100 Year Celebration
  • 1919

    In 1919 two technicians, Harry Hibbert and Oswald Buckland formed a hosiery company in Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, to manufacture and sell ladies stockings, with a workforce of only 10 people and two machines.

  • 1924

    • This year saw the first fully fashioned stockings appear on the market traditionally made of silk and rayon.

    • This was also the year that Pretty Polly officially got its name after a highly successful race horse of the time.

  • 1937

    In 1937 the first Nylon stockings were knitted in secret in the US.

  • 1939

    Nylon stockings were shown to the public for the first time in the US.

  • 1940

    Four million pairs of Pretty Polly Nylon stockings went on sale in the US and sold out within four days!

  • 1944

    By 1944, half the UK hosiery factory space had been requisitioned for the war effort and the workforce reduced by 55%.

  • 1945

    Finally Nylons went back into production in the US after the war ended. It was also recorded that Macy’s in New York sold out 50,000 pairs in six hours!

  • 1953

    Hibbert and Buckland embraced the use of Nylon in their stockings and actively promoted it.

  • 1959

    Pretty Polly introduced the first non-run seam free stocking.

  • 1962

    With strong innovation and style, Pretty Polly needed a brand image which was instantly recognisable and so the unfeminine parrot logo was changed to the two floral PPs.

  • 1967

    • In 1967 Pretty Polly invented and launched hold ups, giving women freedom from suspender belts. These were an immediate success selling 240,000 pairs in one week!

    • Success led to the need for more manufacturing capacity, in 1967 Pretty Polly opened a factory in Killarney in Ireland, probably the most advanced factory in Europe at the time.

    • In 1967, Pretty Polly launched a revolutionary new one size stockings called ‘Leprechaun’. The product was sold in a distinctive little tub.

  • 1968

    In 1968 Pretty Polly introduced the first ever one size, one piece seamless tight – it looked a little strange so some consumer education was required!

  • 1970

    In 1970 Pretty Polly launched a range of Sheer Knee Highs called Mini Maxi.

  • 1970

    Pretty Polly introduce a sheer bodystocking for only 9/-!

  • 1971

    • The re-launch of a new softer Micromesh tight for 35p.

    • Pretty Polly launch a range of stretch nylon bras and briefs for 70p a set.

  • 1973

    Pretty Polly invented Stand Easies enabling women to have sheer support stockings instead of the thick ones normally available.

  • 1974

    In 1974, Pretty Polly re-launched the one piece tight under the name Free ‘n Easy using softer yarns.

  • 1975

    In 1975 Pretty Polly launched this award winning poster ad campaign.

  • 1978

    Galaxy by Pretty Polly was launched into the grocery market and launched the first control top tights with support leg. Pretty Polly also introduced a lightweight control pant called ‘Under Control’ for less than £1.

  • 1979

    • In 1979 PP launched Leprechaun Sheer Heaven One Size sheer support stockings completing the range of Leprechaun tights, hold ups and stockings.

    • Pretty Polly continued its iconic poster ad campaigns ‘For girls who don’t want to wear the trousers’.

  • 1982

    Another iconic ad from Pretty Polly.

  • 1983

    In response to a demand for ever sheerer tights, Pretty Polly launched three new products – ‘7th Heaven’, ‘Crystal’ and ‘Soft and Smooth’.

  • 1986

    • Pretty Polly Creations was launched into clothing stores designed by Italian Emilio Cavallini.

    • Coloured tights had also become very popular and by 1986 Sheer Colour 15 denier tights had 45 different shades to choose from!

  • 1987

    In 1987 Pretty Polly Legworks was launched – a range of fashion tights for teenagers.

  • 1989

    • Pretty Polly re-launched Sheer Colour as a luxury range which included the world first 5 denier ultra sheer tight.

    • The famous floral PP logo was replaced by a more sophisticated version with the two Ps made to look like ribbon.

    • In 1989, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of nylon, Pretty Polly launched Nylons, still its most popular range today. The innovative yarn combination and knitting method created the look of original nylons with a much better fit. The method was subsequently copied the world over. It is also worth noting that the beautiful pack image, shot by John Swannell, was unusual in not showing legs.

  • 1994

    In 1994 Laura Bailey was announced as the new face of Pretty Polly, promoting a new range of opaques for the Autumn.

  • 1996

    • The beginning of 1996 saw glamour and fashion return to Pretty Polly with the introduction of Italia - offering Italian luxury, sophistication and styling in a range of beautifully finished products.

    • In 1996 PP made headline news, with the first ever vertical poster ads. The "Long Legs" ad put the image and glamour back into the Pretty Polly brand, the most famous name in the hosiery market. A huge poster was flown over London, making the headlines on the 10 O'clock news.

