Gal-entine’s Day

MET Costume Institute_Gift of Gale Epstein

The Metropolitan Museum of Art holds several gorgeous pieces of vintage Hanky Panky, including this bra and panty set from 1980, made from vintage handkerchiefs. Gale gave Lida a similar set as a birthday present, and a lasting and fruitful partnership was born.

Tomorrow is for celebrating the thrilling frission of romantic love. I am going to listen to Sam Cooke’s “Cupid” and reread my favorite passages in The Once and Future King (no one does the wounded lover pout like Guenever, or is as manly in defeat to love as Lancelot). But thanks to Amy Poehler and the brilliant gang on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, today is for honoring friendship among girls. Words of the day are “Hoes before Bros,” “ovaries before brovaries,” BFF and besties.

"Love and Friendship" by Emily Bronte

Framed reprint of Emily Brontë’s 1850 poem “Love and Friendship”. Available at Book Culture on 450 Columbus Avenue, NY, NY 10024.

Hanky Panky began with the friendship of our co-founders, Gale Epstein and Lida Orzeck. Gale and Lida met during their college years, and remained close after graduation. One year, Gale designed and sewed a bra and panty set to give to Lida as a birthday present, made from the vintage handkerchiefs that Gale was collecting at the time. Lida loved her present. Together, the friends decided that other women would also appreciate the styles, and they hit upon a winning name, “Hanky Panky.” Gale went back to her studio and expanded the two pieces to a collection, which Lida then sold to top lingerie departments and stores throughout New York City. Just like that, a star of American design and manufacturing was born. Today, Hanky Panky makes American-made and -sourced clothing that millions of women love to wear, in the process employing hundreds of local workers.


About Hanky Panky

In 1977, designer Gale Epstein created a hand-made lingerie set for her friend, Lida Orzeck, crafted out of embroidered handkerchiefs. The original designs were the inspiration for the company name, Hanky Panky. Blending traditional with modern glam looks, Hanky Panky is a fashion favorite of countless celebrities.
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