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Overview

Date Established 01/1977
Founder Lida Orzeck and Gale Epstein
Headquarters New York, NY
Industries
Health & Wellness
Fashion
Website https://www.hankypanky.com/
Press Contact LaForce
Social

About

Home of the game-changing World's Most Comfortable Thong®, Hanky Panky is sold in over 70 countries and beloved by celebrities, stylists, and generations of women. Our mission is to uplift women—all the versions of them—by providing comfort they can count on, silhouettes and colors for every mood, and a fit that always feels good. It doesn’t get more intimate than underwear, and we embrace women’s ever-changing lives with empathy in everything we do. Sustainability is at the core of our business and we proudly support U.S. craftsmanship with most of our manufacturing and production.

The brand continues to sell one of its Signature Lace Original Thongs (created in 1986) on an average of every 10 seconds worldwide—notably created as one size fits most (sizes 4-14), which makes it perfect for gifting or just to grow with you in different seasons of life.

Founding Story

Founded by best friends Gale Epstein and Lida Orzeck in NYC in 1977, we’ve been around for a while—but we’re just getting started. With the original hand-sewn pair proudly on display at The Met Museum, today we have a thong selling on average every 10 seconds across the world. Female-founded and female-led, our priorities have not changed since inception—we want to support women (inside and out) and inspire confidence.

Products

Signature Lace Original Rise Thong
Signature Lace Original Rise Thong $24.00
Daily Lace™ Original Rise Thong
Daily Lace™ Original Rise Thong $24.00
V-Neck Retro Lace Bralette
V-Neck Retro Lace Bralette $59.00
Ruffle Triangle Bikini Top
Ruffle Triangle Bikini Top $68.00
Ruched Thong Swim Bottom
Ruched Thong Swim Bottom $64.00
Ruffle High Rise Swim Bottom
Ruffle High Rise Swim Bottom $75.00
Swim Scrunchie
Swim Scrunchie $12.00
Ruffle V-Front Bikini Bottom
Ruffle V-Front Bikini Bottom $72.00
Ruched Bow One Piece Swimsuit
Ruched Bow One Piece Swimsuit $125.00
Wrap One Piece Swimsuit
Wrap One Piece Swimsuit $98.00
Atelier Bridal Cowl Neck Chemise
Atelier Bridal Cowl Neck Chemise $395.00
Atelier Bridal Silk Oversized Button Down
Atelier Bridal Silk Oversized Button Down $395.00
Atelier Bridal Lurex Embroidery Triangle Bralette
Atelier Bridal Lurex Embroidery Triangle Bralette $98.00
Atelier Bridal Lurex Strappy Embroidery Thong
Atelier Bridal Lurex Strappy Embroidery Thong $78.00
Atelier Bridal Embroidered Silk Sleep Set
Atelier Bridal Embroidered Silk Sleep Set $350.00
Atelier Bridal Flutter Robe
Atelier Bridal Flutter Robe $395.00
Atelier Bridal Eyelash Lace Overlay
Atelier Bridal Eyelash Lace Overlay $175.00
Atelier Bridal V-Front Embroidery Panty
Atelier Bridal V-Front Embroidery Panty $78.00
Atelier Bridal High Apex Embroidery Bralette
Atelier Bridal High Apex Embroidery Bralette $128.00
Atelier Bridal Stretch Lace Bodysuit
Atelier Bridal Stretch Lace Bodysuit $175.00

Team Bios

Brenda Berger

CEO

see bio

Brenda Berger is a seasoned executive with over two decades of domestic and international experience in the fashion apparel, intimate apparel and jewelry industries. As the CEO of Hanky Panky, Brenda is responsible for the Company's strategy, brand vision and business growth. Previously, Brenda served as the first Country Manager for Happy Socks North America where she established the cult Swedish brand's business and operating model, and before that as President & CEO of Danish jewelry brand Trollbeads where she led the revitalization of the brand and transformation of the business from a wholesale to a multichannel business model. Brenda began her career in sales and held roles at Moschino Jeans, Iceberg, David Glazer Inc., Ghost Limited before serving as Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Hanky Panky.

