Mall-goers now have one less option for racy nighties and polyestery butt floss, as—barring some eleventh-hour private equity savior—Frederick’s of Hollywood has filed for bankruptcy and plans to close its brick-and-mortar outposts.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the company has filed for chapter 11, the kind where you reorganize rather than liquidate. Authentic Brands Group, LLC has offered $22.5 million to take the brand online-only. Unless another cash-flush firm appears, ready to outbid them to reopen the stores, it’s the end of the line for Frederick’s as an IRL institution.
The company has been around since 1946, starting as a mail-order business, and would eventually open stores across the country. Take a peek at this 1964 catalog on Flickr and you’ll get a pretty clear sense of the company’s midcentury sensibility. (“for that ‘marry-a-millionaire’ look!” “bosom magic with pads!” “the wonderful world of bikinis!”)
Despite its very postwar origins, the brand weathered the sexual revolution well enough. In 1986, the Orlando Sentinal declared that “Modern sexuality makes Frederick’s of Hollywood less shocking, still popular.”
Even so, Frederick’s has been on its last stocking-clad leg for quite some time. This is, in fact, their second bankruptcy filing since 2000. Via the L.A. Times:
Ron Friedman, a retail expert at consulting and accounting firm Marcum, said he wasn’t surprised by the store closures.
“As a company, I think they became old and stale,” he said. “Victoria’s Secret has been a home run compared to them.”
Guess they just never got past those back-of-the-newspaper glory days:
But we’ll always have YouTube to remember the way Frederick’s was. Here is a video launching Frederick’s bridal collection—in Las Vegas, of course:
And here is a photoshoot for Christmas 2009. Leopard was in, apparently:
Please share any amusing Frederick’s of Hollywood anecdotes in the comments. (I don’t have any because Frederick’s was apparently just too scandalous for suburban Georgia.)
Photo via Getty.
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