Copyright (c) 2000 Jerry Zezima. All Rights Reserved. [Terms and Conditions]
The $10 Million Dollar Millennium Bra
The Ultimate Fantasy Gift from Victoria's Secret
By Jerry Zezima
My greatest holiday shopping experience occurred last year, when I went to the bank to apply for a loan so I could buy my wife the $10 million Millennium Bra from Victoria's Secret.
I couldn't help noticing this glittering garment because I get approximately 17 Victoria's Secret catalogs in the mail every week. Although they are addressed to my wife, I have it on good authority (my younger daughter's best friend's mother is vice president of the Victoria's Secret catalog) that they are really meant for me. Too bad they don't have anything in my size.
Becky Finn, the aforementioned underwear honcho, has even arranged for me to attend a couple of Victoria's Secret fashion shows in New York City. The first time I went, my wife circled an item in the catalog — the sleeveless tank with the retro point collar ($19) — and asked if I could place an order for her.
At the end of the show, I buttonholed Ingrid, the model who was wearing the item in the catalog, and asked if I could order one.
"Sure!" she chirped. "But not with me. Would you like an autograph?"
What could I say? "Make it out to my wife," I requested.
Ingrid took my pen and, over the picture of her in the sleeveless tank with the retro point collar, wrote: "Buy it. Ingrid."
It was then that I learned Victoria's Secret: No discounts.
So I knew the moment I saw supermodel Heidi Klum sporting the Millennium Bra on the cover of the Christmas Dreams and Fantasies catalog that I would have to shell out the full asking price.
And I knew it was worth every penny. As it said on page 3 of the catalog, next to another picture of Heidi in her cups: "The $10 Million Millennium Bra: The ultimate gift to celebrate the beginning of the century. Our satin demi bra and panty are encrusted with over 2,000 exquisite diamonds and diamond-cut sapphires, all of the finest cut and quality, and all showcased in platinum star settings. One strap glitters '2000' in diamond-set platinum; the other is a simple strand of diamonds. This ultimate fantasy gift: $10,000,000."
This got me thinking: Is the price the same for everyone? If not, how much would Dolly Parton have to pay? To justify the cost, would a woman have to risk catching cold or even being arrested by walking around with her brassiere showing? How would you clean it? And what about having it appraised? Would a woman have to go to a jeweler, rip open her blouse and ask: "How much are these worth?"
But the most important question was: Would my bank loan me $10 million to buy a bra?
To find out, I went to the nearest branch office with the Victoria's Secret catalog and spoke with a very nice "customer relationship specialist" named Joanne.
"People come in to get loans for cars, houses, college, medical bills — sometimes the medical bills are for things that would go into a bra, if you know what I mean — but I've never had anyone come in for a loan to buy a bra," Joanne said.
She said I could apply for one of two kinds of loans: a secured loan or a personal loan.
"A secured loan means you already have the money in the bank," Joanne said. "Do you have $10 million?"
"No," I admitted. "If I did, I wouldn't need a loan."
"A personal loan," she explained, "means you have no collateral. You would have to provide three years of financial statements to show what you're worth."
"Scientifically speaking," I said, "I'm worth about $1.98."
"In order to get a loan for $10 million," Joanne said, "you'd have to be worth $100 million."
"Does this mean I don't qualify?" I asked.
"Not even close," said Joanne.
Just out of curiosity, I asked Joanne if she would wear the Millennium Bra. "No," she said, flatly. "My birthday suit is free. Why should I spend $10 million on a bra?"
"Suppose your husband wanted to buy it for you," I said.
"He doesn't have the money," Joanne replied. "And I wouldn't give him a loan."
But she did give me some valuable financial advice. She started thumbing through my catalog. "I'm sure you could find something in here for under a million bucks," said Joanne, who opened to page 61. There stood Heidi Klum in a silver chemise ($25) and a lace-trimmed, knee-length matching wrap ($35).
"You don't have to have a body like hers to wear something like that," Joanne said. "It's classy. And it's very inexpensive. Throw in some moisturizer and you're in for under $100. The rest you can give to charity."
I thanked Joanne and told her I had decided to forget about the Millennium Bra and instead get my wife a flannel nightgown.
"And a pair of fuzzy slippers," Joanne added with a wink. "Women love them."
After all, she agreed, it's the thought that counts.