In 1946, Otto Schick and his wife Eve emigrated from Europe and settled in Kansas City. Around 1950 they started Artex Manufacturing Company at 911 Broadway in downtown KC. Their business focused on processing and embroidering sportswear and by the 1960s had added manufacturing. They operated plants in California, Illinios, New York and Missouri making items like sweatshirts, jackets, T-shirts and polos. In 1961 they were acquired by Nat Nast, maker of bowling shirts but the deal was short-lived and Artex went independent after only two years. They made a name for themselves with custom sportswear and sold their product through college bookstores, retail stores and military outlets. In 1977, after failing to acquire Champion, Josten's, Inc purchased Artex for $650,000. Otto Schick continued with the business doubling sales to almost $30 million by 1980. During this new ownership period, the company acquired licenses to Looney Tunes, Peanuts, MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and Anheuser Busch which further diversified their product line. T-Shirts and sweatshirts with Peanuts and Muppets characters became some of their best-selling products throughout the 1980s. They were one of the first to combine two licenses using these cartoon characters to promote sports and colleges. Other interesting highlights from the 80s is their manufacturing of "Mumford Phys Ed Dept" as seen in Beverly Hills Cop and Yankees apparel for which they sued George Steinbrenner after he didn't pay the bill. Josten's began branding some of their products "Josten's sportswear" with little success and by 1993 decided to divest of Artex and focus on their school products business. Fruit of the Loom agreed to buy Artex in Janurary 1994 for $44,500,000. They closed the company's plants in Kansas and Missouri but continued to market apparel under the Artex name until the late 1990s when it was phased out.
#artex #vintageartex #jostens #artexsportswear #jostenssportswear #kansascity #beverlyhillscop #fruitoftheloom - 2 minutes ago