Branding Removal

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Cosmetic surgery claims the ability to remove a branding by using lasers or other advanced techniques; however, it is expensive and not always successful. Currently it is not possible to completely remove a branding without leaving some type of scar.

See also Punk; Scarification; Tattoos. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Beck, Peggy, Nia Francisco, and Anna Lee Walters, eds. The Sacred: Ways of Knowledge, Sources of Life. Tsaile, Ariz.: Navajo Community College Press, 1995. Camphausen, Rufus C. Return to the Tribal: A Celebration of Body

Adornment. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street Press, 1997. Mercury, Maureen. Pagan Fleshworks: The Alchemy of Body Modification. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street Press, 2000.

Theresa M. Winge

BRANDS AND LABELS Brands developed as a means of commercial distinction within the marketplace in the mid- to late-nineteenth century. The process of branding begins with the attachment of a name to a business, product, or a family of products, and involves the creation of an image for that business which sets it apart from its competitors. Brand image is usually disseminated through advertising, but the value of a brand generally resides in its reputation and the level of loyalty or desirability it can generate amongst consumers. In the fashion industry, a desirable brand name allows companies to bridge the gap between expensive, high-fashion garments and affordable mass-market goods such as perfumes, accessories, and ready-to-wear diffusion lines.

The emergence of brands is closely linked to the establishment of copyright, patent, and trademark legislation in the nineteenth century, as this allowed companies to legally protect their names, and seek redress from their imitators. Many other factors affected the emergence of modern brands, such as the growth of new distribution and retail networks; the increased dominance of fixed-pricing, the concomitant growth of the advertising and packaging trades, and the shift from local to national (and international) markets for consumer goods.

The fashion industry can seek legal protection for designs through patents legislation, which protects the unauthorized use of original designs for manufacture. It also benefits from complex trademark legislation, which protects the words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that are used to distinguish goods and services. Effectively, this covers the use of a company's logo and brand identity from both counterfeit and "look-alike" goods, where the visual identity of brand is suggested rather than exactly copied.

One celebrated early example of branded clothing is Levi Strauss and Co., who incorporated many trade-marked features into their garments (such as rivets and stitching) and gave proof of authenticity in the form of a patent and trademark "certificate" with each garment (later to be sewn on as a label). Authenticity is a central promise of branded goods, and the fashion industry has used it to generate high cultural value in a world of rapid turnover, fluctuating consumer loyalties, and the seemingly incessant demand for novelty. Fashion branding has become synonymous with a late-capitalist consumerist culture where it is the experience rather than the product that drives demand.

Many fashion houses developed as brands through the practice of franchising and licensed copying. In the period 1880-1914, couture businesses such as Worth and Paquin sold through an international network of department stores. In their attempts to cut down on illegal copying, they also sold reproduction rights to private dressmaking salons. The copying of models was a fundamental part of the nineteenth century fashion trade, and designer "names" such as Worth would produce models specifically for copy by retailers in both Europe and America, in order to gain some financial benefit from this practice. By the 1860s it was necessary for Worth to incorporate a house label into products, carrying the Worth name and address either stamped or woven into garments (labels were in turn copied by counterfeit producers).

This two-tier system of couture models and more accessible ready-to-wear lines bearing the same label was exploited by successive generations of designers, including Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel, who used it to build their international reputations. The "signature label" became a defining characteristic of twentieth-century fashion, allowing fashion houses and named designers to attach their names to goods including fashion, perfume, cosmetics, and even household products in order to give these goods distinction. In this way, fashion branding moved beyond the "naming" of a product into the creation of desirable lifestyle scenarios, which could supposedly be replicated by consumers purchasing even the smallest named item. During the 1930s, most of the major couture labels including Elsa Schiaparelli, Coco Chanel, and Jean Patou successfully marketed their signature perfumes well beyond the market for couture.

Franchising became a more widespread activity in the postwar period. Designers such as Dior used the success of franchise agreements in the1940s to underpin the more risky business of couture. In the 1970s and 1980s designers such as Paco Rabanne, Pierre Cardin, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren capitalized on the value of their brands by franchising their names to the producers of house-wares, accessories, and beauty lines. Some labels quickly became debased by the lack of quality control, and crossed the fine line from exclusivity to down-market ubiquity. Now that the practice is more commonplace, it is also more heavily controlled by the presence of major global conglomerates such as LVMH and the Gucci Group. Many brands, such as Donna Karan, have successfully created a family of brands or diffusion lines, each of which has a specific character and target market (Donna Karan and the various DKNY lines including Kids, City, Sport, and Pure).

