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Cult Of Comfort

Hanky Panky History: A Lingerie Timeline

Hanky Panky History: A Lingerie Timeline

One of the things many people are surprised about is how long Hanky Panky has been around. In fact, this year we're celebrating our 45th anniversary!


It's only fitting to take a walk down memory lane with a timeline featuring a few of Hanky Panky’s greatest hits and milestones.

1977: Hanky Panky is born! Gale Epstein designs a bralette and bikini set made from hand-embroidered handkerchiefs for her friend, Lida Orzeck. These styles are now part of the permanent collection of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


April 9, 1978: Hanky Panky’s original cotton handkerchief lingerie photographed by Skrebneski for the Chicago Tribune.


1979: the Hanky Panky shoulder pad undershirt is introduced. In 1984, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art accessioned two examples of this innovative style into its collection.


1986: Hanky Panky’s innovative 4811 one size lace thong (aka the Original Rise Thong) is introduced and due to its fit, practicality and comfort, quickly becomes a best-selling style.


August 1987: Hanky Panky’s stretch lace teddy photographed by Steven Meisel for VOGUE.

September 2003: 
Creative Director and Co-Founder Gale Epstein develops the 4911 Low Rise Thong to wear comfortably and invisibly under the extreme low-rise jeans and pants of the era. It immediately becomes a best-selling style.


 January 2004: Hanky Panky’s signature rolled packaging introduced. The candy-like packaging and countertop display expanded Hanky Panky’s presence beyond lingerie shops and into ready-to-wear boutiques, spas, department stores, and even vending machines!


June 18, 2004: Hanky Panky’s thongs are featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, introducing Hanky Panky’s one-size lace thongs to a wider audience. The 4811 Original Rise and 4911 Low Rise become fashion staples, and inspire countless imitations at every price point.


2007: Hanky Panky launches Petite and Plus Sizes, with the introduction of 4911XS and 4811X.


November 19, 2009: Hanky Panky launches e-commerce at


Fall 2010: Hanky Panky After Midnight® lingerie debuts. Co-founder Lida Orzeck said of the collection, “We’re working on extending our popular signature lace fabric into a sexier collection of lingerie called ‘After Midnight’, and we wanted to see what would happen if we pushed the envelope a little further.”


Spring 2012: Hanky Panky introduces Hanky Panky BARE invisible panties. Made from a unique second-skin jersey from Italy, Hanky Panky BARE panties are ultra-lightweight, smooth, and disappear under the clingiest fashions without sacrificing Hanky Panky’s signature fit, quality and comfort.


January 2015: Hanky Panky introduces their signature fragrance, Hanky Panky Eau de Parfum. Of the fragrance, co-founder Gale Epstein said, “Hanky Panky Eau de Parfum is an extension of Hanky Panky—fresh, flirty, and comfortable. I wanted to create a fragrance that complements the intimacy of lingerie, a classic signature fragrance made from the finest ingredients.”

Spring 2022:  Hanky Panky turns the big 4-5...and we're just getting started!