NEW YORK — For Jaye Vaughn, the days of nylon drama are over.
Where once it only took a piece of jewelry, a jagged nail or dry skin for a snag, tear or rip, Vaughn now counts on her innovation — the Pantyhose Love Glove — to protect her tights from turning into something more akin to whacky fishnets.
The Pantyhose Love Glove is a whimsical tricot nylon and lace glove designed to help roll tights up and down the legs without damaging them.
“I used to do custom-made bridal gowns, but I am also a gardener,” said Vaughn, who once owned Jaye’s, a Beacon, N.Y., bridal specialty store from which she retired in 1996. “Working in the yard, you get little skin tags on the edge of your fingers and I was always afraid of working with expensive fabrics. I had to find something to work on them with.”
Vaughn created a lightweight nylon glove with an elasticized lace cuff and started using it in her bridal business.
“I once had to go to a wedding and needed to put on expensive sheer hosiery,” she said. “I thought before I do this, I better go down into the workshop and get my Pantyhose Love Glove. It worked so fantastically. My customers saw it and started asking me to do some more.”
Vaughn, who is president of the new venture, is a partner with her daughter, Brenda Lamanna, vice president.
The duo decided to apply for a patent on design and utility, and launched the item last March at $3.50 wholesale a pair. “I had the product, but it took time until we decided to do something with it and got the patent,” she said.
Vaughn could not give first-year sales projections, but noted: “All I know is I ordered 27,000 packages and have high hopes.” That would make first-year sales about $94,500. The items target bridal and hosiery departments in better specialty stores, and the glove has already been picked up by department store chain Van Maur and drugstore Zitomer’s on Madison Avenue.
“Aside from preventing snags, tears and rips on pantyhose caused by either jewelry, jagged nails and dry skin, it also makes putting on pantyhose a pleasure,” Vaughn said. “We couldn’t find a more appropriate name than Pantyhose Love Glove. It says it in one phrase: ‘Love the pantyhose that you spent all that money on.’”