Aside from the diversification of fashion houses, brand culture has also been driven by the expansion of the sports and leisure sectors into fashion. Despite its claim to be motivated only by the needs of athletes, the global sportswear brand Nike has become synonymous with street fashion since its diversification in the mid-1980s. Nike's phenomenal expansion was also due to its direct appeal to a sense of personal achievement through its "Just Do It" slogan and highly emotive advertising. It also fueled overt brand loyalty on the part of its wearers. The popularity of branded goods amongst closely defined "style tribes" has resulted in a profusion of goods where the logo is prominently displayed.

By the twenty-first century, investment in brand building has reached unprecedented levels, with many familiar brand names reinventing themselves by the hire of celebrity designers and radical company overhauls. Fashion and luxury brands have been most affected, as brands known for a particular product category (such as leather goods) launch couture and ready-to-wear collections. With a combination of business acumen and designer credentials, brand "auteurs" such as Tom Ford have transformed the fortunes of a company such as Gucci in a few short years. Many individual designers now work in several capacities at once: creating their own couture and ready-to-wear collections, producing a collection for another fashion house (John Galliano and Alexander McQueen have both held this post at Givenchy) and perhaps acting as consultant to a department store's own label (Betty Jackson for Marks & Spencer, Jasper Conran for Debenhams in the United Kingdom). These designers may risk their individual reputations on the success of named collections, but the companies behind them are now multinational conglomerates, each with a huge portfolio of brands.

See also Logos. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Clifton, Rita, and John Simmons, eds. Brands and Branding.

Princeton, N.J.: Bloomberg Press, 2004. Mendes, Valerie, and Amy de la Haye. 20th Century Fashion.

London: Thames and Hudson, 1999. Pavitt, Jane, ed. Brand New. London: V & A Publications, 2000. Troy, Nancy J. Couture Culture: A Study in Modern Art and Fashion. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2003. White, Nicola, and Ian Griffiths, eds. The Fashion Business: Theory, Practice, Image. Oxford: Berg, 2000.

Jane M. Pavitt

BRASSIERE A brassiere is a garment worn next to the skin with two shaped cups or pockets to hold female breast tissue; it is supported by a chest bandeau and generally two over-the-shoulder straps. It may have elastic, wire, padding, lace trim, and a variety of other parts. Strapless versions are also used on occasions where the shoulders are exposed. Specialized brassieres are made for holding breast prostheses of those with surgical removal of one or both breasts, in addition to the particular needs of maternity and nursing mothers. Brassiere styles are often dependent on the fashionable silhouette of the time: breast-flattening bands of the early 1920s, softly curved bias-cut styles of the 1930s, structured and circular stitched "torpedo" shapes of the 1940s and 1950s, unstructured and naturally shaped bras of the 1960s and 1970s, until the introduction of the Lycra-based knitted fabric sports bras of the 1980s. Any of those could be found in lingerie wardrobes, along with the ultimate in uplift and underwire by Wonderbra, Victoria's Secret, Warnaco, and others. It is not anatomically or physiologically necessary to support the breasts, but is strictly a fashionable or socially demanded item.

Breast coverings, in the form of tight bandeaus, have been worn throughout history and by many different ethnic groups of women, but the particularly designed and shoulder-supported garment we know today was a product of the nineteenth-century Dress Reform. United States patent #40,907 issued to Luman L. Chapman in 1863 may be the first recorded design in America, but is almost certainly not the first such garment produced for women wishing to substitute a more comfortable garment for their fashionable tight-laced corsets.

A Norman French word for a child's undershirt, the term "brassiere" was adopted in America about 1904 when it appeared in New York advertising copy of the DeBevoise Company to describe their latest bust supporter, thus giving it French cachet. Prior to that time,

Nineteenth Century Fashion

Brassiere advertisement. This advertisement shows the soft, curved bias-cut styles popular in the 1 930s. The French word brassiere, adopted in the United States about 1904 when it appeared in an advertisement in New York, gave the garment a French quality. They were previously known as "bust, bosom, or breast supporters/corsets." © Bettmann/Corbis. Reproduced by permission.

