Lingerie creator since 1930
Maison Lejaby is a French Design House which has cultivated its expertise in lingerie making since 1930 with the know-how of its Lyon design workshops. In accordance with traditional practices, Maison Lejaby perpetuates and reinvents high-quality lingerie designed using the most noble materials, perfect cuts and impeccable fit.
Maison Lejaby offers a cleverly designed lingerie wardrobe, with a bold, classic style, Parisian allure and sensual elegance for every occasion. The company is extremely meticulous with respect to fit and design – its collections are made from the finest materials, perfectly cut and beautifully assembled.
Always at the leading edge, with an exceptional gift for innovation, Maison Lejaby has revolutionised the lingerie and swimwear sector. For 85 years, the company has supported women as they seek emancipation, freedom, and the fulfilment of their desires. Maison Lejaby is the name behind the greatest successes in the history of lingerie.
The 1930s marked a return to traditionalism but this was also the age of the femme fatale. Marlene Dietrich appeared wearing a garter belt in The Blue Angel. She was captivating. In particular, she caught the eye of Marcel and Marguerite Blanchard, owners of a small cinema in Ain, along with Marguerite's sister, Gabrielle, known as "Gaby". Inspired by glamorous and sexy images, she started to sew lingerie and bras that her brother-in-law put into production. Throughout the region, "La Gaby's bras" were causing a stir. In 1930, Gabrielle's nickname became the name of the company: Lejaby.
New materials (polyester, polyamide, acrylic, etc.) led to the emergence of ready-to-wear garments, giving underwear a more feminine appearance. Soon after Gaby died, Marcel Blanchard opened a design studio in Paris where he created voluptuous négligés and several varieties of basques, briefs, and garter belts. The talented illustrator Gruau, a dedicated feminist, was brought on board to design the brand's advertising campaigns at the same time as the hard-hitting slogan "Lejaby, une ligne du tonnerre" (translated literally as "Lejaby, a thunderous line"). It was a success! Lejaby took off in France and abroad.
Women were achieving freedom. Brigitte Bardot was the inspiration for sexier fashion and became the icon of a generation. After Marcel Blanchard died in 1960, Maurice and Charles Bugnon, two brothers working in the cosmetic industry, bought Lejaby and soon expanded the international distribution of the brand. Their stroke of genius: negotiating the exclusive use of Lycra in France. The Miss Top bra, created in 1965, marked the arrival of stretch materials. More than three million Miss Top bras were sold.
The brothers bought Rasurel but only kept the swimwear line. Rasurel and Lejaby existed side by side at the Rillieux-la-Pape factory just outside Lyon. The lingerie industry started to experience difficult years. Lejaby decided to support the women’s liberation movement by providing them with a brightly coloured, triangular bra. Its name: Liberty. A revolution!
Glitziness is the new trend, and Lejaby made a bold move with a lacy line all in red, called Jubilee. Lingerie was becoming more refined, a powerful symbol of femininity with details like guipure, another Lejaby innovation, which was the perfect enhancement for an uplifted décolleté. The brand partnered with actress Isabelle Adjani, one of the brightest stars of the 80s, to launch its Eglantine line.
At Lejaby's initiative, lingerie transitioned from extreme refinement to unparalleled minimalism with seam-free microfibre underwear. The Cloud line sold a remarkable 15 million pieces, and would be considered something of a swan song. Upon Maurice Bugnon's death, the company executives found themselves alone at the helm.
Lejaby launched its first line for fuller figures, "Elixir". Here too, the company was able to demonstrate its technical and creative lingerie-making expertise through a seductive and innovative collection. Elixir's fit soon become highly sought after. Yet despite the launch of increasingly innovative, patented lingerie designs, difficult times lay ahead.
MAISONLEJABY developed a new identity and a strong brand momentum. The first MAISONLEJABY innovative boutique opened in Lyon. The e-shop maisonlejaby.com now showcases the brand's 5 collections: Iconics, Spirit of the Moment, Elixir Plus Size, Couture Spirit and Swimwear. In December 2016, MAISONLEJABY open a second boutique in Paris. In the heart oh 16th arrondissement discovers an intimate and confidential address thought like a home. She was imagined as if the workshop were invited to the dressing room.