Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Uplifting Australians

Just a little bit of trivia today! One of the shopping sites that sends out special offers happened to have an ad for bras! The brands Berlei and Hestia to be exact. It prompted me with this post!

I love the history of this company. Frederick Burley was born in Richmond (Melbourne) in 1881. His two aunts made and sold corsets and he often helped to scrape the whalebones for the 'stays'. In 1910 he invested in a small 'made to order' corset firm located in Sydney. When his brother Arthur joined the firm in 1912 they created Unique Corsets Ltd. 
Fred Burley
And this was their commitment to the women of Australia!

“To Design and Manufacture Corsets and Brassieres of such perfect Fit, Quality, and Workmanship, as will bring pleasure and profit to all concerned, while at the same time rendering such excellent service to our Clients and Consumers as will merit their permanent patronage”.

Don't you just love it. 

They went on to engage the services of a medical doctor (!) and a garment designer to help create the innovative new corsets that would ultimately redefine the industry

Being fitted for a Berlei - they have come full circle with the modern Nancy Gantz 'hold-it-all-ins'
In 1917 they trademarked the name ‘Berlei’ - an adaptation of the Burley family name. They even introduced the first training courses for retail corsetieres and at their 7 storey headquarters they provided the staff with a library and a roof-top playground (boy were they ahead of their time!)

After listing on the Stock Exchange in 1926 more innovation followed. In conjunction with the University of Sydney, they conducted an anthropometric survey of 6,000 women using 23 individual measurements. The results formed the basis of the Berlei Figure Type Indicator, which changed the nature of corset making the around the world. They also revolutionised the lingerie fitting process by creating a metric Figure Type Classification. They went on to create the first maternity bra and in the 90's the first sports bra.

In the mid 1960s, the Hestia Company Ltd acquired Berlei Limited and changed the name to Berlei Hestia Ltd. It's now owned by Dunlop Australia. 

The Berlei and Dunlop Board - not a female in sight!
What entrepreneurship 
In the mid 60's I can recall my father introducing me to the then Managing Director of Berlei - his name was Mr Hurley - talk about Hurley Berlei!!

But it was the name Hestia that always 'tickled my fancy'!! I'm sure you've heard it before!

Holds Every Size Tit In Australia

Kate Cebrano celebrating her curves in Berlei (well perhaps Hestia!)
(thanks to the history from the Berlei website here)

No comments:

Post a Comment