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Importer of Cleavage-Creating Bra Reports Heavy Demand in U.S. Debut

May 11, 1994

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Wonderbra, one of European women’s most revealing secrets, sold at the rate of one every 15 seconds during its U.S. debut at three famous Manhattan department stores, the importer said Tuesday.

More than one-third of the entire allotment for its Monday launch was gone within the first five hours, said Sara Lee Foundations, the company that is selling the Wonderbra in the United States.

The $26 bra, a feat of fashion engineering that creates cleavage where none had existed, has been selling in Europe for 30 years. Sara Lee has promoted its introduction in the U.S. market with an aggressive advertising campaign, calling the bra the original ″Supermodel’s Secret Cleavage Weapon.″

Chuck Nesbit, vice president of marketing for the importer, said demand for the bra at Macy’s flagship Manhattan store, Abraham & Straus Plaza and Lord & Taylor marked ″the biggest sell-out in the history of the industry.″

Elaine Duffy, lingerie buyer for A&S, said shoppers jammed the store’s intimate wear department trying to buy the bra, limited to one per customer.

″Women were coming in with their friends, their husbands and their boyfriends asking for the Wonderbra,″ she said.

With the Wonderbra, Sara Lee is trying to get a bigger share of the $2.6 billion U.S. bra market. The 54-piece push-up and plunge underwire garment contains a pad in the cup that shoves the breasts up and in.

It will be sold nationally starting in August.

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