NEW YORK — Josie Natori may appear to be a pint-sized lady of leisure, but don’t let the impeccable couture apparel, a socialite’s smile and a contagious laugh fool you into thinking she’s anything but a hard-as-nails businesswoman.

As a powerhouse in the intimate apparel industry, Natori Co., founded in 1977 by Josie Natori and her husband Kenneth, represents an atypical story in the manufacturing sector: They are survivors. As a team, they have managed to last for 25 years in an industry battered by a frenzy of bankruptcies and mergers and acquisitions. Their longevity comesfrom an astute sense of business acumen combined with a personal warmth that has charmed and disarmed supporters as well as competitors.

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