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100 years of history

1919

Margaretha and Achiel Van de Velde open a corsetry studio in Schellebelle.

Interbellum

Production of corsets.

1948

William Van de Velde, a recent law graduate, starts working in his parents’ business together with his wife Livine Van der Wee, his sister Gaby and his brother-in-law Raoul Laureys.

1949

The range is expanded. Van de Velde specialises in the production of bras and figure-fixing corsetry. Products are delivered straight to specialised lingerie boutiques under a private label. Van de Velde has already built up an excellent reputation among customers for fit, quality and service.

1971-1981

A third Van de Velde generation and a new wind of change blows over the company. From the 80s until 2004 Van de Velde was run by brothers Karel and Herman Van de Velde and their cousin Lucas Laureys. Karel took charge of design and product development and Lucas outlined a logical marketing and sales strategy, while Herman developed the organisation into a company with global production untis.

1981

Van de Velde lingerie is finally given a name: initially Marie Jolie, but soon after this becomes Marie Jo. The beginning of a long success story. Transparency, lightness and large embroidered flowers exude the pervading eighties feeling (Mario Jo series Amarylis from the very early 1980s).

1990

Van de Velde acquires German brand PrimaDonna. A lingerie brand specialised in large sizes for which Van de Velde is already producing lingerie under a private label. Slowly but surely the brand evolves from functional to comfortable and fashionable without size restrictions.

1992

Van de Velde sets up its own production unit in Szekszard, Hungary. A new build facility is opened, initially with space for 100 stitchers.

1995

The production unit in Hungary is enlarged to 3000 square metres, offering work to 300 people.
Van de Velde sets up its own production unit in Kondar, Tunisia.
 

1997

Marie Jo is augmented with a second collection: Marie Jo L'Aventure. It’s a smooth lingerie collection that suits the minimalist trend perfectly.

1997

Van de Velde offers 40% of its shares in an IPO. Van de Velde invests in a totally new distribution centre in Wichelen with usable floor area of ±7000 square metres.

2000

Investments are also made in the Tunisian production unit. The buildings are enlarged, creating space for employment for 400 people. An additional investment is also made in the Wichelen distribution centre, bringing the usable floor area up to ±14,000 square metres.

2001

Van de Velde has had a good working relationship with Top Form for many years. In 2001 Van de Velde takes a stake in Top Form International, this is a Chinese producer of women’s lingerie, which is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Part of the assembly process is transferred to China. Design, product development, quality assurance, packing, storage and shipping remain in Belgium.

2002

Van de Velde opens its own stores in Germany and France.

2006

Celebration of the first 25 years of Marie Jo.

2006

The production unit in Tunisia is also enlarged, now offering work to 700 people.

2007

Strategic alliance with US multi-brand retail chain Intimacy Management LLC.

2007

Launch of the Lingerie Styling Programme. Our aim in this international programme is to join forces with certified specialty lingerie shops to provide the best possible service to each and every consumer. To that end, we have developed intensive training modules that not only teach participants how to correctly determine a woman’s size, but also how to create the best customer experience and provide expert advice on cuts, colours and personal styling.

2008

Acquisition of Spanish lingerie firm Eurocorset and Spanish lingerie brand Andres Sarda.

2009

Van de Velde restructures its production resources. The decision is taken to close the Hungarian production unit in Szekszard. A number of stitchers are able to switch to the stitching department in Schellebelle.

2010

In January 2010 an additional 2500 square metres is taken into use at the distribution centre for storage and supply for the new picking system (OSR).

2010

Launch of the new PrimaDonna Twist brand.

2010

Majority 85% stake acquired in Intimacy USA.

2010

Van de Velde enters the Dutch retail market, with the acquisition of the LinCherie chain.

2011

Van de Velde also gains a retail presence in the UK by acquiring an 87% stake in Rigby & Peller Ltd.

2011

At the same time, a joint venture agreement is signed with Getz Bros. to operate and develop Private Shop in China and Hong Kong.

 

2012

The Wichelen distribution centre is enlarged again, with the addition of a new building for incoming raw materials inspection and the cutting room. In the summer of 2012 these departments relocate en masse from Schellebelle to Wichelen. This brings the total usable floor area of the Wichelen site up to almost 27,000 square metres.

2013

In the Netherlands Lincherie has been boosted by the acquisition of Donker stores (11 stores).

 

2014

Launch of PrimaDonna Swim.

2014

Rigby & Peller celebrates its 75th birthday, 75 years of fitting room happiness
"Established more than 75 years ago, at Rigby & Peller, we're best known for our pioneering Lingerie Styling service, our proud London heritage and of course, our expertly curated collections of beautifully made lingerie."

 

2014

Intimacy is now 100% owned by Van de Velde

2015

Lincherie wins the GfK Award for best lingerie store in the Netherlands for the second year in a row. Lincherie was voted best Dutch lingerie retailer in the underwear category by GfK. According to the GfK consumer panel, Lincherie’s distinguishing qualities are the expertise and friendliness of staff, the extensive collection and size availability, and the attractive appearance of the shop.

 

2015

The Intimacy stores in the US get the Rigby & Peller brand name, look & feel.

2015

150th anniversary of PrimaDonna: celebrating curves since 1865

 

2016

Opening of Rigby & Peller Dubai in the Dubai Festival Mall

2016

Marie Jo celebrates 20 years Avero