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April 20, 2022

Brigitte Bardot, Elina Labourdette, Tilda Thamar and Estella Blain Testing New Models of Nylon Stockings in Paris, 1954

The 1950s era represented a return to fashion for women. After World War II ended, and the men returned home, women wanted to look glamorous and sophisticated. Ladies wore hats and white gloves. Dresses had flared skirts that reached the calf. Underneath their skirts and dresses, women wore hosiery they referred to as “stockings” or “nylons.” Women kept their stockings and nylons from falling down by attaching the mid-section of the top and back to fasteners on girdles and garter belts.

By the 1950s, nylon stockings dominated the hosiery marketplace, replacing silk as the material of choice. Nylon was first introduced in 1940 by the Du Pont company, which spent considerable brainpower in research and development and money in advertising to persuade women to make the switch from silk to nylon. The investment paid off. Women loved nylon, feeling it was much more durable and less prone to run, but it looked like silk. Initially, Du Pont registered the name as “nigh-lon,” but it wasn’t long before female consumers dubbed the material “nylon.” According to “Science and Corporate Strategy: Du Pont D&D, 1902-1980, nylon became far and away the biggest money-maker in Du Pont history.

Here, photos of actresses Brigitte Bardot, Elina Labourdette, Tilda Thamar and Estella Blain testing new models of nylon stockings for opening of new department store in Paris on September 30, 1954.









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