Lillian Vernon was founded in 1951 by Lillian Menasche. She wanted to help support her soon-to-be born child, so she used some of her father’s monogramming tools to make personalized belts and handbags. The company first advertised these items in Seventeen teen magazine. These monogrammed items were so successful that the company began sending out mail order catalogs in 1956.
The company went public in 1967, at the time, the first woman owned business to be listed on what was then the American Stock Exchange. Lillian Vernon is now owned by Current Media Group,LLC. Lillian passed away in New York in December of 2015.
In 1980, the company began expanding their merchandise line to include children’s items, clothing, back to school items, gifts for teachers and other types of gifts, pet supplies, holiday decor and housewares. The company still personalizes most items. Many celebrities have gotten their start as models for Lillian Vernon, including Marla Maples.