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Prima Donna History

A Brief History of Prima Donna Lingerie

Prima Donna lingerie has had a long and colorful history, including great leaps in creativity and multiple changes in method, style and structure. Their roots trace back 1865, when Prima Donna was originally founded in Germany by Salomon Lindauer. Lindaur’s primary focus for  Prima Donna was to provide elegant lingerie for the self-confident, naturally shaped woman.

The company innovated and evolved from producing primarily corsets to manufacturing bras for full-busted women. Prima Donna changed hands from S. Lindauer & Co, (Wilhelm Meyer-Iischen in 1938) to the current company, Van de Velde of Belgium, in 1990; great changes began here. Van de Velde revitalized the line and made priorities of comfort, fashion, and fit; their mission is "to shape the body and mind of women". Prima Donna has been renowned for over 140 years for their luxury lingerie  that holds a timeless appeal.

Van de Velde and Prima Donna Through Time

1919 Margaretha and Achiel Van de Velde open a corset workshop in Shellebelle, within the Netherlands region.

1948 William Van de Velde comes to work at his parents' workshop where he is later assisted by his wife and brother- in-law.

1949 Van de Velde introduces in a new era of luxury Lingerie with the production of matching bra and underwear sets.

1971-1981 Van de Velde welcomes a third generation who bring with them new marketing and sales strategies they will use to usher the company into an era of global production.

1981 Van de Velde christens their lingerie “Marie Jolie”, which will later change to "Marie Jo". Marie Jo lingerie is known for its transparency, airiness and delicate embroidery, marking a beautiful beginning to a long and successful story.

1990 Van de Velde acquires German company Prima Donna, a lingerie company who specializes in large sizes and for whom Van de Velde had previously produced under a private label. The brand eventually developed from functional to comfortable, yet fashion forward styles that are both beautiful and practical.

1991 Van de Velde acquires the Belgian export Oscar

1995 Van de Velde receives the Fashion Award in the Netherlands for the brand Prima Donna.

1997 Van de Velde introduces a record 40% off of its shares on the Stock Market, today 40.21% of the capital is freely marketable; Marie Jo introduces "Marie Jo L'Aventure", a hip, contemporary and sleek line of lingerie for the young at heart; Van de Velde receives 'the Best of Direct Marketing' award.

1998 Van de Velde receives the Trophy of the Belgian Clothing Federation.

2001 Van de Velde acquires shares in Top Form International, the largest Chinese manufacturer quoted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and the stitching portion of assembly is moved to China while the design, product development, cutting, quality assurance, packaging, sales and marketing remain in Belgium.

2002 Van de Velde opens its stores in Germany and France.

2006 Van de Velde’s Marie Jo celebrates its 25th anniversary

2008 Van de Velde launches a new line of sports lingerie: "Marie Jo Intense"; Spanish lingerie firm Euro-corset and Spanish lingerie brand Andres Sarda are obtained by Van de Velde.

2010 Prima Donna Twist is introduced to the market

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