NEW YORK — More than 100 shoppers lined up in the lingerie department of the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship last week to meet Olympic Gold Medalist Peggy Fleming, who hosted a Wacoal Fit for the Cure Program.
It was the first time that Fleming, a breast cancer survivor, took part in a breast cancer awareness event for the Wacoal Awareness Bra and Wacoal’s designer bra licensees, Donna Karan Intimates and DKNY Underwear.
Fleming said an early breast self-exam saved her life.
“I had just showered, put on my makeup and did my hair, and was about ready to get dressed when I saw the lump myself. I was about to go on camera, but immediately took action and called the doctor,” said Fleming, who also is a commentator for ABC Sports.
Fleming’s one-hour appearance at Saks was preceded that day by a satellite media tour at the Wacoal showrooms here at 136 Madison Avenue, where she conducted 18 interviews with TV morning talk shows around the country.
The three-year-old Wacoal event has expanded from its inception as a month-long promotion during October, which is known nationwide as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to a yearlong series of promotions at more than 600 doors of major department and specialty stores.
Bob Vitale, vice president of sales for Wacoal America, the U.S. unit of apparel giant Wacoal Japan, said retail sales of Wacoal, Donna Karan and DKNY intimates were up 52 percent against a year ago during the first full day of the three-day promotion, totaling $13,000. Women attending the Wacoal events receive complimentary education packages with information on positive breast health practices and the importance of early detection of breast cancer, along with a guide to performing proper breast self-exams, said Liz Smith, Wacoal’s director of retail seminars.
Wacoal donates $1 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for every woman who receives a free fitting in a Wacoal, Donna Karan or DKNY bra. This fall, Wacoal doubled its donation to the Komen foundation to $2 for each Awareness Bra sold during October. Suggested retail for Wacoal’s Awareness Bra is $58. A new Awareness Sports Bra sells for $56.
Fleming said she is “extremely pleased” with Wacoal’s new Awareness Sports Bra because, “I’m not only a skater, I’m a runner, and the fit is very comfortable.”