Fruit of the Loom

   This company dates back to 1851 when textile mill owner Robert Knight of Rhode Island was inspired by a friend's fruit artwork and trademarked the name. The company made men's and women's underwear initially but later diversified to other product categories. In 1976, Fruit of the Loom bought rival BVD and, in 1985, Fruit of the Loom was bought by William F. Farley. It became a vertically integrated, international basic apparel company, which emphasized branded products for consumers ranging from infants to senior citizens. The company manufactures and markets men's and boys' underwear, women's and girls' underwear, printable activewear, casualwear and sportswear, childrenswear, and family socks. Brand names include Fruit of the Loom, BVD, Best, and Screen Stars. Licensed brands include Munsingwear, Wilson, Botany 500, and John Henry. Licensed apparel bearing the logos or insignia of major sports leagues, their teams, and certain popular players, and the logos of most major colleges and universities, are marketed under the Fan's Gear brands. In 1999, the company filed for bankruptcy but, in 2001, was sold to Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a company owned by billionaire financier Warren Buffett.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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