Ladies, do you have any old wonderbras collecting dust in your closet? Hey, you can recycle them into handbags!
Young designer Rita Maria Almeida, a graduate with a degree in Industrial Design,decided to recycle those big Wonderbra cups into handbags. Getting her friends to donate their old Wonderbras to her, she has churned out a huge collection of handbags of all types, sizes and colors.
Before the Second World War broke out, elastic materials were rationed and unavailable for clothing. Israel Pilot designed an improved cup with a diagonal slash, shoulder strap attachment. This innovation on existing bra design provided more comfort and freedom of movement for the wearer. He also coined the name “Wonder-Bra” in 1935. His diagonal slash design offered a better fitting brassiere without elastics, allowing him to forge ahead of competitors.
Although the Wonderbra name was first trademarked in the U.S. in 1935, the brand was developed in Canada. Moses (Moe) Nadler, founder and majority owner of the Canadian Lady Corset Company, licensed the trademark for the Canadian market in 1939. By the 1960s the Canadian Lady brand had become known in Canada as “Wonderbra, the company.” In 1961 the company introduced the Model 1300 plunge push-up bra. This bra became one of the best-selling Canadian styles and is virtually identical to today’s Wonderbra.
In 1968, Canadian Lady changed its name to Canadian Lady-Canadelle Inc., was sold to Consolidated Foods (now Sara Lee Corporation), and later became Canadelle Inc. During the 1970s Wonderbra was repositioned as the company’s fashionable and sexy brand, and became the Canadian market leader. But its popularity was largely limited to Canada until its worldwide reintroduction in 1991
In 1991, the push-up Wonderbra became a sensation in the UK, although it had been sold there since 1964 under license by the Gossard division of Courtaulds Textiles. Sara Lee Corporation did not renew Gossard’s license and redesigned the push-up style for the reintroduction of the Wonderbra to the U.S. market in 1994.
In 1994 in the UK, the (Sara Lee) Wonderbra achieved a huge profile for its racy Hello Boys campaign. The most famous campaign poster presented model Eva Herzigová in a Wonderbra gazing down at her breasts with the caption “Hello Boys”, ambiguously addressing either male admirers or her breasts.Urban myth attributed a number of car accidents to (male) drivers being distracted by the advertisements.The influential poster was featured in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and it was voted in at number 10 in a “Poster of the Century” contest.
Since 1994, the Wonderbra has expanded from the single push-up design into a full-range lingerie fashion label in most of the world. In most countries, the brand emphasizes sex-appeal. In its native Canada, however, the brand promotes the functional qualities of its products—a departure from the strategy that made Wonderbra the top-seller in the 1970s.