There is a blog I follow called Glamour Surf - her website is http://www.glamoursurf.com/ . It is written by a lady who lives in California who has some great vintage swimsuits. She has some truly amazing ones actually! She has great knowledge about vintage swimwear and I have learnt alot from her. She has some really great resources and is ideally placed in California to locate some of those amazing 1950s Hollywood pin up styles. Anyway, I was reading her blog this week and she wrote about some beach towels that Jantzen have for sale. They are modern but the design on them is very retro pin up, based on their old adverts from the 1950s. I loved the look of them and went about researching how to get hold of them but unfortunately they only seem to be available in the US. I did find one site that shipped to the UK but the shipping was more than the cost of the towel! I thought I'd just drop an email to Jantzen to see if they had any suppliers in the UK. I was amazed to get a really helpful response where they said they had sold out but they would look in to it and if they came accross any they would be happy to send them to me. Not only that, but they were also interested in what vintage Jantzen swimsuits I had as they have an archive and occassionally do exhibitions and use them in their marketing. At the moment I have about 7 of their swimsuits but my stock is ever changing. Here are some of the Jantzen vintage swimsuits I have at the moment.
I have a great book by Sarah Kennedy - 'The Swimsuit' and in it she writes about Jantzen. Apparently the company was originally a knitting mill that was called the 'Portland Knitting Company'. In 1915 they began to make bathing suits for sale in their catalogue and changed their name to Jantzen knitting mills. In 1921 they began to advertise the garments as 'swimming suits' and were the first company to do so! I think some of their 1940s/50s designs are among the best swimsuits out there!