IN history’s timeline there are some periods where so much happens that when observed in retrospect one see that things were changed forever. The year 1994 was such a time.
Not only by the first democratic elections in the history of Mzansi with Madiba becoming president, but around the world there were significant moments that inspired and changed popular culture.
Her story released as an award-nominated movie that year, figure skater Tonya Harding became embroiled in an assault scandal and subsequent media soap opera with competitor Nancy Kerrigan, Brazil won the Fifa World Cup and internet browser Netscape Navigator shot to popularity – for a brief time – as it became the Net standard.
Everyone was also glued to the tube when we watched OJ Simpson flee police in a highway chase down.
There was also a seismic shift in blood pressure and slowdowns in traffic near some billboards when lingerie brand Wonderbra launched its first iconic campaign featuring supermodel Eva Herzigova.
The “Hello Boys” campaign became one of the most successful and recognisable lingerie campaigns around the world and was voted in the top 10 of all-time advertising posters in the UK during the 1990s.
It was soon followed by market localisation as South Africa chose Kerry McGregor as its first Wonderbra model.
She was followed by, among others, Lieschen Botes and Elbie van der Merwe.
National Cleavage Day was installed and for a while it became a calendar highlight. Then it went quiet, for a bit.
Wonderbra has a rich history stretching back to 1935, when its first push-up bra was invented. Skip through several decades and by the 1990s the time was right to elevate the brand from a single line of garments and accelerate it to a lingerie line that empowers women to own their confidence and be sexy.
“Wonderbra is about self-assuredness, it is a brand that encapsulates the empowered woman of the 21st century,” said manufacturer Hanes’s managing director, Andreas Henkel. “It is an inspiring, motivational brand with garment designs that continue to lead trends in undergarments.”
Wonderbra is also one of the few clothing brands still manufactured on South African soil.
In January, Wonderbra launched a new search for a local spokesmodel, the first time in several years that this search has gone public.
“While it went quiet for a bit as we reassessed and reimagined the brand,” said Henkel, “we have reignited the search for a new icon. We are looking for the quintessential South African woman, confident, beautiful and who radiates the qualities we all admire in one another.”
The Wonderbra Icon search continues until the end of March, after which an extensive judging and evaluation process will commence.
“We hope to announce the next South African Wonderbra icon toward the end of April,” said Henkel.
The newly appointed spokesmodel will become the brand ambassador for a year, appearing on packaging, promotional materials and advertising.
“It is a tremendous opportunity for the right person and with the strength of an iconic global brand behind her, it represents great future career opportunities.”