As we celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness across the globe, AW Fashion pays tribute to the undergarment responsible for lifting, separating and supporting the breast - the coveted brassiere. We share too, a bit of history and facts about bras.
1913 - The first modern bra was invented by New York Socialite Mary Phelps Jacob. However in 1858 a Brooklyn woman invented an insert made of coiled wire and padding, for a corset that made the breasts look bigger which she filled with bark, grass, or curled hair.
1920s- Ida Rosenthal and husband William, who collaborated with Enid Bissett to create a bra with discernible cup sizes.
1950s: Training bras for adolescents were first made.
1907: Vogue magazine first used the word 'brassiere', in reference to a breast-shaping garment worn in addition to a corset.
1943: Year producer Howard Hughes had a cleavage-emphasising bra designed for actress Jane Russell after complaining on the set of The Outlaw: "We're not getting enough production out of Jane's breasts."
1977: The "jock bra" (later known as the Jog Bra) which was inspired by the shape and function of the jockstrap.
1990: Year Jean Paul Gaultier designed Madonna's cone bra for her third tour, Blonde Ambition.
2009: The memory foam bra was invented by Slovenian company Lisca.
2012: The increased popularity of plastic surgery has forced brassiere manufacturers to create new cup sizes such as KK and N.
o Experts have estimated that 80 per cent of women currently wear the wrong bra size.
o The average woman is estimated to own nine bras.
o The most expensive bra to date is the Heavenly Star Bra by Victoria's Secret which has an estimated value of US $12.5 million. Its centrepiece is a 90-carat emerald-cut diamond worth $10.6 million.
o 5: Rank of the Wonderbra, a padded push-up style introduced in the 1990s, in the Canadian Broadcasting Company's 2007 list of the top 50 Canadian inventions of all time.
Facts compiled from:
Guinness Book of World Records
Women's Health magazine