Long-established American brand of shirts. It began at the end of the 1800s through the merger of Maullin-Blanchard of Troy, New York with Coo & Company. In 1913 the business was relaunched by Cluett-Peabody & Co., which hired the well-known publicity agent J.C. Leyendecker to promote The Arrow Collar Man and shirts that had special removable collars. In the 1920s, the Arrow catalogue included more than 400 collar models. The stiff collar went out of fashion and the company turned to a sewn-collar shirt. In the 1930s the firm was saved by its patent for the “sanforized” process, named after its inventor, Sanford L. Cluett. It is a method to avoid the shrinking of cotton during washing. Arrow was also the manufacturer of the first colored shirts. In 1962 the brand followed a policy of expansion into export markets. Today, as part of the French group Bidermann, it is present in 78 countries.
At the turn of the century Arrow’s garments were exported to India, the Middle East, Australia and Hong Kong. The new casual lines America’s Khakis and America’s Golf are launched. Distribution in the Philippines and South Africa was started, along with a new joint venture for the Chinese market.
Selling figures showed that Arrow dominates the market for white shirts in India. That is traditionally the best selling garment in the country. Some 11% of the brand’s 55 million shirts produced in India each year are white. Arrow shares the top spot in the market with Louis Philippe, followed by Van Heusen and Zodiac, A total of 295 million shirts, branded and not branded, are sold in the country each year.