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Ida Rosenthal
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    (January 9, 1886-March 29, 1973)
    Born in Rakaw, Belarus
    Birth name was Ida Kaganovich
    Dress manufacturer
    With her husband William Rosenthal and fellow seamstress Enid Bisset, founded Maidenform
    When she first arrived in America, she spoke no English, only Russian.
    The company's bras were originally intended merely to improve the fit of their dresses, but quickly became the dominant product.
    Asked in the mid-60s about the growing trend of women going bra-less, she replied, 'A person has the right to be dressed or undressed, but after 35 a woman hasn't got the figure to wear nothing.'
    She and William Rosenthal were married for 51 years until his death.
    In an inversion of the usual arrangement, her husband handled designs and tailoring while she tended to sales and finances.
    The company's bras used cups to support the breasts, unlike earlier bras that were designed to produce a flattened figure.
    She said, 'Nature made woman with a bosom. So why fight nature?'
    She kept Maidenform receiving the raw materials it needed during World War II by convincing the government that the women entering the workforce would suffer less fatigue on the job if they were wearing supportive bras.

Credit: C. Fishel

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