Getting Intimate with the Icons


Three inspiring Intimate Apparel industry icons shared over 250 years of experience with us at The Cutting Room in Manhattan.  We were pleased to present Norma Reinhardt, Janet Peters, and Roslyn Harte in Getting Intimate With The Icons!

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The Intimate Apparel community gathered on October 7th to witness their wisdom and wit while getting a glimpse of the industry’s past from their perspective. After an hour of cocktails and networking, the icons got on stage.

Icons and Pres

The president of The Underfashion Club, Inc.Victor Vega, began by congratulating Karyn Monget on her recent retirement from Women’s Wear Daily. As a token of our esteem and appreciation for her support, we gave her a gift. She loves cats.

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Victor passed the microphone over the to the program’s moderator,  Amy Bittner. Amy’s an example of the future of the Intimate Apparel industry as well as the Underfashion Club. She’s one of our scholarship winners, and she’s on the board and program committee! To welcome the crowd, she threw on a wig for inspiration (Charlie Rose), and gave a punny introduction to the event.

Amy Bittner Wig

The icons have each been a Femmy honoree, some multiple times. They thrived at a time when women had to be especially tough to succeed and have contributed to building and supporting today’s industry.

Norma Reinhardt began her career as a children’s wear buyer at Abraham & Strauss in Brooklyn, now known as Macy’s. She moved to intimate apparel as a bra buyer and had the biggest open-to-buy in the country. She became VP and Merchandiser at Teen Form, which is now Wacoal America. After retiring, she returned to the industry as VP Product Developer at Westchester Lace and later chose to devote herself full-time to being an executive on the board of Housing Works charity, helping families with AIDS. She is also a New York State certified ombudsman for nursing homes. As if that wasn’t enough, she was also past president and active member of the Intimate Apparel Square Club charity for pediatrics!

Janet Peters began her career as a fit model for Vanity Fair in the early 1950’s in Reading, Pennsylvania. She rose to become the first female VP of Vanity Fair Mills and the first female senior VP of the Vanity Fair corporation. She’s always been a huge supporter of new talent in our  industry. Today, she’s a moving force in Pennsylvania Rotary and charities including The Underfashion Club and The Intimate Apparel Square Club.

Roslyn Harte was born in Manhattan in the year of 1924 and grew up in Brooklyn. As a native New Yorker, she’s known for being “Brooklyn tough.” Her only design education was from High School. She got her first job in Vogue Magazine in 1941, where she worked for 4 years. During that time, the war stopped the fashion industry for parachutes and uniforms. She started working as a lingerie designer for Lady Duff in 1946. In 1954, she left to start Roslyn Harte Lingerie Originals, freelancing in intimate apparel. Her studio evolved into a design contract enterprise, supplementing design teams for companies such as Maidenform, Vanity Fair, Barad, and many more. Today, she helps startup companies in intimates, activewear, and swimwear. Her studio just celebrated its 60th year anniversary on April 7th of this year! She’s also extremely active on The Underfashion Club board and the Intimate Apparel Square Club.

On The Stage

After getting to know the icons, Amy Bittner opened up the floor to questions. Roz gave advice for the future of the Intimate Apparel industry: Everyday intimates will always be needed, but something hot and new will get your foot into the door. Making intimate apparel is expensive; it takes at least $200,000 to start a small intimates company.

Thank you for joining us!

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