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Vintage Vanity Fair Lingerie – 1899 to NOW

The roots of Vanity Fair go back to 1899, when eight businessmen formed the Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company. The name of the company was changed to the Schuylkill Silk Mills in 1913 and the next year they added silk underwear to the company’s line of gloves.

During this period of time, the women’s underwear industry was changing rapidly. Women’s styles were changing and more simple undergarments were required. In 1917 Barbey had a contest to get a new name for the company. From all the entries, the name “Vanity Fair” was chosen. The company then began an extensive advertising campaign designed to show that the new, simpler undergarments could be pretty as well as functional.

Like many lingerie companies, Vanity Fair spent the WWII years making parachutes. After the war was over they turned increasingly to the use of nylon and in 1948 announced that they would be using nylon exclusively for their products.

During the 1950s they introduced new colors and even prints. In 1953 the long term bestselling leopard print was introduced and it was soon followed by other prints, including a zebra stripe and a butterfly print.

Today the VF Corporation is no longer in the lingerie business, having sold Vanity Fair to Fruit of the Loom early in 2007.

Below is a selection of VF Lingerie items, and I have several more Leopard Prints that will be added soon!

Black Nylon Robe with Leopard Tie Belt


Leopard Print Nylon Gown with Spaghetti Straps

Floral Print Gown with Matching Hip Length Robe


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