Frederick's of Hollywood - 1976 Vintage Catalog

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Frederick's of Hollywood, Kick off the SUN Season. Hollywood: Hollywood Mailorder Group, 1976. Saddle-stapled soft cover, 72 pp. Illustrated throughout with full-color and b/w drawings and photographs. 



Established in 1947, Fredericks of Hollywood was founded by Frederick Mellinger, who is credited with inventing, the push-up bra, falsies, and padded girdles. Mellinger is even said to have introduced the bikini in the US.

In its 1950s glory years, the company placed a premium on glamour, venturing onto untested terrain by selling an Americanized version of French lingerie alongside wispy negligees and slinky dresses with an hourglass shape.

Frederick’s was also one of the first established lingerie brands to woo a mass consumer, publishing racy catalogs and opening in malls, though some of its kinkier wares were advertised chiefly in the back pages of men’s pulp magazines.

Its alternately coy and candid catalog copy would likely raise eyebrows today. A page headlined “Men Love Fannies” highlighted an “open-end” push-up brief that exposed the derrière. Another introduced an open crotch “for intimate indiscretions.”

By the mid-1980s, though, stale marketing and cheesy workmanship had tainted the company’s image. Viewed widely as a faintly comical adult novelty brand, its undies were adopted in the ’90s by younger consumers as campy Halloween wear.

More recent efforts by the company to update and elevate its image included a Dita Von Teese for Frederick’s of Hollywood line, introduced in 2007 but unaccountably discontinued.