Caresse Crosby Bra Reproduction

Maiden Form advertisement. This advertisement was part of an exhibit at the "Enterprising Women: 250 Years of American Business" at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts, in 2002. The design shows a brassiere, boxing gloves, and athletic trunks. AP/Wide World Photos. Reproduced by permission.

Maiden Form advertisement. This advertisement was part of an exhibit at the "Enterprising Women: 250 Years of American Business" at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts, in 2002. The design shows a brassiere, boxing gloves, and athletic trunks. AP/Wide World Photos. Reproduced by permission.

the garments specifically designed for breast covering and support were designated variously as bust, bosom, or breast supporters or corsets. Occasionally they were patented as braces, waists, foundation garments, halters, or simply covers. The term "brassiere" became widespread in English-speaking nations within a few years, but the French have maintained their designation of soutien-gorge (literally "bosom supporter"). In the 1930s, when slang shortened words like pajamas to "pj's," brassieres became "bras." Custom-made in the nineteenth century, the brassiere made its entrance into mass production in the early twentieth century in the United States, England, western Europe, and other countries influenced by Western lifestyles.

The brassiere had early prototypes in undergarments worn by late eighteenth-century Western European women with the lightweight columnar fashions that emphasized the breasts and deemphasized the natural waist. Those unstructured pouchlike garments, fitted by draw strings, and commonly held by shoulder straps, may have inspired the dressmakers and reformers who attempted to produce garments later in the nineteenth century. One function that corsets provided was to help disperse from the waist, the weight of the crinolines, petticoats, and skirts, which may have been as much as thirty-five pounds. A garment with shoulder straps could transfer this weight to the shoulders by hitching lower garments to hooks and tapes. Dress Reformers, including about half of the doctors in a survey of the mid-nineteenth-century medical literature, encouraged women to wear garments that would not impede their digestion, lung capacity, or reproductive system; the new designs maintained the fashionable shape without harming the physique.

Several dozen American entrepreneurs patented breast-supporting garments in the decades up to World War I; about half were women. Olivia Flynt, Marie Tucek, Caroline Newell, and Gabrielle Poix Yerkes were early patentees and producers, with dozens following in the twentieth century. In the undergarment industry, enterprising women found opportunities in design, production, and management not readily available to them in other clothing manufacture. Dr. Jeanne Walters patented rubber brassiere designs with weight-loss claims; and Herma Dozier, R.N., patented three maternity and nursing bras for her company Fancee Free. The latter employed adjustable flaps to allow nipple access without removing the supporting garment. By the end of World War II, the vast majority of fashion-conscious women in America and Europe were wearing brassieres. Western fashions introduced the brassiere to Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

There have been many attributions about the invention of the brassiere. One oft-repeated story concerns Mary Phelps Jacob (a.k.a. Caresse Crosby), a self-described New York socialite who patented a bias-cut brassiere in 1914; it was neither first nor successful. Frenchwoman Herminie (Hermoinie) Cadolle set up a lingerie business in Argentina just as rubber fabric became available and parlayed her elastic insert brassieres (not unlike L. L. Chapman's 1863 design) into a fortune and eventually moved back to Paris, where her business survives in the early 2000s. Claims to her invention of the shoulder strap are misplaced. The Warner Corset Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, also professed invention, but can only declare innovation and patents for several excellent designs, mostly after 1890. The Gossard Company dominated the English market for many years, with many unique adaptations in brassieres. In fact, there were hundreds of innovators. Not all patented designs, but many found success in the marketplace as women demanded more comfort in their clothing and fashion moved away from the rigid silhouettes of the nineteenth century. In a changing society, women entered universities and work places in great numbers, they took part in sports like hiking, tennis and bicycling, and they drove cars, activities that demanded greater freedom of movement and lung capacity than allowed by restrictive corsets.

As the idea of the brassiere became popular, patterns for the home seamstress were available, but the intricacy of stitching required skills practiced by specialists. Dozens of small entrepreneurial firms entered the market to supply the growing demands for brassieres. Production could be mastered and as assembly lines using readily available components were set up in small quarters, the industry flourished. Designs were patented by the hundreds, along with specialized machinery for cutting, sewing, making fasteners, and even packaging as sales of brassieres increased. Special industries produced the rust-proof wires, hooks, fasteners, and straps in addition to the fabrics, elastics, lace trims, stitching machines, and molding units. Brassiere construction involves up to forty components per garment, using specialized machines for cutting and sewing. In early designs, chromium wire fasteners were the norm; these have been largely replaced by plastic components, which like straps are produced by specialized firms. Improvements in rubber and synthetic elastics have resulted in their almost universal use in brassieres. Fabric selection for brassieres has evolved from the firm coutil and twill weaves used in the nineteenth century to the fine cottons, embroidered polyester blends, delicate silks, fiberfill, and soft knits of the twenty-first century. The brassiere business gave opportunity to women in ownership, administration, design, and manufacturing not readily available in other fields. There were some self-regulatory aspects within the industry, particularly regarding nomenclature. What differentiated a bandeau from a brassiere was more than two inches of length below the breasts. Until war shortages created problems with supplies, there were few government regulations for work standards or for wages.

