In Memory of....

Dec 17, 2012

John Paul Goebel:  1929-2012


John Paul Goebel was a noted American Menswear Sportswear Designer  and also acknowledged as a foremost expert in Fabric Development and Color forecasting.  Goebel was the only US consultant who worked with the vertical creation of fibers, fabrics, color and mens and boys sportswear design and merchandising. 

He was born in Brooklyn, NY and received his degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.  He was married to Patricia Kenny of New York City, daughter of legendary songwriter Nick Kenny. He had a long and accomplished career in the fashion industry under the brand of John Paul Goebel, Inc.

JPG, as many of his designs were labeled served as designer and color consultant to DuPont fibers, Hanes Activewear, Gale Sobel Co., Big and Tall Men (the first designer collection exclusive for Mens Active sportswear), Botany 500 ( Mens and Boys designer outerwear for department and specialty stores), Shipton Sportswear (outerwear for chain stores). Many of these clients used his talented design and planning ability for more than 20 years.  He also served as the designer and color consultant for Russell Corp. for 17 years.

The accomplishments which won him many coveted awards stemmed from his engineering studies at F.I.T. and the blending of technical knowledge with superb taste and vision.  They stimulated his pioneering leadership in fabric development and its use in innovative apparel applications.  He worked on perfecting laminated fabrics for apparel which led to the gross of a $700 million industry.  Working with DuPont, Allied Chemical, Scott Paper, Talon, Burlington Industries and other textile producers enabled him to make significance contributions to the home furnishings industry, medical fabric and apparel design industries. 

John Paul was a long leader in Color Direction.  Goebel selected the colors for the first authentic U.S. Athletic and Sportswear Color Card issued in February 1983 by the Color Association of the United States.  It covers a 50 year span from 1940 to the 1990’s and includes the official 1984 Olympic colors.  He served as menswear color consultant for over 20 years to the Color Association of US.

From the 1960’s till he retired in the mid 1990’s Goebel continuously added new directions in mens fashions and created breakthrough styles using new fabrications and fabric combinations.  He designed the first knit jacket in mens outerwear, the first printed hospital surgical apparel, the quilted ski look, leather and knit together and deep pile fabrics form lining and fun furs.


John Paul Goebel won the first new Directions Award in Fashion in 1976 with special recognition for his anticipation of 21st Century trends in fiber, fashion and fashion.  Esquire’s Encyclopedia of 20th Century Men’s Fashion stated “…His primary concern when creating a new concept is the consumer, followed by the needs of the retailer, the manufacturer and the mill…”  He won the Mortimer C. Ritter Award of F.I.T., the Leather Industries of America Award, the Hess Brothers International Design Award and the Knit Fabrics Award and Time Magazine’s Designer of the Year.  Sportstyle selected him as the “Best Young Men’s Sportswear Designer in the World”and Sporting Goods Dealer magazine summed it up best as calling JPG, “the Guru of Sportswear in the U.S.A.”


Goebel retired in the mid 1990’s and enjoyed spending his time at his homes in Manhattan, Portugal and the French West Indies.  He later retreated to his family cabin in West Milford, NJ and spent time with his family in the Carolinas.  He had four wonderful children and seven grandchildren.

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