Contempora and Everfast

This Contempora piece created by Cipe Pineles circa 1931 was a 3D medium of cardboard and textiles. I retrieved it from Martha Scotfords book Cipe Pineles, A life in Design. Most of Pineles work that she created at Contempora is very hard to find, but they are perhaps some of the most important step stones in her career. Her work at Contempora was her first professional job at a creative firm, out of college from the Pratt Institute. This creative firm is not necessarily responsible for Pineles talent, but they are responsible for exposing her to a number of fields she wouldn’t have known otherwise, like architecture, product design, and grunt work.

These pieces she did with Contempora are an important part of her history and journey to becoming the art director, artist, and illustrator that she was. In these projects, the goal was for her to use her artistic skills and textile knowledge in order to help create a campaign with Everfast. Everfast was a textile brand, and cotton Mill that wanted their products to be seem more in a fashionable sense, than just as work and utility clothing. This campaign of collaboration between Everfast and Contempora was the first time Pineles was exposed to the fashion side of Art and Design. She was to create fashionable outfits, using compelling color schemes, and pattern design (which you can’t see in the black and white photo as clearly). Pineles created cardboard cutouts and put the fabrics on them. They picked up popularity when people would see her designs in store fronts showcasing fabric samples. Through this endeavor Pineles helped Contempora and Everfast reach their desired goal of creating fashionable textiles. Her work bridged the gap for Everfast to the fashion industry, and also bridged her personal gap from illustrations to the fashion industry. Scotford describes these projects as the “ticket” into her next profession, because these were also the pieces that she gained recognition from the well renowned Magazine Publisher Conde Nast. He saw her work for Everfast at a party that his wife Leslie Nast was hosting, and was so impressed by them that he offered her a job in magazine publication. Nast owned the publication of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and House & Garden Magazine. I picked this piece because it really marks the beginning of fashion and editorial in Pineles multitude of careers.

Cipe Pineles, work for Contempora Ltd., an advertising collaboration with Everfast Cotton Mill. circa 1931.

Image from:

Scotford, Martha. Cipe Pineles a Life of Design . First Edition, W. W. Norton & Company, 1999.