Ahead of the Pack: Olga’s Christina Trademarks the ‘Sportsbra’

In the early 1980s, the sports bra was a brand-new product category. World-class female athletes could recall recent memories of improvising their own support garments, while many young women still dreaded gym class for the discomfort and embarrassment of uncontrolled bounce. The first sports bras on the market, while revolutionary, closely resembled the jockstraps they were first fashioned from. There was certainly room for improvement.

Olga was among the traditional intimates’ brands who saw women’s fitness as an important area of expansion early on. Founder Olga Erteszek’s youngest daughter, Christina, joined the business and launched her own line of sports-oriented intimates targeted at a younger consumer in 1982. While Olga (known as “the first lady of underfashions”) was accustomed to designing a full bra wardrobe for her loyal consumer base, the sports bra fit well into Olga’s Christina new product line.

Christina developed an innovative cotton/Lycra bra with hidden, built-in molded cups that stopped the problems: no slipping, shifting, restraint, bouncing, seaming, or uncomfortable hardware. The family-run company was first to trademark the “Sportsbra” name and carved out space in the market for attractive support that could be worn alone. Christina’s patented “bra-within-a-bra” design earned incredible sales and many fans – and the sports bra has evolved into a must-have category for many of today’s consumers.