Byline: Karyn Monget

NEW YORK — Janet Peters, senior vice president of intimate apparel product design and a vice president of VF Corp., will retire at the end of the month.
Peters, a 47-year career veteran of VF, joined the company in 1951 as an in-house bra-fitting model for the Vanity Fair brand. She held various executive posts during her tenure, including merchandise manager of private label intimate apparel, when Vanity Fair entered that market in 1967, and vice president of Vanity Fair.
In 1995, she was appointed senior vice president of intimate apparel product design, overseeing the company’s core brands Vanity Fair and Vassarette and private label for Victoria’s Secret. A successor will not be named.
“Janet has done an excellent job over the years,” said Mackey McDonald, president and chief executive officer of VF. “Her incredible success in product design has been the catalyst behind the growth in our intimate apparel business. The expertise and guidance she provided in product development and quality have positioned VF as a brand leader in the intimate apparel industry.”
Contacted at the VF headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga., Peters recalled her start at Vanity Fair.
“I was very interested in the intimate apparel business, and I had a passion for the products,” she said. “I was taught by the very best, from quality control to merchandising and product development. I’ve been a very fortunate individual. I’ve always been in the right place at the right time during my career.”
Asked how the industry has changed in close to five decades, Peters said, “It’s smaller, because there are less manufacturers and department stores. But business is stronger than ever before, and it appears to be getting even stronger.
“In the Fifties, the industry had so many beautifully pleated [sleep] gowns, gorgeous peignoir sets, magnificent nylon tricot fabrics and gorgeous lounging robes,” Peters recalled. “Everything was much more feminine then. But then, lifestyles have changed dramatically.”
Commenting on her future plans, she said, “I’m going to do a lot of white water rafting and backpacking. In July, my husband Henry and I plan to go with a group to Ft. Berthold, N.D., to help the American Indians who have suffered the disaster of snowstorms and floods. I’m very involved with the Indians. I’m going to try to do this once a year.”
The reservation is home to three Native American tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa and Arickara.
“I also plan to spend a lot of time at our produce farm in Fleetwood, Pa., Peters Farm Inc.,” continued Peters. “I’ve been picking tomatoes there since I married Henry 44 years ago. It’s funny, but when I’m on the farm, people there can’t picture me at a corporation and in New York City. People in New York say they can’t picture me on a farm.”
And which bra does Peters find the most comfortable to wear while picking tomatoes? “Why…the Taylor bra by Victoria’s Secret,” she said. “We make it. It’s so comfortable.”

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