Hollywood Maxwell 'V-Ette' Whirlpool Brassiere Advert

Hollywood Maxwell 'V-Ette' Whirlpool Stitch Bra Advert, c. 1935, USA, The Underpinnings Museum

Date:  1935

Origin: United States

Brand: Hollywood Maxwell


Hollywood-Maxwell was the first in a line of Californian brassiere manufacturers which entered the American market from 1929. Hollywood was a place of glamour and aspiration in the 1930s and it wasn’t long before the American woman’s desire for a movie star look had boosted the sale of the latest bra innovations from these companies, simply via their association with this famous Los Angeles neighbourhood. Although most brassiere adverts did not feature movie stars, Hollywood-Maxwell claimed that its products were used exclusively in motion pictures made by Paramount.

Hollywood-Maxwell founder Joseph R Bowen patented a cup stabilisation technique he called ‘Whirlpool stitching’ in 1935. This much imitated innovation used concentric rings of stitches to produce a rounded shape in the 1930s and a more pointed cup in the 40s and 50s. The text in this advert describes the bra as ‘a challenge to Paris’, referencing the dominance of the French capital on Western fashion at this time. The advert also suggests that a youthful yet smart look could be achieved through the wearing of these supportive bras.


From the collection of The Underpinnings Museum

Museum number: UM-2017-019


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