Sunday, March 19, 2017

David Russell writes

Maidenform Dreams
(for a firm foundation)
Do you now feel buoyant,

ploughing life's waves,

bolstered by a rampart of embrace

starched delicate and strong?

Power on and power off!

As you put it on to face the working day

Did you dream you’d take it off there

To drive the whole staff

Into a swooning rapture 

Then have the Directorship on a plate

Did you become the dress designer,

Fusing the wearers' bodies
For your creations?

Did the disco lightshow

Zoom in on your taut, white luminosity

So that all eyes were on you?

Did you set the building on benign fire?

Did you expand to the greatest auditoria,

Idol of a zillion viewers?

1 comment:

  1. At 18, Ida Kaganovich immigrated from Minsk to the US, following her fiancé; they married three years later, as William and Ida Rosenthal. A decade and a half later she went to work as a seamstress in a dress shop owned by Enid Bissett, and the following year, in 1922, rebelling against the flat-chested "Boyish Form" designs that dominated Flapper fashion at the time, the three of them went into business together making dresses that accentuated the natural shape of a woman's figure. They soon developed a brassiere as an accessory to improve the fit of the dresses they sold, which became so popular that they began to sell it separately, and in 1925 began mass producing Maidenform bras in Bayonne, New Jersey. Maidenform was a major improvement over previous bras, because it used cups to support and conform to the breasts, rather than flattening them. Though the company later made lingerie and swimwear, its main product was always bras. Maidenform was the first company to sell maternity bras, and William invented a standard for cup sizes. In 1942, Ida received a patent for an adjustable fastener. During World War II Maidenform convertd to making parachutes and pigeon bras. (Paratroopers would undo his pigeon's vest and send it back to his base with a message.) In the 1950s and 1960s they expanded their market with racy ads featuring illustrations of a model wearing only underwear in a public setting and the tagline"I dreamed I was [doing some ordinary activity]in my Maidenform bra." The ad campaign was developed by the William Weintrob Advertising Agency's Harry Trenner and his wife Florence. After William's death in 1958, Ida became the company president; after she died in 1973 of pneumonia, her son-in-law Dr. Joseph Coleman took control of the firm, and upon his death in 1968 his widow Beatrice took over. After going through a long restructuring effort at the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, Maidenform became a publicly traded company in 2005 and was sold to Hanesbrands in 2013. It is the leading US shapewear brand, with over 40% of the market.


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