Design Inspiration: The Burgundy Zig Zag Sock by Fortis Green

The Fortis Green burgundy Zig Zag pattern sock was inspired by the 1935 Art Deco poster for the Hamburg America shipping line designed by artist Omar Anton.


The Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG) was a transatlantic shipping enterprise established in Germany in 1847. It soon developed into one of the world's largest shipping companies serving the market created by European immigration to the United States up until mass migration dropped off with the US Immigration department introducing a national origins quota in 1924.

For the duration of the 1930s, passenger travel across the Atlantic was conducted almost exclusively by sea. With the transatlantic route no longer dominated by immigration to the United States, ships built in the 1930s were designed as much for elegance as for speed. 

Businessmen meeting overseas clients, entertainers on tour, and tourists making leisure trips travelled on ocean liners in upper class berths. A large ocean liner might have a crew of 1,100 to service as many as 3,400 passengers. 

HAPAG ‘Regular freight and passenger services for the Far East’ in 1935 Art Deco travel poster


‘HAPAG Regular freight and passenger services for the Far East 1935’ 

Anton’s poster was designed to promote the company’s ‘Regular freight and passenger services for the Far East’ in 1935. 

International travel to exotic locations from the 1920s until the breakout of WWII led to a rise in the influence of ‘Orientalism’ in western design, culture, fashion and the expansion of Art Deco architecture in locations including Shanghai, Bangkok and throughout the Philippines.

HAPAG Travel poster

HAPAG 'Mediterranean and Oriental Trips 1929'


'HAPAG World Travel 1931 with the three-screw luxury steamer Resolute'

The Hamburg America Line lost almost the entirety of its fleet twice, as a result of World War I and World War II. In 1970, the company merged with its longstanding rival, Norddeutscher Lloyd to establish the present-day company Hapag-Lloyd. 

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