The Echo Story
When Edgar and Theresa Hyman founded Echo Scarfs in 1923, they set up shop in the heart of New York City, capturing its vibrancy in gorgeous colors, patterns and textures.
Today, that rich heritage of timeless quality, craftsmanship and integrity lives on in every new line of fashion accessories, bags, beachwear and home design. Still located within a block of the original showroom, Echo continues to draw inspiration from the vitality and diversity of the city. All the while, holding to the idea that a single accessory can possess the power to transform an outfit or a room, a mood or a perspective.
We’re proud to say that after 99 years, our love affair with beautiful print, pattern, and color is still going strong.
And to think, it all started with a scarf.
On September 27, 1923, Edgar and Theresa Hyman were married. On that very day, they also launched a family business specializing in scarfs. They used the acronym of Edgar’s initials and the "O" from "company" to form its name: ECHO.
By 1929, Echo had established itself successfully in the marketplace, enabling the company to survive the Great Depression.
The Echo brand began our long, iconic journey after Theresa Hyman requested the logo be printed on every scarf design. This was to distinguish Echo products from the competition and assure everyone — from production to purchase — that each scarf was created with the utmost quality and care.
Throughout the decade, the pioneering Echo became one of the earliest scarf companies to import fabrics from abroad.
During the upheaval years of WWII, Echo was the most prominent and prolific manufacturer of women’s patriotic scarfs. Echo also created many instructional propaganda scarfs with printed messages ranging from how to react in an air raid to what to do during a blackout. The rayon ‘Rationing’ scarf even addressed the country’s feelings about sacrificing for the greater good.
In 1956, Paul Roberts, Edgar C. Hyman’s son-in-law, was tasked with transporting Echo’s fall line from the Italian factories back to New York. His choice was the Andrea Doria.
On July 27th, the ill-fated ship collided with another vessel near Nantucket and sank, taking with it the entire Echo line. As a true testament to Echo, the manufacturers kept the factories open during what would normally be a summer holiday and reproduced the entire fall collection.
The 60s were big, bold, and bright. Designs were changing as fast as society. Long scarfs called Lankies were tied around the waist or draped around the neck. Status scarfs were tied on handbags and on the head. And Echo was there every step of the way, bringing our unique perspective to popular geometrics, florals and paisleys in eye-catching psychedelic colors.
In the '70s, Echo introduced its memorable ‘The Echo of an Interesting Woman’ campaign. Created by legendary adman Peter Rogers, Echo was known for this advertising for years and it remains iconic today.
Echo also launched a custom design division after creating a commemorative World’s Fair scarf for the Smithsonian Institution. Since then, Echo has designed custom accessories and works of art for some of the most prestigious names in the corporate, retail, and museum worlds — including Coach, Brooks Brothers, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and MoMA.
Under the leadership of Dorothy Hyman Roberts, the daughter of the founders who became Echo's President in 1978, the company experienced unprecedented growth over the course of the new decade.
A partnership was forged with Polo/Ralph Lauren in 1984 and Echo became the sole scarf licensee for all brands. Eventually, the partnership evolved to include cold weather accessories for both men and women.
Echo launched our home division in 1992 with fresh and exciting designs in wallcoverings and fabrics. Bedding, bath accessories, and tabletop categories were added over the next several years as the division grew in popularity.
Steven and Meg Roberts, son and daughter-in-law of Dorothy, published the first of three interior design books, ‘A Home for All Seasons’ in 1998. ‘Time at Home’ would follow in 2001 and ‘Color at Home’ in 2008.
The new century brought new ideas. In 2007, Echo introduced our first beach collection, featuring cover-ups and beach bags. Three years later, swimwear was added at the request of customers and retailers alike.
With the explosion of technology, we launched Echo Touch — the company’s breakthrough touchscreen compatible gloves in a broad range of fashion colors. Today, every glove in every material, from wool to cashmere to leather, works with the devices we cannot live without.
In 2015, Echo brought back the original 1923 logo script and made it the centerpiece of our new identity. In addition to celebrating our 95-year heritage, the new identity introduced “Dot” — the zebra who changed her stripes. With a nod to Echo’s tradition of print and pattern as well as our “never take yourself too seriously" attitude, Dot and the new logo were designed to take Echo forward into its second century and beyond.
Today, as Echo approaches its centennial anniversary in 2023, our love affair with the scarf continues through the Series Collection, a collaboration with the Getty museum, and a line that embraces the relaxed, expressive sophistication of the square that started it all.
SHOP THE SERIES COLLECTION
These squares embody Echo's legacy, with bold colors, memorable prints, and sumptuous silk.