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Maidenform Brands (NYSE: MFB) is a manufacturer of women's underwear, founded in 1922 by three people: seamstress Ida Rosenthal; Enid Bissett, who owned the shop that employed her; and Ida's husband, William Rosenthal. They rebelled against the flat-chested designs of the time and instead produced both dresses and support undergarments, particularly bras that accentuated the natural shape of a woman's figure, hence the name Maidenform.
The company was founded in Bayonne, New Jersey, and although no manufacturing facilities remain in Bayonne today, some company facilities are still located there. In October 2007, the company's headquarters moved to a new location in Iselin, New Jersey.
After going through a long restructuring effort at the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, Maidenform became a publicly traded company in July, 2005. Maidenform became a top leading shapewear brand taking over 40% of market share. This is #1 shapewear brand among other shapewear brands in America. Now Maidenform has about 8,000 stores in the US including Macy's and JCP Penney. Also, it has more than 75 stores all over the world. For example, Debenhams and House of Fraser in Europe and Sogo, Takashimaya in Asia.
An imaginary situation of a partially undressed dream was exploited in Maidenform's advertising in the 1950s and 1960s - "I dreamed I...[doing some ordinary activity]... in my Maidenform bra.", with an illustration of the person wearing only underwear in a public place, appearing proud and cheerful. This campaign was referenced in a season 2 episode of Mad Men, in which competitor Playtex, who (fictionally) has an account with the Sterling Cooper ad agency, asks Sterling Cooper to change their older-style ads to one more similar to Maidenform's.
“I dreamed that I went ……….. in my Maidenform Bra” origin
This very successful advertising campaign was originated by Harry Trenner and his wife Florence Shapiro Trenner. Harry Trenner was, at that time, working for the William Weintrob Advertising Agency in New York City, and Maidenform was one of his accounts. They both would tell the story that they were sitting around the kitchen table after dinner in their home in the Wykagyl Park section of New Rochelle, New York. They hit on the idea for the ad and Harry took it to the agency which expanded it and showed it to Maidenform.
- "Maidenform - Company Info". Retrieved 2009-04-30.
- "Maidenform 2007 Annual Report". Retrieved 2009-04-30.
- Official website
- Archives on Maidenform at the Smithsonian Institution, including a short online history
- How to date vintage Maidenform lingerie lists associated brands and the periods they were produced