In the late 19th century, Warner, a prominent physician began a new career on the medical lecturing circuit, specializing in women’s health issues. Dr. Warner lectured about the harmful effects of the rigid steel-boned corsets of the time. After seeing how little influence his lectures had on women’s attitudes towards fashion, he returned to his New York home and began a more aggressive approach to fighting the ills caused by the corset. (1).
He designed a corset that provided both the shape desired by women and the flexibility required to allow some movement and reduce injuries caused by previous designs. The next year, Lucien Warner and his brother Dr. Ira De Ver Warner gave up their medical practices and founded Warner Brothers Corset Manufacturers. (2) Harper’s Bazaar advertised the four most popular corsets in America as Dr. Warner’s models. By 1913, sales reached $7 million and profits averaged $700,000 annually. (3) In time Warner became the Warnaco Group, Inc. an American textile/clothing corporation whose products are sold under several brand names including Calvin Klein, Speedo, Chaps, Warner’s, and Olga. (4)