Ice Originals By Lizette

Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine

The year before the American skating community mourned the loss of a generation of talented skaters, coaches and judges in the Sabena Crash, Morris Adler, the founder of M. Adler Garment Co. in St. Louis, Missouri, passed away. Morris Adler's family company, which manufactured women's coats and dresses, had been an institution in St. Louis for fifty years. After his death, Morris' son Joseph took over the reins. However, it was Joseph's wife Henriette Lizabeth 'Lizette' Adler, who stole the show.

Lizette's daughters Barbara, Maralin and Terri were all avid figure skaters. Like many skating mothers, Lizette scoured the few local sports shops in hopes of finding skating wear that suited the individual tastes of her children and came up empty-handed. That's when she decided to design their dresses herself. The Adler children's first blouses and skirts were a huge hit. Soon other mothers were asking Lizette to come up with creations for their own children. Lizette soon realized there was a niche market for skating wear just itching to be filled. Her creativity and the access to her husband's dressmaking business soon gave birth to Ice Originals By Lizette, one of the most successful mail-order skating fashion companies of the sixties.

Advertisement noting the sale of Ice Originals By Lizette at the Alpine Ice Chalet in Pittsburgh. Photo courtesy Wendy Dager, Virtual Purse Museum.

Ice Originals By Lizette's annual catalogues and ads in "Skating" magazine garnered the bulk of their business, though 'stock' wool, polyester, lamé and corduroy 'skadresses', jumpers and skirts were also sold at Bloomingdale's, sports shops and rinks. The company's 'motto' was "All girls were made for Ice Originals By Lizette." At the height of her success in 1966, Lizette admitted, "Sometimes it scares me, but I'm wonderfully happy to be successful and to know that we're producing something original that so many people want and need." 

Two of the factors that made Ice Originals By Lizette so successful were the fact that its skating wear was manufactured in a wide range of sizes and the cost was extremely affordable. 'Mix and match' switchable skirts ranged from eight to eleven dollars, while competition dresses in vibrant 'technicolor' yellow, orange and hot pink generally retailed for less than thirty five dollars. One of the company's most popular dresses, an itchy long-sleeved wool number, was called the Sun Valley. 

Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine

Ice Originals By Lizette continued to be quite popular in the first part of the seventies, but in 1982, Lizette decided to go in another direction. She co-founded Sage Skin Care with her daughter Barbara, which continues to sell non-comedogenic skincare products using natural ingredients to this very day. Sadly, Lizette Adler passed away on June 23, 1997, at the age of seventy-six after dedicating much of her life to making skaters look good and feel better about themselves.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating. Over ten years, the blog has featured over a thousand free articles covering all aspects of the sport's history, as well as four compelling in-depth features. To read the latest articles, follow the blog on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube. If you enjoy Skate Guard, please show your support for this archive by ordering a copy of "Jackson Haines: The Skating King" and pre-ordering "Sequins, Scandals & Salchows: Figure Skating in the 1980s", which will be released this fall where books are sold: