The oldest trace that points to the birth of McGregor is this (almost faded) facade lettering.
The Doniger Bros. Cap Factory was located at 663 Broadway from 1912 to 1922. Their sign is located at the back end of the building which runs through the block and has the address 230 Mercer St. at this end. The firm Doniger Bros. was in business from 1894 to 1942, and traced its origins to 1889, when one of the brothers, Jacob Doniger, was in business on Bleecker St. as a cap and hat manufacturer. The original brothers were Jacob Doniger (1867-1920/21), Henry Doniger (ca. 1872-1928) and David Daniel Doniger (1874-1949).
The American Dream: in 1921 David D. Doniger decided to leave his brothers' hat and cap factory to start his own business. As a true millennial - apparently they already existed a century ago - he decided to take two years off for a sabbatical, gaining inspiration in Europe.
A great idea, because in Scotland he came across the checkered hats (think: Peaky Blinders) which he was going to import under the brand name McGregor; an instant hit in New York in the twenties - where at the time every man wore headgear.
The success of the Scottish caps turned out to be only a modest harbinger of the institute that Doniger managed to build. He turned out to have a flawless feeling for the Zeitgeist in which social developments ensured that the American man got more and more spare time; time that was filled in with leisurely outdoor activities, with or without participation of the entire Happy Family.
Before McGregor there were roughly two ways of dressing: office attire or work wear. But playing golf or manning the barbecue doesn't go well in a three-piece suit. After McGregor there was American Sportswear.
Doniger's last achievement, in 1949, was the introduction of The Scottish Drizzler, the first waterproof sports jacket. If there is one item that we would like to call 'iconic' and characteristic of the McGregor brand, then it is the Drizzler. The Drizzler was unsurpassedly casual, and a showcase for the technical innovation with which the brand led the way.
McGregor becomes market leader of American Sportswear in the early fifties, with 7000 outlets in the US and Canada and a yearly revenue of $50 million.
In a sense, we applaud the fact that the divide between ‘formal’ and ‘leisure’ is becoming suitably blurred, but not so much as to become completely indistinct – there are limits after all. Toe-revealing sandals in the workplace… how did we let it get to this (just ignore that last remark if you work at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club or a boat rental in The Hamptons). Sandals in the workplace aside, at McGregor we believe wholeheartedly in an optimum style and comfort merger, which is precisely what our Athleisure collection can bring.
In 2020, the iconic sportswear jacket returns. An extended family inspired by the classics, totally revamped for today.