Rhonda Gillespie/Chicago Defender
Voluptuous women, fret no more. Alas, neo-soul recording artist Jill Scott feels your pain – and discomfort. The Grammy Award winning diva has come out with a new line of bras designed to address many of the comfort, style and support issues that top-heavy women often endure. Scott recently revealed her new Butterfly bra and lead a panel discussion at the Ashley Stewart store in Evergreen Plaza mall in south suburban Evergreen Park.
The panel also includedcorporate executives. The Golden singer was very candid–a witty–in her discussion of bra faux pas, telling how even the more expensive and exclusive ones she bought failed to meet her needs. Even yoga and visits to the chiropractor weren’t enough to deal with the pain Scott said she had from the weight of her breasts and lack of bra support.
But her Butterfly bra, which Ashley Stewart executives took care to reiterate was still everdeveloping, is designed to shift the painful burden, that often comes with having a heavier chest, from the shoulders to the back.
“The shoulders were never meant to carry that much weight,” Scott said. Her bra boasts two straps in the back to distribute the weight off the shoulders, giving the bra a butterfly look. Special gel packs replace often irritating underwire that is blamed for the painful “digging”–and the unsightly, dark marks–some bras are responsible for.
The dozens of women attending the May 31 private launch party at the store were eager to hear about the bra that is supposed to mix style, comfort and support into one intimately appealing undergarment. They roared at Scott’s boasts that the bra is not only comfortable, but sexy. Winifred Brown is all for the Butterfly bra, “if it can do something with these,” she said pointing at her breasts. “I like to play the girls up,” Brown, 53, said of her FF cup size breasts.
“I need a good strapless bra without sticking out like Mae West.” But support is the last thing on Dominique Cook’s mind. The 26-year-old said she never really considered it when buying her bras. “That’s why my back hurts all the time,” she said. And Ashley Stewart bra fitter, Elsa De La Serna said that 85 percent of women wear the wrong bra size.
As she was sizing women at the launch event, she explained that most women just “grab a bra and buy it,” something she does not recommend. From vitamin water and energy drinks to perfume and urban clothing, recording artists are increasingly delving into commerce, capitalizing on their popularity and further fattening their bank accounts.
But the multi-awarding winning Scott, who’s also appeared on the big screen and has her own postage stamp in Africa, said the Butterfly is not just Whatever. Her bra line is not merely a “next thing” for her. Scott said she is passionate and sincere about bringing forth intimate wear that addresses the needs of the plus-size woman.
Marla Minns, executive vice president and general manager for Ashley Stewart stores, agreed. “It is important to her that this bra does what she wants it to do,” Minns said. Scott said she chose Ashley Stewart stores to carry her line because the retailer, which caters to women who wear size 12-26, “cares about their customers.”
Other retailers rejected her meticulously crafted bra because they felt it was specifically for African American women, Scott said. “But it’s not about race. It’s about a problem so many women are having,” the chart-topping singer said. The Butterfly bra is available exclusively on the retailer’s Web site in cup sizes D to DDD. Colors are limited–black, white and nude–but a strapless version is available.
Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved.
OFFICIAL JILL SCOTT WEBSITE: http://www.jillscott.com/
JILL SCOTT ON MYSPACE: http://www.myspace.com/whoisjillscott