Hanky Panky

When designer Gale Epstein stumbled upon vintage embroidered cotton handkerchiefs in the late 1970s, she knew the Victorian-era fabric would make a beautiful lingerie set to give to her friend Lida Orzeck. Epstein, a Parsons-trained designer, had a history of repurposing vintage clothing for her Recycled by Gale collection, but it was her thoughtful gesture — and her exquisitely tailored gift — that gave the two best friends the idea for Hanky Panky, a brand that has prioritized both beauty and comfort since its inception.

From its humble beginnings in 1977, the company has grown into a beloved name that is currently sold across the globe. When its iconic signature lace thong was introduced in 1986, its unique design quite literally changed the way women dressed — forever. Today, Hanky Panky offers a full collection of lingerie styles, including sleepwear and bridal intimates. In nearly a half century of design, meticulous attention to quality and fit, style and comfort have never been compromised.


Hanky Panky also holds an unwavering commitment to sustainability and inclusivity. By using organic cotton, recycled materials, and ensuring ethical production practices, the brand caters to an eco-conscious consumer. Additionally, its one-size-fits-most sizing emphasizes body positivity, making high-quality lingerie accessible to a broader audience.

In 2018, the company launched Lingeriecycle, a program for recycling bras and panties. Partnering with Green Tree, a non-profit dedicated to stopping unwanted post-consumer textile material from entering landfills, Hanky Panky has created initiatives that turn apparel fibers and textile waste into industrial insulation.

With its innovative approach and commitment to quality, Hanky Panky has made a significant impact on the lingerie market. And, since 2017, the company has been owned by all its employees. Ac Magazine spoke with CEO Brenda Berger to get the inside story on this New York City-based brand.

AC: Tell us how you came into your role and your goals for the future.
BB: I was at Hanky Panky for nearly a decade from 2004 to 2013, serving as the brand’s vice president of sales. I returned in 2019 as co-CEO, before fully stepping into the position as the sole CEO in 2022.

Hanky Panky is for “every you.” Our mission is to uplift women — all the versions of them — by providing comfort they can count on, silhouettes for every mood, and a fit that always feels good. I believe in the potential of the brand to offer our game changing products to more women, wherever they want to shop. Over the past three years, we expanded our presence in wholesale, e-commerce, and even opened our first two stores.

The company grew out of deeply caring for women, making sure every choice we make will make women feel their very best. I see the opportunity to expand to other categories in the near future. Our international business is also an opportunity for us. We are present in 60 countries through wholesalers and specialty stores, and we now ship to all countries from our website.

AC: Why is the company based in NoMad?
BB: Hanky Panky had its headquarters on Park Avenue South between 28th and 29th Streets for over 40 years. During Covid, our lease was up and we had the opportunity to choose anywhere we wanted to be in the city. We decided that being in NoMad gave us everything we were looking for — including the park, great shopping, and the ease of public transportation. Our employees were thrilled and we feel so fortunate to have our HQ in such a vibrant and diverse neighborhood.


AC: What can you tell us about collaborations — anything we should know about?
BB: In April, our collaboration with Saalt will launch the perfect pairing of lace and technology. The leak-proof underwear — called HankyPanky+ (powered by Saalt) — will be available in four of our favorite styles. HankyPanky+ panties absorb up to three panty liners of life’s leaks without bulk or waste. This past year, we also partnered with designer Prabal Gurung to create a limited-edition capsule collection, which launched in September 2023. The inspiration behind the design was “innerwear as outerwear,” made with the most luxurious fabrics. And, most recently, we partnered with Saxx underwear to create a His & Hers matching gift box for Valentine's Day. We sold out after only 5 days! We have some other exciting launches to come later in 2024 and I can’t wait to share more soon — stay tuned!

AC: Are your products made in the USA? Any other specifics to add to this?
BB: Our exceptional lace is made in the US, our Supima Cotton is grown in the US, and a substantial part of our manufacturing is in the US.

AC: Where is the product sold?
BB: The collection is sold on HankyPanky.com, as well as in Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Dillards, Town Shop, and ShopBop, to name a few. Globally, we are sold in over 60 countries through wholesale and specialty stores. We also ship worldwide from our website.