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Echo Design Group’s Colorful Past

Highlights from the company's nine-decade history.

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Highlights from Echo Design Group’s nine-decade history.

1923: On Sept. 27, Echo Scarfs is founded by Theresa and Edgar C. Hyman on their wedding day.

1930s: At the urging of Theresa Hyman, Echo becomes the first scarf company to print its logo on a scarf.

1940s: Founder Edgar C. Hyman designs many scarfs throughout the decade depicting patriotic war-time culture.

1949: Paul Roberts, who is engaged to Dorothy Hyman, daughter of the founders, joins the company. The couple marries a year later.

RELATED STORY: Q&A With Echo’s Dorothy ‘Dot’ Roberts >>

1956: On July 25, the steamship Andrea Doria sinks on a transatlantic voyage with Echo’s entire fall line. The companies that manufacture the line in Italy work through their summer vacations, and replace the entire shipment.

1960: Echo starts creating bold graphic designs that would become one of its signatures.

• During the Sixties, the company expands distribution to Canada. 

• Elsie Lewis, sister of Theresa Hyman, serves as president throughout the decade.

1966: Echo partners with the Art Students League and students create scarf designs. Winning designs are produced as silk scarfs.

1970s: Echo launches “The Echo of an Interesting Woman” campaign, created by Peter Rogers.

• Edgar Hyman becomes chairman and Paul Roberts becomes president of the company.

• The company expands distribution to Europe.

1974: Inspired by a request from the Smithsonian Institution to create a replica of an 1876 World’s Fair commemorative scarf, Echo launches its custom design division.

1976: Lynn Roberts, daughter of Dorothy and Paul, joins the company. She is currently vice president of advertising and public relations.

1978: Dorothy Hyman Roberts becomes president and ceo upon the death of her husband, Paul.

• Steven Roberts, Dorothy and Paul’s son and current ceo, joins the firm.

1977: Theresa Hyman dies.

1979: Edgar Hyman dies.

1981:
Meg Roberts, Steven’s wife and current design director for home and handbags, joins the firm.

1984:
Echo becomes the licensee for Polo Ralph Lauren.

1986: Echo segments its line into three collections: Echo, Club 7 and Signature.

1987:
In partnership with Iman, the company produces kikois, which are similar to sarongs with diverse patterns and stripes, using authentic fabrics from Kenya.

1991: Creative director Leslie Dessner comes on board.

1992:
Echo launches its home division. The merchandise eventually grows to include bedding, bath textiles, fabrics, rugs, wall coverings and tabletop.

1993: Steven Roberts becomes president and Dorothy Roberts is named chairman.

1995: Dorothy Roberts is honored with Fashion Accessories Benefit Ball’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Echo wins “Best Scarf” award.

RELATED STORY: Making the Lifestyle Jump at Echo >>

1997: Echo produces a comprehensive cold weather line.

2000:
Dorothy Roberts wins Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

2001:
Echo launches its official Web site and e-commerce business at echodesign.com.

2003: The firm partners with Molly Sims and Joy Behar to create scarves to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

2004: Steven Roberts adds the title of ceo.

2006: A beach line is introduced with cover-ups, pareos and beach bags.

2008: Echo brings “touch” gloves to market, which incorporate a special fabric that allows operation of touch-screen devices without exposing the fingertips.

• The company releases “Color at Home,” its third home design book.

2009: Dorothy Roberts is inducted into the Accessories Council Hall of Fame.

2010: The firm introduces a swimwear collection to coordinate with its beach line.

• Jeff Sherman, a longtime Bloomingdale’s and Hudson’s Bay executive, joins the company as president.

2011:
Dorothy Roberts is presented with the Leader of Innovation Medal at Philadelphia University’s Evening of Innovation.

2012: Charlie Roberts, representing the fourth generation of the family, joins as a management trainee.

2013: Echo launches a handbag collection.

• The company marks its 90th anniversary.

 

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