After 142 years in New York City, the nation’s largest theatrical and Broadway costume collection, previously owned by Dodger Costumes, has been acquired by Costume World, Inc. of Deerfield Beach, FL.
Over half a million signature costumes from many of America’s award winning Broadway musicals and plays such as Guys and Dolls, King & I, The Music Man, Hello Dolly, Cats, Camelot, and Les Miserables have packed up and moved from their hometown of New York City, to Deerfield Beach, Florida. Marilynn Wick, president and CEO of Costume World, Inc. has attained Dodger Costumes' inventory in its entirety and relocated it to Costume World’s main base in South Florida, now making Costume World, Inc. the nation’s largest owner of Broadway and theatrical costumes with over 1.2 million in total.
Dodger Costumes came onto the Broadway scene in the spring of 1998, when Dodger Costumes and Stage Holdings, an Amsterdam-based company, acquired the Eaves-Brooks Costume Company. The Eaves-Brooks company was founded in 1863, settled down on East 12th Street in Manhattan, and later went on to become the most famous costume company in America. Thus with this acquisition, Dodger came into the possession of many of the nation’s most renowned and historic theatrical costumes.
In the days of booming business, Dodger won 38 Tony Awards for their costuming in shows including, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Big River, King and I, Once Upon a Mattress, and The Secret Garden. Yet in the past year, the Dodger organization suffered a series of setbacks with poor reviews for its Dracula and Good Vibrations on Broadway. Dodger Costumes' demise in February 2005 became Costume World’s coup.
“The inventory has so much value, and acquiring it has helped us to not only become the largest costume house in the industry, but also one of the most historic,” Wick says. The Dodger costume collection was signed over to Costume World, and in just ten days the entire inventory was transported to Florida.
When asked the true value of the Dodger inventory Wick answers, “It is extremely difficult to put a value on this recent acquisition. Many of the pieces alone are truly priceless. For instance, the original Cecil Beaton’s My Fair Lady dress worn by Julie Andrews in 1957; there are no words to describe the value of that single piece. The acquired inventory includes many pieces like that which hold so much sentimental value in the eyes of those who truly appreciate Broadway.”
Wick’s professional design accomplishments include the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, the Theatre of the Stars’ Will Rogers Follies, staring Marla Maples, Loretta Swit’s wardrobe for Richard Akins’ production of Mame, along with Singin’ in the Rain which was nominated for a Jefferson Award.