It was in Buenos Aires that Herminie Cadolle, an expatriate Parisian, invented the modern bra, but it was in Paris that she presented it for the first time, on June 27, 1889 as part of the Universal Exhibition.
Member of the first feminist movement
Born in 1842 into a modest family, Herminie Cadolle became a worker in a corset factory. Committed and militant, she joined one of the first French feminist movements and fought for the rights of women, who had neither the right to vote nor the right to open a bank account. Free women from the corset In 1887, Herminie Cadolle left for the other side of the world and settled in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she continued to design lingerie. This is where she came up with a revolutionary idea to free women from the corset, which she considers a straitjacket. In 1889, the Universal Exhibition in Paris exhibited the major innovations of the time, such as the Eiffel Tower. Herminie Cadolle, therefore presents her invention there: the “corselet-gorge“.
For the time, the undergarment, which resembled a half-corset, was absolutely innovative. It supports the chest by the shoulders and promises incredible comfort for women. Named “Bien être” (Well-being), this piece, which had become essential, had a single objective: to liberate the body by allowing women to put their rigid corsets in the closet ! Indeed, the corset that women wore at the time, caused discomfort, indigestion, back pain and hindered their breathing. In 1898, Herminie Cadolle filed the patent for the very first modern bra. It was only in 1904 that the word “bra” appeared in the Larousse. In 1910, she opened workshops and a boutique in Paris, at 24 de la Chaussée d’Antin, and in 1911, with success, she moved from Chaussée d’Antin to rue Cambon, a sign of good taste and wealthy clientele. Over the generations of Cadolle, the house became one with modernity, creating the “boyish” for the fashion of the 20s requiring a flat boyish chest. The Duchess of Windsor and Mademoiselle Chanel are among the customers of the Cadolle house.