Open main menu

Frederick's of Hollywood was a well-known retailer of women's lingerie in the United States, with stores in many modern shopping malls across the USA. After filing for bankruptcy in 2015, 93 retail stores were closed, the brand was acquired by Authentic Brands Group and it was relaunched as an online-only store.

Frederick's of Hollywood
FounderFrederick Mellinger
ParentAuthentic Brands Group


History and operationsEdit

Frederick's of Hollywood store on Hollywood Blvd

The business was started by Frederick Mellinger[1] (inventor of the push-up bra) in 1947.[2] Frederick's sold bras, panties, corsets, bedroom slippers, a vast array of hosiery, bridal lingerie, special occasion lingerie, and more. The original flagship store[3] was a landmark on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. In September 2005, after 59 years, the store moved to a larger space a few blocks away, near the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

The store previously housed The Lingerie Museum featuring The Celebrity Lingerie Hall of Fame, which exhibited a collection of underwear worn by Hollywood movie stars, such as one of Madonna's pointy-breasted corsets.

Frederick's of Hollywood was the market leader in lingerie until the 1980s, when it was overtaken by Victoria's Secret.[2]

In 1992, Frederick's lingerie museum drew national media attention when it was looted during the Los Angeles riots. Madonna’s black bustier, which was worn in her music video for Open Your Heart, was stolen and is never returned to this day despite a $1,000 reward from Frederick’s. However, Madonna eventually gave the museum a replacement in exchange for a $10,000 donation to an organization that supplied free mammograms to the poor. Other lingeries stolen in the store were Ava Gardner's bloomers and a push-up bra worn by actress Katey Sagal in Married... with Children. One repentant looter delivered a bag of Gardner's and Sagal's lingeries to the pastor at nearby Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Hollywood.[4][5][6][7] An Austin newspaper noted that Blessed Sacrament's pastor "may be the only priest in America to ever comfort a man who felt guilty about stealing celebrity bloomers."[8] In an article titled "Support Is Generous for Bra Museum", the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted that such an "uplifting story could only happen in Hollywood."[9]

Some of the lingerie worn by the iconic 1950s pin-up Bettie Page was from Frederick's of Hollywood.[2]

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001. In 2003, it emerged from bankruptcy and was headquartered in Los Angeles. In 2006, it merged with New York City sleepwear manufacturer Movie Star and the headquarters was moved to New York.[10] In 2008, the company changed its name to Frederick's of Hollywood Group Inc.[11] The company was traded on the American Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FOHL, but in May 2014, the company was taken private by Harbinger Group and other investors.[12] Its headquarters remain in New York City.

In 2015, the company closed its stores and again filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Its brand and online operations were acquired by Authentic Brands Group. The company announced it would be online only, with possible future plans to create products for sale in department stores and other retail outlets.[13]


Many notable models have posed for Frederick's of Hollywood catalogs, including:


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c John Baxter (February 10, 2009). Carnal Knowledge: Baxter's Concise Encyclopedia of Modern Sex. HarperCollins. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-06-087434-6. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  3. ^ "Frederick’s (of Hollywood) – Started out in an office on Hollywood Boulevard, about a block east of Western. Then a big warehouse on Wilcox just south of Sunset. Then on Hollywood Boulevard to what was Kress’s Department Store which was a five-and-dime, like Woolworth’s."
  4. ^ Seth Mydans (May 6, 2002). "After the riots; Confessions of a Star-Struck Looter". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Connie Cass (May 6, 1992). "LA Police take more heat; Unrest declared at an end". Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  6. ^ Steve Harvey (May 2, 2002). "Los Angeles; Only in L.A.; Bird? Bone? Front Window? Maybe the Perpetrator Suffered a Vertigo Attack". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ "An odd haul finds its way to L.A. police out of remorse and fear, people are returning whas was taken". The Philadelphia Inquirer. May 6, 2002.
  8. ^ John Kelso (May 9, 1992). "Famous lingerie part of the job for priest at Hollywood church". Austin American-Statesmen.
  9. ^ Elaine Viets (May 20, 1992). "Support Is Generous For Bra Museum". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  10. ^ Frederick's of Hollywood going public – December 19, 2006
  11. ^ Frederick's of Hollywood Group Inc. – – Retrieved August 5, 2009
  12. ^ "Frederick's of Hollywood Group Completes 'Going Private' Transaction". PR Newswire. May 30, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  13. ^ Authentic Brands wants to expand Frederick’s of Hollywood products to new channels

External linksEdit