Brenda is a strong and intentional leader who guides and empowers teams to stay focused, aligned and curious in order to seize opportunities and deliver strong results. Outside the workplace, Brenda is a longtime supporter of Hearts of Gold, an organization dedicated to homeless mothers and children transitioning from the NYC shelter system to permanent homes. A native of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Brenda is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and has a French Language Certificate from Alliance Française in Paris. She studied classical voice in Boston, New York and Toronto, and currently sings with the Princeton Pro Musica choir.

Brenda lives with her husband and three children in New Jersey, and her interests include travel, hiking, practicing French and Italian with native speakers, and honing her leadership through books and podcasts.

Lida Orzeck

Co-Founder

see bio

Two driving forces have governed Lida Orzeck’s career – an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to female empowerment. Together with friend, Gale Epstein, she co-created an underwear company that liberated women to feel both comfortable and confident in their bodies.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Lida studied Psychology at Barnard College. After gaining a Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Teachers College, she started her career studying and improving the interview process of detectives in the Sex Crimes Unit for the NYC Police Department.

Friends since college, Gale Epstein, a keen fashion designer and dressmaker, had a habit of making things for Lida, including pocketbooks, accessories and even a suede wedding dress. In 1977, when Lida received a bra-and-panty set, sewn from upcycled handkerchiefs, she spotted a commercial opportunity.

Armed with little but determination and a commitment from Gale to sew away her weekends, Lida began calling department stores. She secured her first order from Lord & Taylor, personally delivering 144 tops and bottoms, and with Lida taking the lead on sales, Hanky Panky broke even the first year.

When the Hanky Panky thong hit the front page of the Wall Street Journal in 2004, Lida found herself not making calls, but taking them. Hundreds of stores placed orders daily for the “tiny scrap of fabric with a huge following.” As CEO, Lida sought to capitalize on this wild contagion, while ensuring expansion did not compromise the brand’s commitment to quality.

Conceiving and registering the trademark, The World’s Most Comfortable Thong®, Lida has safeguarded the brand’s legendary status as the thong that can convert even the most ardent non-believers.

Lida’s keen sense of equity and inclusivity have driven her through her career. She is an advocate for social justice, racial equity and educational access. Her board memberships include Southern Poverty Law Center, Barnard College, International Organization for Women & Development. She is Lead Producer of the Off-Broadway play, 20th Century Blues.

Gale Epstein

Co-Founder & Creative Director

see bio

Gale Epstein has been at the forefront of understanding underwear fit and function for almost five decades and 45 years after co-founding Hanky Panky, she is still a potent creative force behind the brand. Together with Lida Orzeck, Gale created a lingerie company that not only revolutionized comfort for women across the globe but was a front-runner in prioritizing sustainability.

Gale’s fashion journey started at just 12 years old, creating designs and selling them in her native St. Louis. After studying at Washington University and Parsons School of Design, she began her professional career in knitwear, designing for domestic companies. 

With a strong entrepreneurial streak, she continued to make custom accessory and clothing designs for NYC boutiques under her own label, ‘recycled by gale’. In 1977, intrigued by the idea of turning a modest Victorian-era handkerchief into a more empowering female statement, she crafted a bra-and-bikini set for her friend Lida. It was a gift that was to launch a lingerie brand now sold in over 70 countries.

By 1984, Gale had set her mind to a new challenge – designing a comfortable thong for the new stretch jeans generation. With women demanding no visible panty line and comfort, the few thongs on the market did not fit the bill. In 1986, she launched product no. 4811, the perfect combination of fit calibration and fabric elasticity, with an innovative v-shaped waistband that didn’t bind or roll. The patented signature lace has since graced four different thong rises, 500 colors and over 270 prints, in addition to a multitude of other wildly popular silhouettes.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Gale continues to champion Hanky Panky’s sustainability journey, advocating for best practice in packaging, production and recycling.

