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History of Lingerie - Brands

Lingerie: noun [län-jə-ˈrā], originally from the Latin lineus made from linen, from Middle French linge linen. First Known Use: 1835. Dollhouse Bettie presents a work in progress, a survey of the history of lingerie - its most prominent innovators, designers, and muses, the classic styles of intimate apparel that have captured our imaginations, and the brands that won our hearts.

  • Barbizon
    If you're a vintage lingerie collector or aficionado it's likely you already own at least one piece from the prominent American label Barbizon. The well known company was established in 1933.
  • Fischer
    Fischer is one of the most coveted vintage lingerie labels. The American company produced absolutely luxurious creations using the most sumptuous silks, satins and chiffons to complement their delectable styles.
  • Jantzen
    The destiny of the company was defined in 1913 when members of the local Portland Rowing Team came to founders Carl Jantzen and brothers Roy and John Zehntbauer with a request for rowing trunks and bathing suits.
  • Kayser
    The Kayser-Roth Corporation is perhaps best known today for the hosiery brand No Nonsense, however the history of the company dates back to the very late 1800s and started with the vision of one man, Julius Kayser.
  • Lady Lynne
    Lady Lynne
    Lady Lynne is a distinguished brand in vintage lingerie, best known for their collection of elegant slips. Morris Aronoff founded Lady Lynne with his wife in New York in the early 40s. The brand was named after their daughter Lynne.
  • Lucie Ann
    Lucie Ann
    Lucie Ann Lingerie was founded by designer Lucie Ann Onderwyzer in Hollywood in 1949. Born in Belgium, she brought a European woman's passion for beautiful lingerie with her to the United States.
  • I. Magnin
    I. Magnin
    Mary Ann Magnin (1850-1943) was a Dutch Jewish immigrant. She started off making and selling lace trimmed baby clothes, lingerie, bridal wear and other notions from her downtown store front.
  • Maidenform
    Maidenform is a classic American lingerie company. The significant innovations to bra construction discovered and implemented by the company's founders transformed the history of the brassiere and gave birth to modern bras as we know them.
  • Movie Star
    Movie Star
    Yet another classic lingerie label is Movie Star. Just as the name suggests, the brand has a legacy of glamour and its creations are delightfully charming.
  • Munsing Wear
    Munsing Wear
    Munsing Wear is a classic vintage lingerie label with a uniquely American history. The brand is the brain child of entrepreneur and inventor George Munsing.
  • Scandale
    From the very start, French lingerie brand Scandale was an homage to women. With a focus on comfort, functionality, and style, this historic lingerie company might have been founded by a man, but was always quintessentially feminine.
  • Textron
    What do helicopters, chainsaws, a cruise ship and lingerie have in common? Almost nothing, except for the fact that one of the nation's largest and most successful conglomerates produced them all.
  • Van Raalte (I)
    Van Raalte (I)
    Amongst the titans of classic American lingerie is the historical Van Raalte company. The firm was founded in 1913 by Emanuel Van Raalte as a silk mill and manufacturer of accessories including gloves, hosiery and veils.
  • Van Raalte (II)
    Van Raalte (II)
    In the late 30s, alongside Vanity Fair, Van Raalte teamed up with the Du Pont laboratories in the development of a revolutionary fabric which would serve as an improvement and substitute for natural based fibers like silk.
  • Van Raalte (III)
    Van Raalte (III)
    Although best known for their classic lingerie, the Van Raalte company manufactured more than just sweet silk and nylon underthings. In fact, in its early days the company specialized in glove making.
  • Vanity Fair (I)
    Vanity Fair (I)
    Vanity Fair is one of the more familiar of the classic lingerie labels. What is less well known is the unique history of this American standard and its significant influence on lingerie production and design.
  • Vanity Fair (II)
    Vanity Fair (II)
    In 1940 WWII was sinking its claws into Europe and the tensions could be felt clear across the Atlantic. America's strained relationship with Japan worried officials at Vanity Fair.
  • Vanity Fair (III)
    Vanity Fair (III)
    Just as they had galvanized the lingerie industry with the invention of nylon in 1939, DuPont laboratories transformed the design and production of intimate wear again twenty years later with another genius innovation, Lycra.
  • Warner's (I)
    Warner's was founded by brothers DeVer and Lucien Warner in 1874. Although both men received their formal education in medicine, a pervasive entrepreneurial spirit dragged them away from clinical work early on in their careers.
  • Warner's (II)
    Warner's original roots as corsetiers laid the foundations for their success as contemporary lingerie producers. However, it was their ability to adapt to changes and their dedication to innovation that solidified the company's legacy.



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