The Stunning Fashion Illustrations of J.C. Leyendecker

Illustration for Arrow Collar by J.C. Leyendecker, 1907

Illustration for Arrow Collar, 1907

Joseph Christian Leyendecker was born 142 years ago today in Montbaur, Germany.

Football Player by J.C. Leyendecker, 1913

Football Player, 1913

After studying at the Chicago Art Institute and the Académie Julian in Paris, he launched a tremendously successful career in illustration, producing 322 covers for the Saturday Evening Post and numerous illustrations for Arrow Collars, Kuppenheimer Suits and Interwoven Socks.

Arrow Shirt Advertisement from the 1920s by J.C. Leyendecker

Arrow Shirts, 1920

Arrow Collars & Shirts Illustration by J.C. Leyendecker

Arrow Collars & Shirts

The 1930s, a tough decade for nearly everyone, saw a decline in his career and Leyendecker became increasingly reclusive although he did continue illustrating covers for the Post.

Claire Chennault of the WWII Flying Tigers by J.C. Leyendecker 1944

Claire Chennault of the Flying Tigers

With World War II came a series of commissions from the US War Department for recruitment and war bonds, and Leyendecker’s final cover for the Saturday Evening Post in 1943.

Weapons for Liberty by J.C. Leyendecker

Weapons for Liberty

J.C. Leyendecker died on July 25, 1951 in New Rochelle, New York.  One of his pallbearers was Norman Rockwell, to whom he had been both a friend and major influence.

J.C. Leyendecker in His Studio

J.C. Leyendecker in His Studio

When vintage clothing enthusiasts share an illustration from the roaring twenties on Facebook or Instagram, there’s a good chance it was done by Leyendecker, whose work resonates as strongly today as it did nearly 100 years ago.