Emilio Pucci for Formfit Rogers

Not long ago I spotted the half slip pictured above in my not-so-secret shopping place.  My first thought was that it was an Emilio Pucci for Formfit Rogers so I started looking for the evidence:  the initials EPFR printed within the print.  I was just about to give up and call it a good copy when I spotted them.

In 1959 Pucci decided that he wanted to expand into lingerie.  Rather than do the production in-house, he was advised to look for an established lingerie company that would handle production.  Pucci came to the United States, and signed a deal with Formfit Rogers, a Chicago company.  Pucci provided the designs which were printed onto nylon tricot.   Much of the production took place in a factory in Tennessee.

I’ve seen the uncut fabric.  They printed it in big squares, about 72 inches, with an overall print surrounded by a small , about three inches, border.  The pieces were cut, using the border at the hem.  Sometime the border was cut and sewn, for a detail like a V-neckline.

We tend to think of designer “collaborations” as being a new scheme, but this is a good example of how even in the 1960s designers were finding ways to get their designs into the hands of people who could not afford their regular designs.  In 1969, a Pucci for Formfit half slip was priced at $9, or about $55 today.  Years ago I bought a bra and matching slip from a woman in Asheville.  She told me that she was living in New York City in 1969, working at her first job.  When she got that first paycheck she wanted to go out and splurge, and she ended up buying the Pucci set.

The line was quite successful, and lasted into the 1970s.  Still, the pieces are relatively hard to find, probably because people recognize them for what they are and snap them up.

In the early days of ebay, these Pucci Formfit pieces were very inexpensive.  I once bought a lot of six pieces for around $30.  Then the fabrics in modern ready-to-wear got thinner and thinner, and people started buying the lingerie to wear as outerwear.  They are no longer a bargain.

20 Comments

Filed under Designers, Made in the USA, Southern Textiles

20 responses to “Emilio Pucci for Formfit Rogers

  1. Love that slip! Again, this is fascinating fashion/textile history. I am so glad you know all this and share it with us!

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  2. Beautiful print. Thanks for sharing this story Lizzie. :-)

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  3. You always give such great perspective. Love thinking about the young woman treating herself to a lovely lingerie set. I bought a EPFR on eBay last summer. I think it was $30 and there was a lot of competition. You are 100% correct about the lingerie fabrics being “thinner” today. The quality is not there – even in the higher priced lines such as La Perla.

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  4. Isn’t it crazy that the outerwear fabrics of today are thinner than the lingerie of yesteryear? Just the other day I rightly called some of new clothing out there “tissue paper” – I don’t think it would last through a good sneeze!

    Beautiful stuff!

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  5. You are amazing, Lizzie! The depth of your knowledge is incredible, and what an eye you have. I would never have recognized this as a Pucci print and had no idea he ever made underwear. There ought to be a book…

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    • It was actually the border that made me think, “Pucci!”. On this lingerie line it is ubiquitous.

      Ten years of working on the VFG Label Resource has made me aware of how subtleties in design can be very informative. I’ve just trained my eye to look for them.

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    • Lynn, there is a great book on him: “Pucci: a Renaissance in Fashion” by Shirley Kennedy, 1991, and it does have a short bit on his Formfit-Rogers projects. My Pucci story is the maddening one where I passed up an original because I thought it was a copy, later realizing that the squiggle within the design was his signature (sheesh!).

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  6. Wow, this is gorgeous and I love how the slip is put together!

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  7. How to make lingerie more special?! I really think I need an pucci/formfit piece in my collection. :)

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  8. This the a great skirt to wear for spring, and it is right around the corner.

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