Vanity Fair, History in the Making
Each garment is to be cherished for many years to come. I own and possess some of the most gorgeous pieces ever created and I offer them to you here on eBay! (Well the one’s I can only part with of course!).
Key Dates/Timeline on Vanity Fair
- 1899 Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company was founded by 8 men in Reading, Pennsylvania
- 1911 John Barley, one of the 8 men buys out the other men
- 1913 Name change: Reading Glove and Mitten becomes SCHUYLKILL SILK MILLS
- 1914 Silk lingerie starts being produced by the company, this is the start of the Vanity Fair lingerie!
- 1917 The name "Vanity Fair" is chosen through a name competition within the company for it's lingerie line
- 1919 Name change: Schuylkill Silk Mills becomes VANITY FAIR SILK MILLS, INC.
- 1921/22 Rayon, Acetate were used in addition to Silk, sometimes blended.
- 1929 Vanity Fair opens the Vanity Fair Stocking Company, producing silk stockings
- 1939 Designer NANCY MELCHER (assigner for VF) applies for a patent for the "Corselette", an "all in one" open bottom skirted style girdle, with bra and garters attached
- 1940 Production is stopped on all foundation garments (bras, girdles, etc.)
- 1941 Patent for the Vanity Fair Corselette was approved
- 1942 Name change: Vanity Fair drops the name "Silk" from the title, because of the embargo on silk during WWII
- 1945 Embargo on silk, elastic and nylon are lifted, and company resumes production of their foundations
- 1948 Vanity Fair announces halt on silk production and will convert everything to nylon, and this is when TRICOT was first used in VF lingerie.
- 1948/49 Hues in soft pinks, yellows, minty greens and blues, "Perma Pleats, and various "prints" were introduced in the line of lingerie
- 1950 Vanity Fair Stocking Company closes
- 1951 Vanity Fair Mills goes "public"
- 1950s (known around 1952/53) Novelty prints (leopard, zebra, butterfly, etc.) were introduced, and higher end "conversation pieces" such as gold lame' items were produced in the mid 1950's
- 1958/59 Lycra (Spandex) is used in foundations along with rubber which was still being used
- 1961 Vanity Fair announces the discontinued use of rubber, and uses Lycra Spandex now.
- Mid 1960s (65 or 66) Themed lingerie was introduced in the entire line of their negligee's, slips, panties, girdles, brassieres, pettiskirts, lounge-wear etc. Some of these "themes" included: Rhapsody In Bloom, The White Collar Look, Fuji Drama, Luxury Liner, Hush Honey, Moon Flight and more.
- 1969 Name change: Vanity Fair Mills becomes VF CORPORATION. Company starts producing jeanswear after purchasing the H.D. Lee Company. Company acquires BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL CORP.
- 1970 Hosiery reintroduced
- 1981 Cotton panties introduced
- 1984 Fleecewear is introduced after Bassett-Walker, Inc is acquired.
- 1998 Bestform (Exquisite Form) and Lily of France are acquired by the VF Corp.
- 2007 Fruit of the Loom now operates these businesses as Vanity Fair Brands, a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Rule of Thumb on Vanity Fair Labels:
1920s-1930s-DARK BLUE lettering embroidered on woven/cloth labels with "cameo" figure from a tap "french knicker" panty.
|Late 1940s to 1950s-LIGHT BLUE script embroidered on woven/cloth labels that read “ TRICOT NYLON” and NOT “Tricot ALL Nylon”.Hence the word “ALL” is omitted.|
|Note the "Tricot ALL Nylon", only on the 1960's tags, NOT on the 1950's. Tricot Nylon was 1950's, and the word "ALL" added in the 1960's.|
|1970's Blue block lettering, on double cloth label, from a slip.|
|1970s-BLUE BLOCK LETTERING on cloth/woven labels from a pink babydoll nighty.|
|PURPLE Script on cloth/woven label tags were used in the loungewear (houserobes etc.) from late 1960s through the late 70s from a lounging dress-gown.|
|Gold Embroidered Tag-1950s in their "Conversation Pieces, and Gold Lame pieces.|
Vintage Vanity Fair Ads:
Here are a few of my favorite vintage Vanity Fair magazine advertisements. I have over 100, if you are looking for any particular one, please let me know.