Hanes Brand Began in Winston-Salem

Image from the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art

On June 12, 1886, James G. Hanes, founder of Hanes knitwear, was born in what’s now Winston-Salem.

Following his 1909 graduation from the University of North Carolina, Hanes returned to Forsyth County and joined the family textile business. His factory, Hanes Hosiery Mills, became the world’s largest manufacturer of women’s nylon seamless hosiery. He was known to have said,”Nature gives you seamless legs; Hanes gives you seamless nylons.”

In 1965 Hanes Hosiery Mills Company merged with P. H. Hanes Knitting Company to become the internationally-known Hanes Corporation.

In addition to his work with the family business, Hanes served on the board of directors for organizations including the Norfolk and Western Railway, the New York City-based Savoy Hotel, Hanes Dye and Finishing Company, the National Association of Manufacturers, and Wachovia Bank and Trust Company. He also took an active role in local government, most notably serving for four years as mayor of Winston-Salem and for 22 years on Forsyth County’s Board of Commissioners.

At his death in 1972, James G. Hanes willed his stately English manor-style home and the adjoining 32-acre estate to the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.

Visit: The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, open to visitors Tuesday through Sunday.

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