She is a board member of Sing Sing Prison Museum and a patron of Pace University Seidenberg School's BluCoLab program. Gale is an accomplished equestrian, a committed environmentalist, animal rights advocate and a closet harpist.

Sabrina Cherubini

SVP Brand & Digital

see bio

Sabrina Cherubini is the SVP of Brand & Digital at iconic lingerie brand, Hanky Panky, where she oversees accelerating global growth through the power of creative, brand building, and digital innovation. An experienced inspirational and collaborative leader, Sabrina excels in motivating and mentoring teams, especially with her vast knowledge surrounding executing strong-consumer-centric strategies in a fast-paced environment.

Sabrina is adept at growing global brand revenue and equity based on her previous experience at lead advertising firms, including Leo Burnett, Havas, and Publicis. During her time at these agencies, Sabrina specialized in fast-growing startups and U.S. Fortune 500 companies, such as Ann Taylor Loft.

Currently, Sabrina heads all of Hanky Panky’s business and DTC strategies from initial planning to execution. She guides the team in ensuring program effectiveness as it relates to brand growth, as well as ensures overall success by maintaining the Hanky Panky’s reputation as both a pioneer and leader within the intimates apparel industry.

Makeda Scille

Design Director

see bio

Makeda Scille was born in Nottingham, England--also known as the lace county!  She studied fashion and contour at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK which is widely regarded in the industry as one of the best (if not the best) schools for lingerie design in the world.  Makeda’s areas of study included fashion design, illustration, garment construction and trend forecasting.  She also obtained specialist skills in 15th to 21st  Century corsetry, structured bra-pattern cutting and grading.  Makeda graduated with a joint honors degree in fashion and contour from this extremely rigorous program.  She was one of only two students out of the 25 who started the honors program to complete it successfully even as she put in additional time in the extracurricular and highly sensitive role of student council advocate.

She started her lingerie career at Delta Galil in London.  She had applied for the Assistant Designer position but Makeda so impressed her interviewers with her maturity and strongly developed portfolio that they created the role of Junior Designer in order to acknowledge her advanced skill.  She quickly moved up to manage a designer collaboration with Selfridges and to co-manage the teams designing for Marks & Spencer.

Makeda’s next position was with The Canadian Bra Company at their office in Teddington, England, where she worked as sole designer for all accounts including Asda, La Senza, Ethel Austins, Ann Summers, JJB Sport and New Look.  In this role, Makeda travelled to France, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong and acquired a deep knowledge of international supplier operations as well as manufacturing.  One of her special projects at Canadian Bra was designing for the licensed Katherine Hamnett and Elizabeth Emmanuel labels for sale at Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

She worked abroad in her next position with Intimark, a division of MAST Industries, designing for Victoria’s Secret in Mexico.  During her two-year tenure there, she travelled to New York regularly to collaborate on and present the latest collections and trends to the buyers at Victoria’s Secret for the Sexy Little Things department, Very Sexy, Body by Victoria, PINK and Angel sub-brands.

Makeda moved to New York in 2010 to become Hanky Panky’s Senior Designer.  Hanky Panky’s clients include better retailers such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Garnet Hill, Anthropologie, Shopbop, Herroom, Journelle and Neiman Marcus, to name just a few.   Makeda is currently Head Designer and her work has been acknowledged by, advertised in or promoted by the following publications/websites:

  • Elle
  • Vogue
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Glamour
  • In Style
  • People
  • People Style Watch
  • Lucky
  • Seventeen
  • WWD
  • Best of Intima
  • Intima
  • Linea Intima
  • Femina
  • Sous
  • Creations
  • New York Magazine
  • US Weekly
  • Grazia and various other international publications

Makeda’s designs have also been featured in style segments on television and been included in department store catalogues as key looks of the season.  Notably, one of Makeda’s designs was worn by Rihanna in her recent video, “Kiss It Better”.

Makeda’s extraordinary level of achievement in the intimate apparel field is evidenced by her current appointment to The Fabric Styling Advisory Board at FIT, whose members are recognized as leaders within the field.

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