Wonderbra Factory Shops
The Wonderbra name is one of the most classic and recognisable in the women’s fashion industry worldwide.
More than being just a functional and fashionable undergarment, the company (in its various incarnations) has been responsible for a great deal of innovation and progressiveness in terms of fashion trends as well as the social status of women to some extent. In the process it has become an iconic symbol of femininity across many nations, and has endured through several decades.
The name ‘Wonderbra’ initially represented the product itself – a type of push-up underwire brassiere – but through the extreme popularity of this product has since become synonymous with the company that manufactures these undergarments.
Its history begins in the 1930s, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. During this period (and particularly during the war itself), elastic materials were strictly rationed, making the manufacture of products that relied on such materials difficult.
Designer Israel Pilot managed to get around this problem by designing a new type of brassiere that would cut down on the use of elastics while also increasing comfort and freedom of movement for the wearer. He coined the name ‘Wonder-Bra’ in 1935, and patented his new invention in 1941.
While patented in the United States of America, the original Wonderbra was in fact manufactured by the Canadian Lady Corset Company.
This Canadian company was owned and operated by Moe Nadler, who, as part of an effort to introduce a new cost-effective, high quality bra to the North American market, met with Pilot and licensed his new patent as well as the Wonderbra trademark. The product proved highly successful during the wartime years and beyond.
By the 1960s, it was becoming clear that girdles and other highly structured undergarments, which had previously been fashionable, were on the way out. Larry Nadler, a Harvard-trained MBA who had inherited the Canadian Lady Corset Company from his father, recognised this trend and introduced innovative marketing strategies that centered around the Wonderbra, which was fast becoming an essential part of any woman’s wardrobe.
In a bold move for the time, many advertising campaigns promoted the bra as a means of enhancing women’s sexuality, rather than an unmentionable undergarment – a trend that continues to this day.
Partnering with many popular and influential ‘spokesmodels’ over the years, such as Eva Herzigova and Dita Von Teese, also contributed to the company’s rise in popularity, with some ads in particular achieving a kind of landmark status. These advertisements proved so successful that the Wonderbra steadily took over a large proportion of the market share, eventually leading the company to officially change its name to reflect its most successful product.
Wonderbra stores in South Africa
Today, the Wonderbra brand is a household name all over the world. Company headquarters are located in the United States (South African headquarters can be found in Johannesburg), and retail outlets number in the thousands. In addition to its signature product, the Wonderbra range includes many different types of bras as well as lingerie and other undergarments.
The company’s marketing continues to be both boundary-pushing and highly effective across the world.
No open factory outlets for Wonderbra at the moment but please check back for updates.