The Story of PLAISIR
PLAISIR is a danish plus size brand that produces lingerie, swimwear, nightwear and loungewear to curvy women. It was launched in 1952 by Christian Ulsø. Please, scroll down to see the story of PLAISIR and see how the brand has become what it is today.
The company Ulso Design was founded by Christian Ulso in 1952. Christian and his wife Mette Ulso started the fabrication of chemises in their own basement. Though, the couple soon had to realize that they needed more space in order to keep up with the demand of Ulso Design\’s products.
The Lingerie factory in Ikast, where Ulso Design also are located today was built in 1960. At this time all the production was moved from Mette and Christian Ulso\’s basement to the Factory at Linde allé.
The factory was built with help from the youngest of Mette and Christian\’s daughters husband, Knud Ulso. The youngest daughter, Eva, and her husband Knud should later turn out to be the next owners of Ulso design.
The everyday life at the factory was filled with creativity, productivity but mostly laughter. Ulso design has always valued a very near and positively interdependent relationship between owners and staff. In the left you see a picture of Mette Ulso talking with some of the machinists.
The company was in 1973 taken over by Eva and Knud Ulso, who expanded the production to also include lingerie and nightwear. In the picture seen on the left, Knud Ulso is trained in bookkeeping by the former owner, Kristian Ulso.
At the time when the company was taken over by Eva and Knud Ulso, there was to much demand for the company to handle the production by themselves so they had to hire home-machinists. Everyday Eva Ulso drove around in the city to collect the finished products and get them home to the factory from where they could be sent to the stores. In the picture you see Eva occupied by the sewing machine.
Seen in the left side is the old Ulso Design brand which actually was used up until the mid \’90 where it was replaced by the Plaisir Brad which was more appropriate for the international market.
Already before the outsourcing of the manufacturing in Ulso Design, papers noticed the small size of the company and the intimacy among both employers and employees. Here is a photo from the local paper where the benefits and drawbacks of their size is discussed.
At the picture in the left is a press cutting from the danish paper BT where some of the latest and hottest lingerie models are shown. Red was no. 1 fashion color, and of course Ulso design was up to date with the latest trends. Notice, the phone number has not changed since then.
Up through the nineties the small company faced a number of dramatic changes.
First the company was in 1993 taken over by Bodil and Lone Ulso from their parents Eva and Knud Ulso. The sisters was new in the field but had, already from the beginning, to deal with many different challenges.
They had to deal with a media storm – this is described below. Then they had to adapt to a changing market where companies had to find cheaper labour in order to survive. This meant that the beforehand small company was about to get even smaller.
The reason for the media storm Ulso Design was facing in the late nineties was that Crown prince Frederik was dating lingerie model Katja Stockholm. Katja worked for Ulso design through many years, and the pictures of her in lingerie, was suddenly very interesting for various gossip magazines. Bodil Ulso, however, has explained that no pictures of Katja in sexy lingerie was given and furthermore, Katja was a joy to work with and incredibly beautiful.
This was the year when Ulso Design could present their new direction.
They had chosen to focus on lingerie in plus sizes, though still with the same fit and quality, just to a broader audience. Here Bodil Ulso are seen presenting one of their newest creation in a local newspaper.
The next step for Ulso design was to start producing swimwear.
Here is a picture of various models at their stand at Copenhagen Fashion Week.
In 2004 it is again time for Ulso design to launch a new initiative. This time Bodil can proudly present the new under- and nightwear created from the innovative fabric, Bamboo.
Here the two owners Bodil and Lone Ulso are seen together with their mother and former owner, Eva Ulso.
Bodil and Lone Ulso are still today the owners of the company that produceses the brand Plaisir, which is plus size lingerie for women that does not compromise on quality or fit. Eva is still today working in the age of 87.