Maidenform Collection, 1922-1997
About the Project
A thriving brassiere company created in 1922, Maidenform Inc. offered a new type of undergarment for women that enhanced, rather than downplayed, a woman's natural figure. Maidenform advertising campaigns were enormously successful, and generated controversy as well as praise. The now famous "I Dreamed" campaign was launched in 1949; this campaign ran for 20 years, making it one of the longest running campaigns in the history of advertising. The advertisements featured models in everyday or fantastic situations, elaborately costumed but wearing only a Maidenform bra above the waist. This campaign was followed by the "Maidenform Woman" campaign which was credited with boosting sales by 200 percent in some stores. Company records, including advertisements and reports, reveal information about the history of the brassiere industry and female-centered marketing campaigns.
Help transcribe this material as part of the Smithsonian's #BecauseOfHerStory campaign to share and celebrate the diverse stories of American girlhood. Coordination of this and other girlhood history projects in the Transcription Center (including selection, digitization, cataloging, outreach, and educational resources) was funded by the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative. Click here to learn more.