By  on May 19, 1994

NEW YORK -- Cleavage-enhancing bras are living up to the hype.

That's the consensus from retailers after the barrage of publicity over push-up styles that began in March and reached a crescendo during the May market last week.

Saks Fifth Avenue became one of the first stores to benefit from the boom, when the Super-Uplift bra by Gossard was introduced at the flagship store in March. Saks reportedly has sold about 20,000 units since then at its 47 stores.

Kim Anderson-Curry, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of intimate apparel would not confirm that figure, but: "Our push-up business has been phenomenal -- absolutely tremendous. We are filling special orders for 3,000 Super-Uplift bras this week."

Anderson-Curry noted that the push-up bra classification is seeing a 50 percent sales increase over a year ago because of the hoopla over enhanced cleavage. She added that promotions for the push-up bra classification at Saks are being planned for this summer.

Other top selling push-up labels at Saks are Felina, Lou, Natori and Josie by Bestform, and the licensed Valentino Intimo line at Warnaco Group.

Super-Uplift is Gossard's answer to the Wonderbra, the push-up padded bra that it produced under license in the U.K. for 25 years until the end of last year, when Sara Lee Corp. took back the license.

The hyperbole over such bras started up again last week, when Sara Lee Foundations staged a preview launch of its Wonderbra at three New York stores -- Macy's, Abraham & Straus and Lord & Taylor -- and various vendors introduced their versions at the market.

"We were down to six Wonderbras on Monday. By Tuesday we were sold out," said Benny Lin, fashion director of Macy's East.

Lin said Macy's padded push-up bras accounted for 6 percent of total bra business at Macy's East two months ago, and it now comprises 10 percent of bra sales. He added that Macy's Herald Square will be getting a "healthy replenishment" of Wonderbras this week, but he would not specify the number of units.

Around 3,000 Wonderbras by Sara Lee Foundations were introduced at Macy's flagship May 9. Some 2,000 to 3,000 Wonderbras bras, as noted, also were introduced at A&S and Lord & Taylor here the same day.

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