Thursday, April 12, 2012

Designer Profile: EMMA DOMB

I love Fashion History and today's look into the past is via American dress designer Emma Domb.  Emma Domb was a California dressmaking company with headquarters in San Fransisco. The company was actively producing dresses and gowns from 1939 through the 1970s. Domb Manufacturing Company was owned by Emma Domb and Lorraine Domb Steinberg. They specialized in wedding, party, prom and cocktail dresses. They were also known for fancy-date ensembles.

The Domb dresses are now highly collectible among Vintage collectors and contemporary fashionistas. The prices range from $60 into the hundreds for a piece of the past.

Stylist Patricia Field brought Domb back to the big screen on the back of iconic fashionista character Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City Movie (1)  - Chartlotte's baby shower scene. I bet that this blue stunner was once a gown made mini for the film.

I, myself had the pleasure of acquiring a Domb gown for Evolution Vintage. I had to dresscue the piece as there was some serious damage to the hem and bottom of the dress due to age and dry cleaning attempts (can't be seen in the image). I DRESS-esurrected it as a contemporary mini cocktail dress. the bodice has the most amazing fabric with Aurora Borealis sequins. The colour of burnt orange is BOLD and amazing for any event.



Got a cocktail party? prom? or have a red carpet event coming up? Have a look at some of my FAV Emma Domb pieces on the web:

1950's/60's Party Dress from PIN UP DRESSES

1960's Mocha/Chocolate Maxi Dress from REVOLVING VINTAGE

50's Lovely Lace & Tulle Dress from Buy-N-Buy

50/60's Grecian draped gown from RED HOUSE VINTAGE


  1. Love it!
    Just found this while researching Emma Domb. I found a damaged dress for Halloween at a thrift shop (for five bucks) and noticed the label... Looks like it's definitely worth it to try to restore and I probably don't want to dress like a dead prom queen in it!

  2. Hi Kay,

    I'm so glad that you found this post! I would love to see an image of the dress :) You should keep it and RE-Style it with current accessories! FABULOUS!

  3. I have a number of Domb dresses from the late 70's. I inherited them from my mother's dress shop. Is there an after market for these dresses ? If so please post details.

  4. HI Ingrid. There is a market for the dresses for sure. how many do you have? I would love to see them.

  5. I have an Emma Domb dress with union label for sale it is orange if any one is interested. Bought if for a birthday photo shoot. Too small now unfortunately. Link to photos.

  6. How much are you asking for the dress? what is the condition?

  7. Love to see the comments on Emma Domb,my Mom worked for Emma until 1953 when we joined my Dad in Venezuela. I started modeling for Emma when I was about 2-1/2. I was the "flower girl" in the Wedding Parties at the Union Square fashion show, I would open to give the "big models" a bit of a break at the opening...later when we came back to SF Emma asked my Mom to help her daughter and son-in-law with a new dress business called Lori Deb, this was about 1958 or 9, Emma had trained my Mom as a bookkeeper/office manager specifically for "the rag" business so thought she would be a big help to Alex as he got the company up and running..wore a lot of Lori Deb dresses to parties through the mid 60's....

  8. Thanks for sharing your story Maureen. I would love to see any of the Domb images you have. I would love to see you as the "flower girl", how SWEET!! Do you still have/wear any Domb dresses?

  9. Lisa, I have a photo of me in the flower girls dress in front of KPIX TV in SF---I was always told I was the first "live model" on TV in SF---would have been 1949 or 50, have no idea if that is true or not! I don't have any of Emma's dresses, wish I did!

  10. lisa, i went to a little neiborhood free store by me and found a emma domb wedding dress, from what i have found out by the tag its a 60's era not 100% sure, it was wrinkled and lite soil on bottom where bride dragged but otherwise perfect. i have looked at hundreds of her line and cant find this dress . i am getting cleaned and want to sell it for a collector or next bride but dont know what to sell for or what site to sell on.. please help me thank you

  11. Hi, this is Sabra. A fine lady in Florida, years ago, gave me one of Emma Domb's dress. It is long and yellow. Could be for a wedding, prom, etc. I forgot where she wore it. I was just wondering about it. If you could give me any infor on it or how I could fine out about it.

    When she passed Mrs. Bono was between 78 or more years old. Her husband and her owned several Bono Barbeque's in Florida. My email is: Thanks for your time. Sabra

  12. I just found an Emma Domb dress hanging out in the open on a hanger. I thought it looked vintage and decided to grab it. It needs cleaned badly. I'm not sure what kind of dress it was meant to be used for. It is green with short sleeves and is floor length. I'm hoping a good dry cleaning will bring it back to life and maybe a good seamstress!