Pictured above: Arrow Collar advertisement
VAV!/November 4, 2011
The Arrow Collar Man, a title given to a very few select male models, was the very essence of an erudite, suave, and debonair gentleman. He was impeccably coiffed, breathtakingly cool, aloof yet approachable, and always donned an exquisitely creased collar. For a quarter of a century between 1905 and 1931, the Arrow Collar Man (later these alpha males simply became known as the Arrow Men) was the advertising icon for the Arrow Co., maker of detachable collars manufactured by Cluett Peabody & Company of Troy...and eventually one of the largest makers of men's shirts in the world.
The Arrow Collar Man was one of the most iconic advertising images in history...he served as the antithesis to the ever popular and beguiling Gibson Girl. During 1920, the Arrow Collar Man received more fan mail than Rudolph Valentino. His erotic appeal was so great, its whispered in some circles, that the Arrow Collar Man had inspired the 1923 Broadway musical, "Helen of Troy." Even President Theodore Roosevelt got into the act and referred to him as a "superb portrait of the common man".
The ads themselves, featuring the Arrow Collar Man, were a collaborative effort of New York ad agency Calkins and Holden; Cluett, and Peabody advertising director, Charles Connolly ; and the iconic commercial illustrator J. C. Leyendecker (March 23, 1874 – July 25, 1951). Leyendecker's model for the first Arrow Collar Man was his live-in companion, a Canadian named Charles Beach.
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