Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vintage Designer Puzzle - Who is Rappi?

During my years as a seller of vintage clothing, I've run into this label a few times, but I can never find any information about this designer or design house. All of the garments I've had by Rappi have been from the 50's and 60's, and all but one were cocktail or evening dresses.

So, I'm sending out a plea to the vintage community. If anyone knows anything about Rappi, please comment here or contact me through the website.

UPDATE: You'll find some great information about Rappi in the comments. This photo of her comes from a vintage sewing pattern.
UPDATE 2:  I was contacted by one of Rappi's relatives.  Her real name was Sydonia Rappaport Samalman and she died in 2000.


Mary Catherine said...

Hi! MC here, APrizeEveryTime. I have this information about Rappi in my notes, copied from a very informative post at least a year ago by Scott (bbrueg) on a vintage message board. I can take no credit for this! He wrote, in response to a post about a Rappi dress:

"Rappi was actually a talented Viennese-born woman named Syd Rappaport, who made a name for herself with glamourous formal wear which was much beloved by debutantes with a particular eye for style. Although there was no business connection with Will Steinman, they were certainly among that small group of formalwear firms which controlled the higher-end of the business (other firms in that august group included Lee Claire, Ceil Chapman, Camco Evening Fashions, Malcolm Starr, and Modern Couture).
But Rappi also did very stylish day and day-to-evening wear, which sold in better fashion shops in the $30-$100 price range. I'm guessing your dress was designed somewhere between 1956-58, probably more towards the latter date. The 1956 day collection featured the slim silhouette with "interesting" draped necklines, and the look was used in the next several seasons. The reason I'm thinking 1958 on this little stunner of yours is the use of organdy--a navy or black dress trimmed at the neck or hem with a ruffle of organdy was big Rappi news that particular year.
It's certainly classic Rappi: very modern, yet with a nod towards Old World Viennese romanticism."


Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

Thank you!!!!!

NorthStar Vintage said...

I was just doing some research and came across your post. Serendipity!

deb said...

Well Scott would know...I searched ror Rappi because i just purchased a cute little black and white sleeveless day dress that was sold out of the Maison Mendessolle Sport Shop. Its like a black waffle weave with larger white embroidered dots. It has an interesting little tie at the back of the neck and a zipper that only goes to the waist and a series of hooks and eyes that would have left a key hole on the back. I am going to get it laundered but thought I would do a little research first. If you would like to see a photo let mw know and I will post one when I can. Thanks

What-I-Found said...

I found this posting while looking for information on Rappi. I have a Modes Royale pattern (e-2415), so apparently she did some work for them.

Thanks, there wasn't much out there!

Petite Main said...

Hello, you can fin a sewing pattern by Rappi here:

It's an Advance pattern of the 1950s. By the way, I love your blog!

AlexSandra said...

Thank you for providing this information. I hope you don't mind me linking to this article in my Etsy listing for a black silk Rappi dress.

Delaney said...

Hi! I don't know much about Rappi, but I can tell you that her items were sold through the Cele Peterson shops is Tucson, AZ. I have ordered a pale pink, 50s day dress by Rappi and it appeared to be of good quality.


Alkimo said...

Hi there!

I am surprised how little information there is out there on Rappi so I was glad to find this article.

I am located in Australia and have bequeathed a Rapi Handbag. I was researching it in order to put a price on it however cannot find a handbag by her on the internet at all.

Can anyone help? Any assistance would be greately appreicated. My husband has just lost his job after just losing his Mother and whilst I would like to keep the handbag I think right now we need funds more than anything hence trying to find out how to price it.



Post a Comment