By  on March 3, 2005

NEW YORK — Hollywood stylist Philip Bloch succinctly explained the Wonderbra mantra amid the fanfare for its latest incarnation at Macy’s Herald Square.

“The great thing is you can get this red carpet cleavage without going through the pain and torture of going under the knife,” Bloch said

Bloch, whose clients include Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, Salma Hayek, Jada Pinkett Smith and Vivica A. Fox, was referring to the new Clearly Wonderbra collection of cleavage-enhancing bras for which he is a spokesman.

The Clearly Wonderbra line, which features bras in fashion colors with clear-front insets, was unveiled Wednesday. The event at Macy’s sixth-floor lingerie department mirrored the hype with which the Wonderbra name has become synonymous since it was introduced in Brinks armored trucks and by parachute in the U.S. market by Sara Lee Corp. in 1994.

This time the hoopla was focused on Bloch, a dozen male models holding black Clearly Wonderbras in clear Lucite boxes with signature yellow ribbons and five female models, including Maja, Wonderbra’s spokesmodel.

Maja kicked off a multimillion-dollar advertising and marketing campaign in Times Square in October, launching the Extravagance collection of embroidered black push-up numbers with the tag line, “Yes, They Are, Thank You.” While the annual budget for the Extravagance collection is in excess of $5 million, Sara Lee officials would not give a budget for Clearly Wonderbra. The $170 million Wonderbra label is one of a $4.5 billion portfolio of brands Sara Lee said it plans to spin off as part of an independent apparel company.

Bloch presented an Oscar-inspired fashion show with Wonderbra-clad models wearing slinky evening gowns. He said he selected the evening gowns and accessories to wear with the Wonderbras because, “I wanted to show how real people can get that red carpet cleavage. Most of the dresses are by ABS, in the $200 to $300 range. Each outfit with accessories was under $500. I really didn’t pay much attention to labels. It was more about the pricing.”

The Clearly Wonderbra line will be featured with Maja in “Red Carpet” store events over the next two weeks at Foley’s in Houston, Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago, Macy’s in Miami and San Francisco and Robinson’s-May in Los Angeles, said Diane Ridgway-Cross, brand manager for Wonderbra.

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