Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vintage Blue - A League Of Their Own

During World War II, although there was not a draft, many men decided to serve in the military rather than be professional athletes or other “glamorous” vocations. The United States was truly united to fight against the Nazis and women’s roles started to change. At this time in history, there was basically no choice other than having women enter the workforce so the door was open to show what we could do. Most everyone has seen the image of Rosie the Riveter flexing her bicep and exclaiming, “We Can Do It!”

In addition to working in factories and keeping the country’s manufacturing industry intact, women played professional baseball. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League had over a million fans in its heyday. Was it a bit sexist? Uh, yeah! However, I prefer my glass to be half full and see that women were able to show off that they, too, were athletes. These were remarkable women that played a sport they loved in spite of being made to wear short skirts and lipstick. In addition, the league provided an escape from the harsh reality of war.

I was introduced to a company recently that took that spirit called Vintage Blue. The owner, Liza Goncalves sent me an email that read:

Vintage Blue is an eco friendly, vintage-inspired sportswear clothing line. We are launching with our first collection based off of our exclusive license to The All American Girls Professional Baseball League featured in the movie A League of Their Own starring Madonna and Tom Hanks. Right now our line consists of organic tees and totes printed with graphics inspired from the 40’s and 50’s.

Vintage Blue not only uses eco-friendly products but uses only chemical free printing methods, and uses sustainable methods in all business practices including print material (when necessary!) and hang tags and promotional products.

Vintage Blue also donates 5% of each online sale to Kiva, an organization that supports entrepreneurs in developing countries.”

Their tees have great vintage designs including one with the famous “There’s no crying in baseball” line. I’ve got the ”Doris” tee that features the priceless line “Catch A Foul! Get A Kiss!”, and is complete with a vintage-style pinup girl in a team uniform. The quality is very nice and a medium fits my 5’10”athletic frame just right. You can tell there was thought and care put behind the design since I usually have to get a large so I’m not walking around in a “belly shirt”. The “worn” tag is carefully attached to the shirt with a small safety pin and a hemp-like string. I’m definitely loving my new shirt and eying their totes and can’t wait to see their hoodies and dresses.

Although I’m quite partial to vintage clothing and sports, I’m positive that this line has a wider audience. Goncalves says that her line is meant for “women who are passionate about sports, music, and fashion”, and keeps a blog to track “The Making of Our Brand” linked to the main site. In addition, if you take a look around the website there are hidden gems all over. The vintage design elements of the site are very spirited and fun to look through. The brand is dedicated to empowering other women while being socially and environmentally conscious. What is not to like?

Vintage Blue is hosting a New Year’s Eve party, so if you’re in the Philly area, check out the site and get your tickets before they’re gone. There will be events in Boston, Chicago, New York, and here in Los Angeles in the future. Meanwhile, check out the website for some very stylish tees and totes. (By the way, if you use the code "holiday1" between now and January 1 you will get 20% off all tees and totes.)

What do you think about the women’s professional baseball era in WWII?

Update: I just got word that there's a cool promotion on the "Doris" tee where you get a free tote with purchase! Check the offer here.


Doret said...

Very Cool and I am so linking to this post. When my money stops being funny I'll have to get that there is no crying in baseball tee. Though I would love to see a Mamie "Peanut" Johnson tee.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Nice call, that would rock! I am loving the "no crying in baseball" tee also!

Lindsay said...

I never really thought about what happened to professional sports during WWII when there were so many men off to war. It makes sense that women began playing baseball. That's something I never learned in school and wouldn't have thought much about had you not pointed it out.

There's so much about women's history we don't know unless we seek it out on our own.

Anyway, Vintage Blue sounds like a cool company.

Apryl DeLancey said...

I was glad to be introduced to the company so that I could bring up this part in women's sports history. Much like Babe Zaharias, early to mid 1900s women in sports are overlooked. I'm glad Vintage Blue is bringing back to our attention.

Anonymous said...

Liza is a personal friend of mine. She really believes in her work, and I am proud to be associated with her.

Chris Rucker

Apryl DeLancey said...

Her line is awesome! Thanks for stopping by, Chris.