  • 1997

    • In Autumn 1997, Pretty Polly launched Secret Slimmer with the most traffic stopping advertising ever seen as the models dress disappeared to reveal the tummy shaping tights on billboards across the country.

    • Sheer Lights was launched in 1997 – the first product directly targeted at summer legs.

  • 1998

    • 1998 saw Sarah Cox become the new face of Pretty Polly to accompany the launch of All Day Up – also advertised on TV with the famous space hopper film.

    • Eva Herzigova became the face of PP for another campaign in 1998.

  • 1999

    • In 1999 PP bbras were launched with an £8 million marketing budget. Included in the campaign was a TV ad featuring Holly Willoughby and the tagline 'Oooh it's the way they make you feel'.

    • The same year Pretty Polly introduced a range of hosiery onto the market that would provide every girl in the UK with a shade to suit her skin tone. Perfectly Naturals was launched and the star of the campaign was Jemma Kidd.

  • 2000

    • The lingerie range enjoyed continued success with Rachael Stevens fronting the brand awareness campaign.

    • Pretty Polly collaborated with Julien Macdonald to create a stunning catwalk collection of his designs.

  • 2001

    2001 saw the launch of ‘Legacy’ tights with a massive TV campaign famously mocked by Dawn French on the French and Saunders comedy sketch show.

  • 2004

    • The launch of Link Up developed a stocking range that simply hooked into newly developed briefs – no more fiddling about with buckles or sitting on clips.

    • Jamelia was signed to be the face of Pretty Polly supporting the launch of Link Up.

  • 2005

    • Jamelia joined Jemma Kidd to promote PP Naturals.

    • Autumn 2005 Pretty Polly was recognised and awarded superbrands status. A “Superbrand” has established the finest reputation in its field.

    • And during Autumn 2005, Pretty Polly teamed up with the Sugarbabes.

  • 2006

    • 'Stairway to Heaven' the tallest billboard in the UK was booked at Chiswick Roundabout and a special build 3D image created.

    • As a result of breakthrough technology in 2006, Pretty Polly launched Fresh, a range of socks & knee highs that contained a finish that stopped you from getting smelly feet.

  • 2007

    The Joy of Legs campaign kick started with a living billboard, using live dancers and extending into outdoor poster sites, and magazines culminating with a film showcased at the “Take That” 2007 stadium tour, entitled the “Changing of the Tights”.

  • 2008

    • Pretty Polly, the leg expert brand, stretches into leg cosmetics with the launch of Love Legs, offering products to pamper & “dress” bare legs.

    • Secret Slimmer, capitalised on the growing shaping market and the brand featured an unknown model discovered by television reality show “Coleen’s Real Women”.

  • 2009

    Pretty Polly launched the first of many ranges with fashion designer Henry Holland. The range was launched in Selfridges with limited edition coffee cup packaging, and went on to be a massive success with many celebrity fans.

  • 2010

    • 2010 saw a new look logo for Pretty Polly and a UK wide advertising campaign marking the beginning of the brand repositioning, using just leg shots within packaging.

    • 70 years of Nylon stockings was celebrated by Pretty Polly with a new look Nylons pin up style pack.

  • 2011

    • 2011 saw a Pop up Shop in Knightsbridge to support the hunt for Legs Eleven, a national campaign searching for the new legs of Pretty Polly. The winner this year was Ciara O’Doherty

  • 2012

    • 2012 saw Jessie J featured in a campaign for Pretty Polly fashion and House of Holland by PP.

    • Pretty Polly Secret Socks were launched.

  • 2013

    2013 was the year of many successful collaborations such as Hello Kitty, Patternity, Alice and Olivia and Joanne Hynes.

  • 2014

    Musician Sophie Ellis Bextor became an ambassador for Pretty Polly launching her own range of designs under the brand.

  • 2015

    Rosie Fortescue of Made in Chelsea fame became the face and legs of Pretty Polly Naturals.

  • 2017

    A new range of premium opaques was launched using 3D technology.

  • 2018

    Pretty Polly Naturals and Curves are re-launched with a more sophisticated look.

  • 2018

    Pretty Polly reaches its Centenary year!

    Make sure you’re following us across all of our social media pages for the latest news about competitions, collaborations and exclusive centenary giveaways.

    We are also re-launching our search for the new legs of Pretty Polly with a nationwide model search – take a look at our blog for more information.


Famous Pretty Polly Brand Ambassadors

Vintage Adverts

Designer Collaborations

Take a look at some of the iconic collaborations from Pretty Polly's history.

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