David Silverman: Revealed at last!

Many, many months ago, I had a wonderfully exciting email from a gentleman called John Offenbach.

Under a couple of listings I have found for David Silverman, you say ‘I wish I knew who David Silverman was..’ well, he was my dad, and he died at the age of 44, thirty years ago.

Needless to say, I was gobsmacked. After all this time, and all my grumbling about not knowing anything about him, here it was! With John’s permission, I am able to share a little information about the man whose clothes continue to make many vintage-lovers very, very happy.

His business was in Great Titchfield Street in the Sixties and Seventies which as you know was London’s garment district. He was successful, his first business was called Marlborough Dresses which he sold … and he followed that up with David Silverman Dresses. He was a good friend of Steven Marks and as I understand it, lent Steven some desk space for him to start up Steven Marks Coats before he launched French Connection.

Dad was interested in all things visual. He could paint a likeness, and we would often talk about typography and advertising. He chain-smoked Gauloise cigarettes and liked to wear a cashmere roll neck jumper.

He told me that in younger days he had an underground game of cards which travelled around London and eventually got the attention of the Krays. (I don’t know if this is true) but it had to be wound down as it got out of hand, and he told me he needed a body guard for a while.

I’m not sure it gets much more Sixties than roll neck sweaters, gauloises and The Krays… He sounds like my kind of guy!

John was also kind enough to let me show you a photo of his father, but I would ask that it is not reproduced without permission.

David Silverman.

David Silverman.

To celebrate this victory in the face of anonymity, I have just listed a David Silverman dress over at Vintage-a-Peel:

Click to view on Vintage-a-Peel

Click to view on Vintage-a-Peel

…and also enclose photos of some other pieces I’ve had in over the years!

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.

From the Vintage-a-Peel archive.


9 Comments on “David Silverman: Revealed at last!”

  1. This makes me regret passing up the David Silverman I recently had the chance to buy. They’re rare in Canada!

  2. Sara Gossett says:

    Oh, how fantastic! What a cool treat to be filled in his story by his son – so special!

  3. PEZ says:

    A true legend of the “Rag Trade”….taken from us far too early……

  4. Eric gold says:

    David was a personnel friend of mine from the age of 16 . All the experiences he shared with his close friends were true, we miss him very much.

  5. David &Suzette says:

    David was also a friend of ours a amazing guy very cool ,artistic,& intelligent,sadly missed

  6. Erica Peters says:

    David was an Icon such a talent.! He influenced the 60S fashion !..I used to buy from him for neata wear,,!!!! everything used to sell!!!

    He started the ready to wear runway shows at The talk of the town!!!!

    i do have a lot of stories!! Erica.

  7. Mel says:

    Thank you Emma for sharing, so little on the internet this really helps

  8. Sheridan Barnett says:

    hi emma…..well I worked for david at Marlborough dresses as designer from 1966 – 1969 he was a wonderful inspiring guy & gave me total freedom to design what I wanted to…..his wife sue was my house model at other places I worked at…….btw Marlborough dresses was in Margaret st not gt titchfield st……I often think of ur dad & wonde who great it would have been had he lived & carried on producing dresses, he was totally ahead of his time
    Sheridan Barnett

  9. Mamas Pitsillis says:

    My dad had a dress factory in Islington in the early 70s and worked for David Silverman.I was but a whipper snapper but remember going with my dad to a few meetings to discuss costings and prices. My abiding memory is to this day, How tall he was and had curlier hair than me.

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