Brands, Inc., is a global intimate apparel company with a
portfolio of established and well-known brands, top-selling products
and an iconic heritage. They design, source and market an extensive
range of intimate apparel products, including bras, panties and
shapewear. They sell their products through multiple distribution
channels, including department stores, national chains, mass
merchants (including warehouse clubs), specialty stores, off-price
retailers, their own company-operated outlet stores and their
During their long history as a pioneer in the intimate apparel
industry, they have built strong equity for their brands and
established a platform for growth through a combination of
innovative, first-to-market designs and creative advertising
campaigns focused on increasing brand awareness with generations of
women. They sell their products under some of the most recognized
brands in the intimate apparel industry, including Maidenform®,
Flexees®, Lilyette®, Sweet Nothings®, Bodymates®, Rendezvous®,
Subtract® and Self Expressions®.
has a very long and proud history starting in the 1920's. Below we
have listed only a few of their many achievement.
The story of
Maidenform is far more than a history of a dynamic company. It is
the story of a company founded on consumer-driven marketing and
innovative advertising. It is the story of a company built by brand.
story began with Ida Rosenthal and Enid Bissett, partners in Enid
Frocks, a custom dress business on New York's West 57th Street.
Although the flat-chested look was the rage, Bissett believed that a
dress fit better over a natural bust line rather than a flat one.
She restructured the boyish form bandeau to have two cups separated
by a center piece of elastic. Rosenthal's husband William
transformed Bissett's creation into a garment shape to support the
natural contours of the bust and named it the Maidenform®
Brassiere, which was then built into each dress. Clients started
requesting separate brassieres, prompting Enid Frocks to offer a
bonus undergarment with every dress sold.
To meet the
increasing demands, the Rosenthals and Enid Bissett formed the Enid
Manufacturing Company, which produced the Maidenform® Brassiere
Due to further
increasing demands, the Enid Manufacturing Company moved its
manufacturing operation to New Jersey. William Rosenthal then filed
a patent for a brassiere designed to support the bust in a natural
position, the prototype for the modern-seamed uplift brassiere we
The success of
the Maidenform® label prompted Enid Manufacturing Company
to change its name to the Maidenform Brassiere Company. A national
sales team of over 30 men sold Maidenform® styles for the
small, average and full figure. The Variation® bra,
designed for the average figure, became the first Maidenform style
to reach $1 million in sales with a retail price of $1 each.
To create a demand for their products, the Rosenthals advertised in
newspapers and national magazines. Maidenform was the first intimate
apparel company to advertise, with ads appearing on buses,
billboards, local window and store-counter card displays and over
Beatrice Rosenthal, Ida and William's daughter, joined Maidenform on
the production line following her graduation from Barnard College.
She then married Dr. Joseph Coleman, who later lead successful
Maidenform advertising campaigns.
introduced the Allo-Ette® nylon marquisette just as the
United States entered World War II and nylon was requisitioned for
the war. Maidenform was forced to produce this style in substitute
fabrics. The Allo-Ette® was featured in the first "I
Dreamed" ad in 1949.
Despite its limited wartime brassiere production, Maidenform
advertised to "safeguard the value and goodwill of Maidenform's
name." Manufacturing focused on products for the Armed Forces such
as parachutes and vests.
Ida Rosenthal patented a strap
fastener that, once adjusted, will remain in that fixed position.
Maidenform® introduced the Chansonette®, the
most popular bra ever produced by Maidenform®. The cotton broadcloth
basic sold 90 million units in more than 100 countries from 1949
through 1978. The introduction of Chansonette® coincided with the
beginning of the Dream campaign and became the first American
brassiere advertised in a Russian trade journal. The Dream campaign
ran from 1949 through 1969 and revolutionized intimate apparel
advertising by featuring women in their bras acting out fantasies of
independence in public places.
In 1959 Dr. Joseph Coleman succeeded Ida
Rosenthal as president of the Maidenform Brassiere Company. One year
later the company was renamed Maidenform, Inc.
1960's The Dream campaign that appealed to
the women that stayed at home during the war was changed to appeal
to the woman entering the work force. The new campaign was geared
toward the new attitudes of these women, with the tagline, The
Maidenform Woman. You Never Know Where She'll Turn Up.
Beatrice Coleman, daughter of the founders,
became president upon the death of her husband Joseph.
1970's Following the Dream campaign,
Beatrice recognized that the U.S. population of people under the age
of 25 was increasing. To adjust to this rapidly growing demographic,
Maidenform® created styles that appealed to a younger audience.
Unstructured styles such as Precious Little® were created and made
available in a variety of colors to appeal to this young,
fashion-conscious consumer. In the late '70s, Maidenform® introduced
color-coordinated intimate apparel under the Sweet Nothings® name,
displayed in in-store boutiques called Sweet Shoppe. The collection
became the most popular and profitable in Maidenform® history.
1980's Maidenform® introduced an innovative
print and television campaign that showed neither women nor product,
but instead male celebrities addressing women and their lingerie.
1990 The third generation of family
management assumed control when Beatrice Coleman died after 22 years
of leadership. Robert A. Brawer was named CEO and President and
Elizabeth Coleman assumed the title of Chairperson.
1991 Maidenform® introduced new brand
advertising to address women's issues, positioning itself as the
company that understands and supports women.
1992 Maidenform® expands its consumer
offerings by purchasing Flexees, the #1 brand in controlwear.
Flexees grows significntly under its new leadership.
1995 Maidenform® purchases NCC Industries,
bringing with it the Lilyette brand, catering to the needs of the
full figured woman and continuing the tradition of Maidenform's
commitment to serve all women.
1998: Maidenform® launches Customize
It, the first line of "convertible" bras, making it possible for one
bra to be customized three ways- halter, criss-cross, and everyday.