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Location September 1928:

Kadin Bros.
22 West 26th Street
New York

Location December 1935:

Kadin Brothers, Inc.
20 West 33rd Street
New York
CHickering 4-1144

The long history of Kadin Bags can be traced through the trade journals of the handbags industry from the early 20th Century. Business Profiles of New York dates the company's formation at June 2, 1924 and their location at the time of their dissolution on March 25, 1992 as:

132 W.36TH ST.

This display ad graced page 75 of the September 1928 issue of Trunks and Leather Goods.

The 1930s

"Luggage and Leather Goods" for July 1935 includes a display ad notice of Kadin Brothers move from their 132 West 36 St location to 20 West 33rd. A small news item on page 60 says the move was made the first week of July. The paneling and interior furnishings were moved to the new location whose spacious size allowed for stockroom, shipping and showroom at the same location.

The same trade publication lists William Kadin as a member of the drafting committee for the Articles of Agreement for the National Authority For The Ladies Handbag Industry, part of the National Recovery Administration efforts to revive the accessories industry after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

Kadin Brothers’ ad in the December 1935 (pg 67) “Luggage & Leather Goods” indicates the bags were designed to retail for prices from $1.95 to $2.95. Some examples of their winter 1935 line are illustrated on page 49 of the same issue.

August 1936 ad in Luggage and Leather Goods, page 59

A00500: Unusual design and texture make this a very desirable clutch! The leather is embossed in heavy elephant texture with horizontal pinstripe trim pressed into the front of the bag. The interior is divided into 4 compartments. The 2 outer (front and back) sections are large, spacious and open. The 2 inner sections unzip from opposite directions with Merta metal zippers. The interior is fully lined in spotless black taffeta and is marked in gold Rambler USA. Matching taffeta coin purser is permanently affixed inside one of the zipper sections. Excellent condition inside and out. Measures 12 x 2 x 8". Valued at $55

Available at

The 1940s

Easter styles for 1942 are introduced in the February 1942 Luggage & Leather Goods, page 42. Emphasis is on "Morale! . . . one of the most important words in our vocabulary today. What has it to do with the handbag department ? Plenty, we say! It's the gay novelties that lift many a spirit out of the doldrums. Handbags this season will play their part in adding color and life to even the most tailored costume."

"A practical and comfortable underarm in alligator grain. The bag has a top zipper and an outside pocket that serves many purposes. One of a new group in red, brown, beige, tan, navy or Jersey cream, to retail about $2.95. From the line of Kadin Bros."

Display ad page 60 of the same issue.

Bags for Mothers Day 1942 "Stress Young Gay Types to Cheer Up Our War Time Mothers" on page 42 of the April 1942 "Luggage & Leather Goods."

White "Aqua Pruf" washable cape dressmaker bag in the much wanted long narrow underarm silhouette. This is a frame bag with a carved catalin bar. Shown also in dark colors. By Kadin Bros

Page 55 of the same April 1942 issue "Handbag News" column:

Rambler Operations Continue

"Kadin Bros., manufacturers of the well-known Rambler staple bags, announce that the new line is ready with five new numbers and three repeats, to retail at $5. As in the past, genuine top grain buffalo has been used and each bag contains one or two inside zippers, swagger pockets and other details for which this line is famous. Key chain, mirror, comb and numerous inside pockets add to the functional design of these bags.
An excellent group of calf bags to retail at $5.95 is feeing shown in about ten styles including top handle "styles, underarm frames and top zippers.
Both the Rambler and the calf bags are for delivery as manufactured, as ready, complete by May 1. It is understood that many stores are taking in these bags to hold for fall selling. A complete assortment of white "Aqua Pruf" cape bags to retail at $3 and $3.95 is also in the Kadin line. Tailored and soft styles are shown and many are repeated in lizard grain. In the $3.95 group, a soft dressmaker aspect prevails and the bags are trimmed with catalin."

Kadin put their designers to work, inventing innovative solutions to WWII supply restrictions and shortages. (June 1942 Luggage & Leather Goods, page 58)

Kadin Fall Line Ready June 15

"According to Sidney Kadin of the firm, their designers are putting on full steam to complete the fall line by June 15. The firm expects to present many new ideas in construction to offset the shortage and WPB rulings on zippers, frames, etc. "The same fast delivery service will prevail on the new line as customers have enjoyed in the past," says Mr. Kadin."

Second Son Born to the Kadins

Sidney Kadin, of Kadin Brothers, Inc., is the 'father of a second son, born on July 4 (Handbag News August 1942 "Luggage & Leather Goods," page 54)

They exhibited at the Fashion Flair 1947FashionFair, June 12, 1947 at Madison Square Garden. "Handbags Illustrated" July 1947 page 56

William Kadin was honored by his industry on Tuesday, June 28, 1949 at this function in the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Pierre. ("Handbag Buyer" June 1949, page 13)

For more details on this dinner, see the June 1949 coverage "Handbag Buyer" page 56. 1949UnitedJewishAppealHandbagDivision

The 1950s

The July 1954 issue, page 37, of "Handbags & Accessories," the trade journal for the industry, includes a display ad for Kadin Handbags that had me stumped. I searched for weeks for an example of this bag, only to have this one pointed out to me by a customer! I now believe the Rambler line was part of Kadin bag production, probably from the late 30's into the 50's.

