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Laros Inc., otherwise known in its advertising as 'Laros of Bethlehem' produced some of the finest lingerie of the early to mid-20th century and this easy, step-by-step guide to identifying and dating the various lingerie styles made by the company may help in placing your vintage garment into fashion context.
As an aid to identifying vintage lingerie pieces, below is a table containing the known fabric or lingerie style names used by Laros and their known date ranges. This data is under constant review and is regularly updated.
In the 1940s and 50s, Laros employed the wonderful talent of fashion designer Helen Hunt Bencker and the artist John La Gatta (see video at the foot of this page). Together they presented fine lingerie of the highest quality to glamorous women worldwide.
Very much a family business, the Laros lingerie brand was founded in 1919 by philanthropist R.K. Laros and served as its head until his passing in 1955. Manufacturing was based at Bethlehem and Kingston, Pennsylvania, USA.
Laros Inc. was sold by the Laros family to Warner's in 1957 and the two companies officially merged in 1960.
The R.K. Laros Foundation, a non-profit charitable Trust was created to provide support for worthy projects that are involved with education, art, historical research, etc.
Early Laros lingerie labels were microstitched, not printed.
In the 1950s Laros labels were printed and of a cruder design.
Early to mid-1960s, some lingerie styles carried only the Laros name.
After Warner's took over Laros in 1960 the labels of the early to mid 60s carried the names of both companies. After around 1965 the Laros name was phased out gradually.
Video: The Laros ads of John La Gatta.