Shirley founder Herman Schlobohm was selling supplies to the bra and corset industry in New York in 1948 and decided to take his trade west to California, where he started the National Corset Supply House, a family business that grew to include sons Jon in 1960 and Roy in 1961. After years of manufacturing lingerie components, the Schlobohms decided to put the pieces together and manufacture their own lingerie in 1966. Four years later, they purchased the Shirley of Hollywood name from a retiring customer and expanded their product line to include corsets, busters, baby dolls, chemises, bras, panties, thongs, stockings, pyjamas, lounge wear and more. With Roy overseeing production and design and Jon handling operations and ﬁnances, the company continued to expand and the 1980s brought the third generation of Schlobohms into the family business: Dana Schlobohm-Walczuk took over design and marketing; Eric Schlobohm, sales; Kirk Schlobohm, quality control and international production; and Ron Schlobohm, domestic production.
Alterego CEO Diane Gordon-Freeman commented: “When we bought Shirley of Hollywood into our portfolio of brands we made the big decision to try and stock as many of the ‘top sellers’ as we could. This turned out to be a big factor in the growth of Shirley in UK, as it gave retailers a new option to sell the products on a dropship basis for the first time. Also stockists could reduce their stock re-order time to next day delivery rather than the previous long ordering times. And with no minimum order quantities they did not have to carry large amounts of stock, giving them more marketing and selling control – it was almost like launching a new brand.
“We are extremely proud to be associated with Shirley of Hollywood. It is a brand that is still going from strength to strength, even after all these years. The garments are really well made, repeat business is great, and they are really nice to work with. The new Big Collection is brilliant. I’m sure that our retail partners will be very impressed, and hopefully will have very successful year with the brand.”
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