and within three years, it grew to five clothing stores. Hannah Levy became a national known fashion expert and travelled extensively to New York, Europe, and Asia to buy clothes for the stores. William Weil, a distant cousin, became a salesman for the company in 1952 and in 1968, he became president of the company. The organization grew dramatically in the 1960s after the main downtown outlet was added at 16th and Tremont. By the 1980s, Fashion Bar employed over 1700 people in over 84 specialty clothing stores. Fashion Bar became the largest privately owned chain store in Colorado. Hannah and Jack Levy remained involved in the business until their deaths. The Fashion Bar Company was sold in 1992. Hannah, Jack, and Edward supported many Jewish, civic, and cultural causes, including Temple Emanuel, Rose Hospital, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Denver Symphony, Jewish Community Center, and the University of Denver's Holocaust Awareness Institute.

Extent

30.5 Linear Feet (20 containers) (boxes with oversized photographs and scrapbooks, record boxes, flat boxes with material culture)

Scope and Contents

The Fashion Bar/Levy Family papers consist of scrapbooks, photographs, articles, memorabilia and correspondence that reflect the growth and development of the Fashion Bar and the roles of Jack and Hannah Levy. It also highlights a Jewish family and who prospered through chain immigration.

Arrangement

The collection is organized in five series: 1. Levy Family Papers, 1900-1993. 2. Fashion Bar Records, 1938-1993. 3. Material Culture, 1938-1993. 4. Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1938-1993. 5. Architectural Drawings, Watercolors, and Plans, 1970-1980.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428