Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vintage Lingerie Lucie Ann Claire Sandra, A Rare Look

Not Too Much, Says Lucie Ann a rare LOOK into the infamous Lucie Ann of Lucie Ann Claire Sandra, Beverly Hills.

Upon my extensive search of the infamous Lucie Ann Onderwyzer, famous designer for Lucie Ann, Lucie Ann for Claire Sandra Beverly Hills.

Lucie Onderwyzer, 75, founder of Lucie Ann Lingerie of Beverly Hills, a firm she launched in 1949 that introduced exotic colors to what was then the bland sleep wear that American women wore. With her partner, Anne Briggs, Mrs. Onderwyzer expanded her business to include lounge wear, and her clothes came to be sold at major stores across the country. She sadly passed away from complications of a stroke in 1988 in Los Angeles.

I have come across some interesting articles, this is from an early 1960's magazine or newspaper article, typed out by me word for word from an interview:

Lucie Ann's steady customers think nothing...well, not much anyway...of paying $650 for a nylon peignoir or $1,250 for a lounging costume.

"My prices begin where competitive prices end," says Lucie Ann comfortably.

A dozen years ago, in California, Belgian born Lucie Ann found herself a widow with two children to support. She had no business experience, but every soul-searching session on what to do came back to the same thing: designing and selling lingerie.
Lucie Ann, a Dresden-like graying blonde with wide brown eyes and a youthful face, explains she always had a felling for intimate apparel...the glamorous kind she had never found in shops while traveling around the world with her husband, a diamond merchant.

Lucie Ann started without a workroom, "I didn't have the nerve to have a place." She designed and draped, then carted the project to a woman who did all the seams, and on to another who appliqued.

The finished product she put in a pretty quilted box tied with a big fresh ribbon ("I like things very dainty and right") and visited movie studios. Producers' wives recommended her to friends, and Lucie Ann was on her way to the 135-employee factory in Beverly Hills and the three-quarter-million-dollar annual business she has today.

"My lack of knowledge made it cost more," she recalls. "I would never do it again, now that I know what it entails."

Later Lucie Ann decided so many people were imitating her she went about copying herself in a budget line, named the Claire Sandra collection after her 14 year old daughter. Her son is 18.

Lucie Ann ever used her own surname, Onderwyzer, because it sounds too much like underwear, a word she detests.

She feels strongly that women should choose intimate apparel with the same care as cocktail and evening wear.

"Certainly a woman's married life should be as important to her as her social life. The woman who says 'What would I do with it?' about a glamorous gown and roe probably means that her husband leaves early in the morning and at night is too tired to notice her.

"Maybe he'd wake up if she wears a lovely gown," suggest Lucie Ann with a glint in her eye. "Maybe she'd win him all over again."

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vintagecatwalks said...

Wonderful story Truly enjoyed it.

Anita Grayson said...

To whom it may concern,
I was employed by Lucie Ann for 14 yrs.
It was a very nice place to work Lucie and Ann Briggs
were wonderful employers. The Lingerie was so beautiful
the Lounge wear was magnificent She had hostess coats
with Fox collars, and mink collars, Brocaded hostess coats,
Lounging pajamas with Ostrich feathered cuffs the colors were
magnificent There was a basic Set style# 540 and 440 key hole
gown and coat yards and yards of chiffon and waist tie with
pom pom carnations at the end of the ties so when you tied
them together it looked like a large carnation, in colors of
Jade green, pale blue, hot pink, white, turquoise baby pink.

the gown was called the key hole gown because of the gathered tiny
hole right under the bust it was very fitted "V" in the front and low cut "V"
in the back with 3 little bows in the center back and it was a great
seller every exclusive store such as Neiman Marcus Saks Fifth Ave
Bergdorf Goodman Bonwit Teller I Magnin and many many more exclusive
stores carried Lucie Ann's fabulous line.

I truly miss her designs and it is a shame that the younger generation will not get a chance
to experience real glamour and beauty.

Many Christmases Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue had a whole windowed decorated with Lucie Ann. I was proud to be a employee for such fabulous designers as Anne Briggs and Lucie Ann. Anne Briggs was a dedicated designer she designed most of the lingerie under the name of Claire Sandra. She was tall elegant brunette very soft spoken and a great designer perfection should have been her middle name because every item she designed had to be perfect and believe it was.

Well I have rattled on enough but I truly miss the beauty and glamour of Lucie Ann.

Anita Grayson