Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and the Skinny on Wacoal’s Sexy New Ad Campaign

Lunch At Michaels

LunchAtMichaelsAs Wednesdays at Michael’s go, it was a relatively quiet scene at 55th and Fifth today, but the joint was still jam packed with the usual suspects doing their power lunch thing. You know who they are by now, but your intrepid Lunch columnist is here to serve: Star Jones and Donny Deutsch represented the talking head contingent, while Jeff Greenfield and Jerry Della Femina held court at their usual table (6) with pals Dr. Gerald Imber and Michael Kramer (the boys have been meeting for their weekly lunches for decades!) There was also the requisite representation of PR mavens, including Hearst’s Deb Shriver, Susan Blond and Lisa Lindenin attendance. Perhaps all the celebs were saving their strength for tonight’s offerings at The Tribeca Film Festival.

Susan Malinowski, Diane Clehane and Leslie Stevens
Susan Malinowski, Diane Clehane and Leslie Stevens

If you ask me, our table was having the most fun because I was joined by two of my favorite Gotham power gals Leslie Stevens and Susan Malinowski. We’ve known each other since preschool (not really, but you get the picture) and our paths have crossed in interesting ways throughout the years through various jobs and clients. Back in the day, Susan, now vice president of marketing at Wacoal America, was my boss at Danskin-Pennaco Hosiery. Leslie, who helms her own PR firm, LaForce + Stevens, with partner James LaForce, worked with us as a consultant. Today, Susan is shaking things up at Wacoal America and Leslie’s agency is handling spreading all the big news about what’s happening with the brand.

In the nine months since Susan joined the company, “She has revolutionized the brand,” says Leslie. Based on the images from the new multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, “Wacoal Woman,” which breaks in the new issues of Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar, I’d have to agree. Susan served as art director and copy writer on the ads, which cleverly drive the point home that these beautiful bras are really, according to her, “beauty products.” Says Susan: “The branding campaign positions Wacoal bras as beauty products that make women look and feel beautiful. We’re actually in the beauty business. We did research and 75 percent of women who buy Wacoal bras wear them every day.” The campaign will also be featured prominently on social media and expand into other books, including Elle, Vogue and InStyle, come September.

The ads, which feature a series of women whose faces are obscured and instead focus on glowing bodies in Wacoal bras, and some with discreetly expensive accessories, were shot by Erez Sabag. The eye-catching images rival the editorial readers expect from the fashion and beauty bibles. To drive home the beauty connection, various taglines such as  “With the right lip gloss and my sexy Wacoal bra, I won’t be easily forgotten” tell the story of different women’s beauty regimens. The new tagline for the campaign is: “The Art and Science of Intimates.” Because as any woman who has stood in a fitting room littered with bras that don’t fit knows, finding the right bra is both an art and a science.

Speaking of fit, Wacoal has expanded its “Fit for the Cure” partnership with Susan G. Komen, which raises money for breast cancer awareness ($14 million in 14 years and counting) and will do 1,200 fit events nationwide this year. Wacoal donates $2 to the organization for every woman who tries on one of its bras and another $2 if the person purchases one. This year, Wacoal created a special partnership with breast cancer survivor Hollye Jacobs, author of The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer (currently number 6 on the “How To” section of The New York Times’ Best Seller list). Wacoal created a glittering silver bra strap inspired by Hollye’s book that can be attached to many of its styles and “flashed” from tanks and T-shirts. All the proceeds from the sale of the strap, available exclusively on, will go to Susan G. Komen to provide copies of Hollye’s book to women who could not otherwise afford to purchase the “girlfriend’s guide” to dealing with the disease.