March 26, 2012
Little Known Labels: Nat Kaplan
The Nat Kaplan label is quietly one of the priciest labels we've seen in vintage deadstock, with hangtags in the hundreds of dollars per dress. When you apply inflation to those vintage dollars, these are expensive designs, ranging to prices that equal thousands of today's dollars.
The Nat Kaplan look is conservative but occasionally sexy, meant for ladies who lunch and who had large budgets for clothing. Most of the items are either dresses or suits, impeccably elegant and impressively tailored and finished. The items above are pure silk dress and coat sets from the 1960s.
Nat Kaplan's labels are either "Nat Kaplan/ New York" or "Nat Kaplan/ Couture", which were probably two distinct lines from the same New York-based company. The hangtag below has a 1960s price of $250. In vintage clothing shops, today's retail of the same item is usually much less than the original vintage price.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, this company focused increasing on synthetics (as did much of the fashion world), but its prices remained just as high. Often the finishing was more likely done by machine during these years, but sometimes hand-finished details were expertly executed in a 100% polyester garment.
We usually see Nat Kaplan garments mixed into the same deadstock racks as haute labels like Oleg Cassini, Pucci, Estevez, Mollie Parnis, Diane von Furstenberg and similar designers. The look is just as chic, but this label is still little-known among vintage fashion collectors - a prime name to start seeking out.
Find our latest selection of Nat Kaplan originals and start your own haute label collection!