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Frederick’s of Hollywood

Updated on May 27, 2013

Frederick’s of Hollywood: Naughty or Nice?

Frederick Mellinger was a groundbreaking innovator of women's undergarments, but his innovation may have caught up with the company, as it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2001, having went too far out of the mainstream to remain profitable.

After changing some things around and catering to the more normal woman, Frederick’s of Hollywood has started to turn things around, and is again becoming a market leader. As far as a brand goes, they still are one of the more recognizable in the world.

There's no question about it, Frederick's started appealing to the more basic instincts of women, and in the beginning the novelty of naughty was a hit. But after the years, sleazy dropped in popularity, and so the company is now changing its product and image in response to that reality.

So now when you look through a Fredericks of Hollywood catalog, you'll find more of what the average woman wants than those that have went extreme.

Now it's even safe to have a Fredericks catalog around the house; well, almost safe!

Frederick's of Hollywood Catwalk

Frederick's and Hollywood

In the beginning, Mellinger knew he could take advantage of the inclusion of Hollywood in the name of the company, and so targeted the glamorous actresses to get great publicity in the golden age of television.

Women, who at the time were enthralled with Hollywood actresses and looked to them for style ideas and readily copied them, did just that, and considering themselves a projection of Hollywood glamor and style bought up Fredricks lingerie readily.

In our day this backfired because a number of actresses through caution to the wind and got so extreme in behavior and some of their clothing, that the normal and average woman couldn't and don't relate to them, thus the need to change their strategy if they wanted to survive. 

Frederick's full figure bra

Frederick's of Hollywood a little more conservative now

Now that a large base of more conservative have emerged in America, Fredericks clothing has had to tame itself down some if it wanted to survive as a company, and it's done that.

They've also had to respond to the increasing number of large-sized women, who don't respond or pay attention to the Hollywood size of things, and so want comfort and something that helps them look good, rather than sleazy and naughty.

Of course that bring Frederick's into more direct competition with Victoria's Secret, and so have to manage things much better if they want to remain profitable. 

Fun Halloween Costumes from Fredericks of Hollywood

Frederick's the Innovator

One thing Fredericks of Hollywood will have to be careful of is always referring to their past innovation, which www fredricks com likes to do, or I should say www fredericksofhollywood likes to do.

Whenever the past is mentioned by a company over and over again, there's a hint that they're struggling in the present, and need to continue to innovate and lead in response to the times we live in, not the times that we used to live in.

Nobody is going to buy from you because you were an innovator and market leader in the past, they're going to buy from you because you give them what they want today. Fredricks of Hollywood will have to regain that if they want to surpass their past days of lingerie glory. 

Cute undergarments from Fredricks of Hollywood

Frederick's opened doors for women

Even so, Frederick's did bring lingerie out into the open, and made women, after a period of time, comfortable with thinking about it, trying new things, and enjoying the look that was exciting and fun for them at the time.

Many others have followed in their footsteps, but their a little more tamer offerings appealed more to the masses, and so Frederick's has had to play catchup while watching some of their foundation being stolen by competitors who understood that a little naughty is fun, but too much naughty gravitates toward slutty, and the average woman doesn't like to think of herself that way, so Frederick's has to be careful not to rely too much on its past, while reminding people they have made some innovative products that did more than just make women feel sexy - or in some cases - too sleazy. 

Art Lace Chemise from Frederick's of Hollywood

Catwalk Fredericks of Hollywood

Frederick's Today

So whether they liked it or not, changing American women and lifestyles has forced Fredericks of Hollywood to change their original focus or they wouldn't survive.

They've been working on doing that, and now the days of overt sexuality and naughty have been abandoned for more comfortable and practical clothing that women of today are looking for. 


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    • profile image

      Chiraza knight 3 years ago

      I would love to see if i could talk to someone about a project that iam working on. We here at chazafashions llc we love our work

      we are a small company

      I think your customers would love this.


      business 7704829100


    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      Fredericks is naughty and* nice!

      LOVE Fredericks when I get sick of VS.

    • FashionFame profile image

      FashionFame 7 years ago from California

      Great hub and nice pictures. Frederick's of Hollywood is one of best pace to shop for best womens wear. I also love Victoria's Secret. I have just made a hub on 'Hottest Trends in Victoria's Secret Swimwear for 2010'.Im joining your fan club and would like to invite you to join mine to stay connected. Loved your hub and hope you like mine also.