Epstein and Orzeck began showing their designs to small boutiques and the reception was so enthusiastic that they formed Hanky Panky shortly thereafter. From their original lingerie designs, the co-founders have expanded the company’s apparel offerings to include full lines of panties, thongs, bras, lingerie and sleepwear. The company also collaborates with other brands to create apparel that appeals to all women, including the many loyal customers who are sure to collect each season’s latest designs for their wardrobes.
Even as Hanky Panky gears up for the future and the changing landscape of the retail world, Epstein and Orzeck say the qualities and principles that have made the company successful for nearly 40 years will continue to serve as the foundation for its future.
Fit and Fashion
Perhaps the biggest catalyst for Hanky Panky’s success was the introduction of its signature thong panty in 1986. Orzeck says the one-size-fits-all design became a sensation at a time when similar garments were all about look and comfort was an afterthought. “All thong underwear heretofore was very uncomfortable, but because we’re really fit purists, Gale worked hard to come up with a design that not only looks good, but is very comfortable,” Orzeck says.
Hanky Panky remains a fashion-focused company, and Orzeck says the company works to ensure that its seasonal collections are at the forefront of fashion four times a year. “We are always paying attention to that so that we are ahead of the curve,” she says.
One example of how Hanky Panky has been ahead of the curve is in its collection of soft bras, which has been a staple of its product line for years. Now that fashion is trending away from underwire bras, Epstein says the company anticipates its bras will become even more popular in the near future. The company also has been on the cutting edge when it comes to designing intimates for plus-sized and petite customers, two market segments that have been underserved traditionally by many of the major brands. “We try to give all women that attention,” Epstein says.
Made in the U.S.A.
Although the company has become renowned for the fit, feel and look of its products, the co-founders say no less important to the success of Hanky Panky is the fact that all of its apparel is made in the United States. It’s not a surprise that as a company dedicated to making intimate apparel, quality control is extremely important to Hanky Panky, and its co-founders believe strongly that manufacturing its products domestically is the only way to guarantee a high level of quality. “Lida and I are still very involved in the company today, and the fact that we’re domestic gives us even more control,” Epstein says.
Although keeping its manufacturing in the United States creates some challenges, Orzeck says being made in the U.S.A. is essential to Hanky Panky’s brand and its long-term success. “We have no desire to go overseas, so we’ve built the company around being made in the U.S.A.,” she says.
Challenges abound as the retail landscape rapidly shifts from brick and mortar to internet shopping. In response, Hanky Panky has been working on increasing its online presence, and Orzeck says the company has made great strides in recent years to bolster its ecommerce platform to reach customers directly.
As the company looks ahead to the future, Orzeck says Hanky Panky continues to inject excitement into its product lines through enticing new designs such as its racy Hanky Panky After Midnight® collection and special offerings for the bride. No matter what, Epstein and Orzeck’s dedication to fit and fashion will continue to keep Hanky Panky at the top of the industry.