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Back in Ohio City with a whole new collection of Ohio Knitting Mills original virgin vintage, c. 1947-79, plus our first new collection of summerwear for women!

We’re also offering footwear by Palladium¬† (from France, bien sur!), bags by Cleveland’s Green Garage, workwear from Pointer Brand (99 year old Tennessee label), and a special collection of kids wear from 1958. Plus, of course, our quirky and beautiful accessories and other surprises.

We’re at 1983 W. 28th St, same as the holiday shop; hours are mon-wed, 11-7, thur-sat, 11-9.

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Thank you to all the Cleveland workers who came before us!

c.1885

c.1920’s

c.1930’s

c.1940’s

c.1950’s

c.1960’s

c.1970’s

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When Ohio Knitting Mills started out in the late 1920’s, the mill made menswear exclusively. Wool sweaters originally, and soon after that, summer weight knit tops for the warmer seasons: what today we would simply call tees and polo shirts. Back then-the 1930’s- a colorful, stylish knit top for a gent was somewhat the provenance of the ‘sporting class’, and associated with the leisure lifestyles of the elite and wealthy, and their high-end recreational sports; hence the term ‘polo shirts’. This sportswear style was also referred to as ‘tennis’ or ‘golf’ shirts.

The Duke of Windsor, c. 1938. His lavish and elegant, as well as scandalous, lifestyle was a source of endless fascination and envy for the middle class on both sides of the Atlantic. Due to his celebrity, he was often thought of as prototypical of royal life, and the pinnacle of sophisticated style

After World War II, the middle class in America expanded rapidly, and this upwardly mobile population sought apparel that signaled their new affluence and admittance into the leisure class- albeit for part of a weekend. Sportswear modeled on the attire of the Royals and their realm were widely adopted, and Ohio Knitting Mills gladly met this demand.

Knit sportswear was now a common item for a broad cross-section of American men. Sometimes referred to as “poorboy shirts”, the patterns and colors were almost endless. Frequently worn with high-waisted pants, generally tucked in, the poorboy was short in the torso with a banded waist. As a salute to this rapidly waning summer, here’s some of our favorites, along with a few tennis shirts from the OKM archives; all are circa 1946-52.

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Oh! City of Lights, City of Ambition and Striving, City of Guys in Flannel, Workboots, and……MidCentury Modern Knitwear! Ohio Knitting Mills had a terrific visit with old friends and new in NYC this past week while showing our amazing Virgin Vintage knitwear at the Pop Up Flea in Nolita. We were joined by other roots brands like Tellason, Billykirk, Gitman Bros, Shott NYC, Alexander Olchs, and Rogues Gallery.

We were also joined by some labels I can only call the ‘grown-ups’, like JCrew and Jack Spade – is it possible these big corp labels were slumming with us bootstrappers to get some rub-off cred?! No matter, because all are very welcome and all the vendors showed up large, looked fine, brought handsome goods and the vibe was just about the love.¬† Great appreciation and respect to Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean and Randy Goldberg of Urban Daddy for putting the event together, and to Whitney Shanks of Openhouse Gallery for making us welcome and comfortable.

As always, New York was bracing, surprising, sassy and sartorial- and it felt like coming home to be back in the ‘burg. And many, many great folks (and I do mean many!) came out to see us.¬† Nice sweaters, folks!

Such a dapper gent !

We’re working on some plans to bring OKM back to the City on a more regular basis. Meanwhile, stay in touch and shop us on our website.

Cue the Miles Davis….

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