By the 1910s, retailers featured specialist "fitters" in departments devoted to corsets and brassieres, which did not have universal cup sizing until the early 1930s. Brassieres, like other items of clothing, were sewn in small production companies, often by sweated labor. Despite demands of complicated designs, sewers were expected to produce items of uniform style and size. The term "cup" was not used until 1916, and letter designation for cup size was first used about 1933 by S. H. Camp and Company to imply progression in volume of breast tissue to be replaced with their prostheses. The under-breast circumference or band dimension is one part of early twenty-first-century brassiere size, with the cup volume designated in letters AA thru I available in retail outlets. Introduction of the minimally shaped "training bra" in the 1950s opened the fashion door for countless adolescents.

Fabrics that could be sewn with flat-felled or bias-tape covered seams were used to ensure comfort to the wearer. In pre-1900 brassieres, linen, cotton broadcloth, and twill weaves were favored. "Whirlpool," or concen tric, stitching shaped the bra structure of some designs after 1940. As man-made fibers were introduced, these were quickly adopted by the industry because of their properties of easy care. Since a brassiere must be laundered frequently, this was of great importance. Zippers were used in some designs, as well as Velcro, but these fasteners caused discomfort or caught on clothing and complicated laundering.

Small, medium, and large companies were making brassieres in America during the 1930s and 1940s. Some fell prey to shortages of material during World War II, others to changes in business practices in the drive for export markets. There were union problems, and in later decades challenges switching to computer-aided design. The need to supply and advertise to a nationwide market stretched some firms to the breaking point. Offshore production was initiated to save labor costs following the war, eroding influence of garment workers' unions. Introduction of self-service in lingerie departments was another cost-cutting measure, but did not stem the loss of declining brands. Individual brand-name manufacturers have been taken over by conglomerates, which resulted in fewer available designs and less attention paid to quality, in part due to manufacturing processes being moved offshore. Brassiere manufacturing companies like Kabo of Chicago and Kops of New York were in business from the 1890s until the mid-1960s. Many like G. M. Poix, Treo, Model, Dorothy Bickum, Van Raalte, and Lovable lasted fifty or more years, often run by successive family generations. Maiden Form (until 1948, when it changed to Maidenform) began production in 1922 as a direct competitor to the New York-based Boyshform Company, who made bandeau flatteners for the slim styles of the times. After being a leader in the industry and developing through their advertising campaigns one of the best recognized brand names in history, Maidenform continues eighty years later with a smaller market share. Familiar names like Olga, Bali, Exquisite Form, and Playtex played important roles in the brassiere industry but are now owned by conglomerates.

Eroticism is associated with breasts and brassieres, and brassieres do play a role in the fetish and transves-tite dressing by males; however, the garment was designed with the female shape in mind. One prominent promoter of eroticism with a twist of humor was Frederick's of Hollywood, who has been almost eclipsed in the early 2000s by the very market-savvy Victoria's Secret Company. The latter has parlayed lingerie into an art form, taking eroticism from the boudoir to the front parlor in an upward thrust of lace. Decolletage, whether natural or enhanced by padding, is emphasized with the underwired push-up brassiere and by silicone gel in the cups. The metallic wire in many brassieres has been replaced by flexible plastic, perhaps in an attempt to increase comfort and durability. Brassiere designs have been adapted over the decades to fashions of backless dresses, open to the waist in center front, or completely strapless. The Bleumette brassiere and other brands featured gummed cup-shaped supports to the breasts directly when both bandeaus and straps were eschewed.

