Frederick's of Hollywood

Frederick’s of Hollywood, Inc. is a leading U.S. intimate apparel retailer, with an emphasis on racier clothing and other items. Through about 160 mainly mall-based stores, a mail-order business, and an online shopping site, Frederick’s sells lingerie, bras, and panties, as well as sportswear, dresses, swim-wear, shoes, hosiery, accessories, and a line of menswear.

The company is named for its founder and longtime president Frederick Mellinger, who conceived of his lingerie business while serving in the armed forces during World War II. In 1946, after his discharge, Mellinger established a mail-order undergarment operation in New York City. Known as Frederick’s of Fifth Avenue, his shop offered racy black bras and panties embellished with lace and appliqués.

Frederick’s of Hollywood, historically known for their racy lingerie, in an effort to reinvent themselves, and thus increase their market share, they’re changing their style up. They will now be selling clothing now in addition to their sexy lingerie.

Frederick’s new line of clothing includes adorable bodysuits, cute and trendy bralettes and soft camisoles, which can be worn by themselves, over or under jackets or under your favorite shirt. They’re also going to make and sell T-shirts and tattered jeans that are reflective of current fashion styles.

These current looks are the complete opposite of the brand’s originals. Frederick’s was established in 1947. They can boast that they created a ton of apparel staples that most women can’t imagine their lives without including: the push-up bra, falsies and padded girdles. They’re even credited with bringing the bikini in the United States.

In its 1950s, Frederick’s tested boundaries and started selling glamorous negligees and sexy form fitted dresses, an American take on French fashion. Additionally, Frederick’s was one of the first lingerie companies to market their lingerie to the masses. They produced and mailed catalogs featuring their lingerie and opened stores, in malls, throughout the country.

Decades later, the company lost their steam and perhaps their vision. Starting in the mid-1980s, rather than being considered as classy and glamorous, they started to be seen as trashy. Most young consumers, who Frederick’s desired to be their base audience, saw their products as tacky instead.

Store Review​

There are two different policies in place for customers who have complaints or issues with what they purchased. First, their “Risk Free Guarantee” which says that if you receive an item and determine that it is the wrong size for you, you can ship it back for free and exchange it for the correct size.

Second, they have a more traditional Refund Policy which says that you have 60 days from your date of purchase to see if you are unhappy with an item and to return it for a refund of the purchase price.

In general, the Fredericks of Hollywood and other shapewear seems to have a positive reputation. One complaint which was repeated is that their items run smaller than many buyers expected, which meant they had to go through the exchange process to get the correct size.

Products to Buy​

The Chameleon Bra ​

The Frederick’s of Hollywood Chameleon bra is 3 styles in 1. The cups incorporate pads which can be worn black side out, colored side out, or which can be removed for a sheer cup look. While this bra isn’t a dead ringer for any more expensive styles I found, it does look inspired by several in its various states which makes this a great look for less. The bra is available in white, red, teal, blueberry, or purple garnet and all have black lace accents.

Reversible Bra ​

Remember back in 2007 when Victoria’s Secret had some reversible bras? There weren’t very many styles and they didn’t stick around very long, but they were a novelty while they lasted. Now, a year and a half later, Frederick’s Hollywood is trying their hand at this sort of product with the Hollywood Reversible Plunge Bra. These bras are available in nine different combinations; some have two solid colors, and some have a solid color on one side and a print on one side.

Plus Size Line​

Shoppers will enjoy a revamped and enhanced plus-size department filled with an incredible selection of styles and extended sizes up to 3X and 42F, shown on Frederick’s first ever plus-size models. We all know that Frederick’s of Hollywood has been out for years providing those of us with ample bosoms with sexy supportive bras. Their revamped plus size section just shows that they are making an effort to make sure they’re truly representing plus size and curvy girls the right way.

Closing Store for Online Benefits​

The 68-year-old business, which was the leading lingerie retailer until being eclipsed by Victoria’s Secret in the 1980s, was founded during the ’50s pin-up era by Frederick Mellinger. Also known for housing The Lingerie Museum and Celebrity Lingerie Hall of Fame, famously looted during the 1992 L.A. riots, Frederick’s of Hollywood will continue to offer bedroom accessories and sex toys in addition to lingerie.

In the face of its fierce competition, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2000 and re-emerged in 2003. Frederick’s then went public in 2006 before being taken private by Harbinger Group and other investors in 2013.

The Bottom Line

Increasing competition from upstart lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret hurt the company throughout the 1990s, and Frederick’s finally was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2000. Following a thorough restructuring, the firm emerged from bankruptcy in January 2003, majority owned by a consortium of creditors led by Crédit Agricole, a French investment bank. In an attempt to differentiate itself from Victoria’s Secret and other competitors, Frederick’s has repositioned its product line to appeal to younger women by returning to a racier image—but not to the raunchy image on which the company made its reputation.​

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