Kadin's line for Spring 1955 is featured in the "Out of the Bag" column of the January 1955 Handbags & Accessories, page 45.

Kadin adds "This", "That", "It"

"Destined to top all their recent success stories is Kadin Brothers' new fashion collection which breaks down into three parts, each bearing a somewhat ambiguous but provocative name, each priced for $7.95 retail.

"This" is a tall open tote with star fob weighted tab overlapping the pinched top, done in a white screen painted lacy pattern, called "powdered sugar," on black, cocoa, gray, natural or pink butcher linen grounds with matching solid bands in a box pattern. Available, too, in natural or black burlap with black patent plastic trim or red with matching calf accents. In addition, it is seen in all patent plastic, patent plastic with a white straw-like basket weave over black, and in a multi-color candy cotton vinyl.

"That" is a crescent top open tote with whangee handles, available in powdered sugar, black burlap and black and white plastic patent and an Oriental dragonfly print.

"It" is a huge framed pouch with whangee handles, seen in powdered sugar, burlap and plastic patent.

Beyond these big headliners, Kadin also offers a big new group of plastic patent bags. Fourteen styles are priced to sell at $5.00 retail. Each is lined in blue or gray chintz with a stylized tree print. Styles go the gamut—large totes, pouches, covered frames, shirred treatments, vagabonds.

The Oriental dragonfly print also is seen in a group of six bags at $5 ... keyhole tote, bucket tote, wide base vanity, framed pouch and others.

Top grain ranch cowhide makes up the casual drawstring shoulder strap group of $5.00 sellers, several with outside zipper pockets hidden under flaps. Colors include cream, smoke, honey, tan and staples.

We're reminded that January and February are good Rambler months and time to reorder these perennial best sellers."

"Irv Hern is Kadin Bros, new sales representative in California and also is covering Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix, El Paso and Tucson. As noted, Mr. Hern has been associated with the firm for several years, working in the N. Y. offices until his recent promotion." (January 1955 Handbags & Accessories page 58)

Rambler was first used in commerce in 1937 and was registered as a trademark in 1948 and renewed in 1969. The trademark is now dead.

May 1955 Travel bag feature in Handbags & Accessories included this Vagabond Rambler in Llama Leather!

Federation luncheon scheduled

"The Federation of Jewish Philanthropies will hold a luncheon for New York handbag buyers at the Vanderbilt Hotel, New York City, on December 9th. There will be a discussion of buyer participation in Federation's annual campaign and dinner. Sidney Kadin is chairman for the handbag industry; Nat Berkowitz, Bienen-Davis, and Albert Waldman, Waldman Bags, co-chairmen of the buyer's cabinet issued invitations to the luncheon." (Handbags & Accessories December 1955, page 42)

Glorious examples from 10 prominant makers illustrated the article "New textures give new faces to casual bags for fall" on pages 14-15 of the August 1956 issue of "Handbags & Accessories." Kadin's contribution:

"CUT OUT PICTURE HANDLES frame tabbed tote of velveteen and patent. From Italia Roma group is antique finish leather satchel with throwover lock. Both from Kadin Bros., 20 W. 33rd St."

Bags for Spring 1956 were presented on January 3, 1956 by agreement as a member of the National Authority for the Ladies Handbag Industry. 1956NationalAuthorityMembers

The 1960s

The "Out of the Bag" column in the June 1961 issue of "Handbags & Accessories" included this tidbit. (page 55)

"GOOD LUCK ... to Ernie Kosow in his new position as south-east sales representative for Kadin Bros."

In the 60’s Kadin featured colorful and spacious tapestry bags.

990477: Kadin USA velvet tapestry doctor's bag, a 70’s Fashion Essential! Gold double cylinder spring latch opens to reveal a spacious black faille interior with two open and one metal zip pocket. Black vinyl trim, four large brass luggage style feet complete the look. Excellent condition. Measures 12 1/4 x 4 1/2 x 8 3/4". SOLD for $45 in 2000

B00208: Exaggerated loaf shaped Kadin Floral tapestry bag in beige, pink, burgundy, blue-gray and black. The eleven-inch handle has tapestry on the top and black vinyl on the bottom. The shiny cylinder-trimmed lift-up latch opens to a black taffeta lined interior with one open and one metal zip pocket. Its fabric label reads "Kadin Made in USA." Excellent unused condition with only very minor speckling of the frames finish. Measures a voluminous 14 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 5 inches. SOLD for $75 in 2002

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Page last modified on January 06, 2013, at 02:37 AM