In 1969, a planned demonstration by a group of feminists who protested the proceedings at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, to call attention to their cause resulted in the myth of bra-burning; however, no fire was ever lit, and participants claimed that the bra, high heels, cosmetics, and girdles thrown into the "freedom trash can" were to be a non-pyrotechnic display. The assembled press reported the incident in ambiguous terms, leading many to believe the fire had consumed the offending brassieres. A few more aggressive feminists urged the disposal of all bras; however the majority of American women clung to their familiar fashions, if not their personal comfort.

The elasticized knitted fabric bras introduced in the 1970s and 1980s are now widely worn by athletes and nonathletes alike as comfortable substitutes for the un-derwired wonders of this age. As female athletes doff their jerseys to reveal brand-name sports bras, few eyebrows are lifted. In the later decades of the twentieth century, the structured brassiere continued its popularity with the majority of women in the middle of the age spectrum, but the youngest and oldest have often either resisted or refused to wear them. Whether for reasons of comfort or personal choice, many women in the twenty-first century are choosing not to wear brassieres.

See also Fasteners; Lingerie; Underwear. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Banner, Lois W. American Beauty: A Social History Through Two Centuries of the American Ideal, and the Image of Beautiful Women. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983. Boucher, Françoise, and Yvonne Deslandres. 20,000 Years of Fashion: The History of Costume and Personal Adornment. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1987. Cunnington, Cecil Willette. The Perfect Lady. London: Max Par-rish and Company, 1948.

-. Feminine Attitudes in the Nineteenth Century. London:

Heinemann, 1955. Cunnington, Cecil Willette, and Phillis Cunnington. The History of Underclothes. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1992.

Ecob, Helen Gilbert. The Well-Dressed Woman. New York: Fowler, 1982.

Ewing, Elizabeth. Underwear: A History. New York: Theater Arts Books, 1972.

-. Dress and Undress: A History of Women's Underwear. New

York: Drama Book Specialists, 1978. Farrell-Beck, Jane, and Colleen R. Grace. Uplift: The Bra in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.

Flower, B. O. "The Next Step Forward; or Thoughts on the Movement for Rational Dress." The Arena 6 (1892): 635-644.

Flynt, Olivia. Manual of Underdressing for Women and Children. Boston: C. M. S. Twitchell, 1882.

Gersheim, Alison. Victorian and Edwardian Fashions. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1981.

Lane-Claypon, Janet E. Hygiene of Women and Children. London: Henry Frowde and Hodder and Stoughton, 1921.

Newton, S. M. Health. Art and Reason: Dress Reformers of the Nineteenth Century. London: John Murray, 1974.

Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume: From Ancient Mesopotamia through the Twentieth Century. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

Steele, Valerie Fahnestock. Fashion and Eroticism: Ideals of Feminine Beauty from the Victorian Era to the Jazz Age. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

-. The Corset: A Cultural History. New Haven, Conn.: Yale

University Press, 2001.

Treves, Frederick. Dress of the Period and Its Relations to Health. London: Hillman and Son, 1882.

Verbrugge, M. H. Able-Bodied Women: Personal and Social Change in Nineteenth Century Boston. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Vicinus, M., ed. Suffer and Be Still: Women in the Victorian Age. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1973.

Woolson, Anna G., and C. Hastings, eds. Five Essays on Women's Health: Dress Reform, 1874. New York: Arno Press., Reprint, 1984.

Colleen Gau

BREECHES Breeches are a man's bifurcated outer garment, covering the lower body from waist to knees or just below the knees. The term "breeches" is synonymous with any form of short pants or trousers and has been used to describe several types of men's lower-body undergarments and outer garments from classical Roman dress through the twentieth century. However, breeches as a fashion garment were standard everyday attire for European and American men from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries (American men after 1565). The term comes from Middle English "breech," which was originally the Old English word "brec" or "bre'c,"—the plural of "broc," a leg covering. The term "breech" also refers to the lower rear part—the haunches or the but-tocks—of the human body. Related clothing concepts include breech-cloth or breech-clout, a short cloth covering the loins, also called a loincloth; and breeching, the archaic English term used to refer to the rite of passage in which young boys wearing skirts were dressed in breeches to signify reaching the end of childhood. The term "drawers" is also used synonymously with breeches when referring to a man's knee-length, loosely fitted undergarment of separate legs covering the lower body. However, "drawers" also refers to various women's undergarments that are constructed of separate legs attached to a waistband, especially after the eighteenth century. In common usage today, breeches are essentially distinguished from trousers and pants by length.

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  • szymon
    What were the popular brand names in the late 19th century?
    7 years ago

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