Date of Degree

9-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Biography and Memoir

Advisor

Kate Culkin

Subject Categories

Fashion Business | Nonfiction | Women's History

Abstract

From 1922 to 1973, Ida Rosenthal made women's breasts her business. As the co-creator and CEO of Maidenform, she developed the company into one of the world's most successful intimate apparel businesses. It was under Ida’s tutelage that Maidenform produced an array of innovative products that shaped women's bodies and became an American icon for their "I Dreamed" campaign. She built Maidenform into an international corporation, a famous name, and a legacy brand while living an incredibly full life with as many peaks and valleys as the company she created.

For this study, I focused on the early years of her life, beginning at birth to the opening of Maidenform's first factory in the early 1930s. By concentrating on this timeframe, I have developed a narrative of the cultural, educational, and personal foundations that Ida utilized to become a powerful businesswoman.

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