The Columbus Fashion Story


The Columbus Fashion Story, explores the history of fashion as it relates to Columbus’ bicentennial history and its fashion industries. Two of retail fashion’s industry giants had their beginnings in Columbus, Ohio–Federated Department Stores in 1851 as S. Lazarus, and Limited Brands Inc. in 1963 as The Limited store in the Kingsdale shopping center. Both began modestly and eventually gained nation-wide recognition.

Limited Brands with its past and present divisions have dominated the greater Columbus landscape over the past thirty years in the same way that the Lazarus Department Store dominated the city’s downtown for decades. Both had a major impact on the national fashion retail industry as well as the city of Columbus. There were many other contributors to this city’s fashion story, however, and their stories will also be told in this exhibition.

The exhibition consists of three sections:

Part I: 19th century dressmakers, tailors and dry goods establishments with artifacts from Kate and Frank Hoffer ladies’ tailors, B. Frosh & Sons Tailors, and the M.C. Lilley Co.
Part II: Early to mid 20th century downtown department stores and specialty boutiques with artifacts from The F&R Lazarus Co., The Union, Mrs. Eugene Gray and Montaldo’s.
Part III: Late 20th/early 21st century dominance of malls and specialty brand retailers.
View the catalog

Related public programs:

The Columbus Fashion Story Foundations September 5th, 5:30-7:30pm
The Columbus Fashion Story Memoirs October 10, 5:30-7:30pm” with link:


September 5 – December 7, 2012

Event Type







“The Columbus Fashion Story,” Fashion2Fiber, accessed November 29, 2023,

Item Relations

This Item References Item: 1903-1908, Warp Print Silk Taffeta Dress
This Item depicts Item: 1900s Black Tail Coat and Trousers
This Item depicts Item: 1907 Lace and Silk Wedding Dress
This Item depicts Item: 1900's Ivory Silk Chiffon Evening Gown
This Item depicts Item: 1903 Wool Tweed 3-piece Suit