Every year, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is one of the highest-rated television events in the US and draws admiring eyes from men and women alike the world over. Beautiful women strut their stuff, showcasing their incredible figures and the brand's scintillating lingerie, while viewers lust after the Angels, or the lingerie they wear - or both.
Despite being a highstreet, accessible brand, Victoria’s Secret in fact dominates the list of most expensive lingerie pieces thanks to their coveted Fantasy Bra series that was introduced in 1996. First introduced to the runway in 2001, these jewel-studded, luxurious undergarments are considered masterpieces of high fashion lingerie. There hasn’t been a single Fantasy Bra that cost less than seven figures, but to give others a chance at making the list of high-priced, sexy undies, most of the Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bras between $1 million and $5 million have been stricken from the record here. With that in mind, we've compiled an eye-watering rundown of 10 of the most expensive pieces of lingerie ever designed.
10 Uwe Koetter Chastity Belt - $20,000
In 2002, South African goldsmith and jeweler Uwe Koetter created this $20,000 gold, pearl, and diamond encrusted chastity belt for a British client from Cape Town. It's our best guess that the client was a male, because there’s no way a woman would ever buy this for herself... surely?
The chastity belt dates back to the Renaissance era, as a means to keep a lady faithful by putting her privates under lock and key. The original iron chastity belts were prone to problems, though: If the woman didn't have the appropriate cloth padding between herself and the metal frame, she could fall victim to lead poisoning and, in some cases, death. Ouch. The pricey recreation of such an item is, thus, at best questionable... But it probably makes for a good conversation piece.
9 Gold Lingerie from Shenyang City, China - $26,000
This piece of yellow gold lingerie set was showcased at a 2007 lingerie and jewelry exhibit. It reportedly took four different craftsmen four months to make the piece, valued at $26,000. The lingerie set was carved from 950 grams of pure yellow gold. It was displayed for three weeks at a jewelry shop, but - unsurprisingly - never sold. As elegant as it looks, the fact that it didn't sell demonstrates the perhaps foolhardy marketing strategy behind showcasing ridiculously expensive lingerie without a marketable celebrity name attached to it.
8 Anamika Khanna ORRA Diamond Bustier - $1.3 million
Indian designer Anamika Khanna teamed up with ORRA diamonds to create this diamond-studded bustier in 2010. Marketed as the most expensive bustier in the world, it was hand-crafted and studded with Belgian diamonds, making it worth 1 million euros. It took a team of stylists, designers, and craftsmen 6 months to create.
Indian model Anjali Lavania introduced the dazzling bustier at a 2010 fashion show, and then Bollywood actress Malaika Arora went on to don the opulent undergarment a while later. As stated by ORRA CEO Vijay Jain, “While the design is influenced by the strong Indian heritage, they have used the finest Belgian diamonds in this magnificent piece, making it a true luxurious and one of a kind creation in the world of diamonds.” It seems that Anamika Khanna is trying to give Victoria’s Secret a run for their money
7 Victoria’s Secret Hearts on Fire Diamond Fantasy Bra - $6.5 million
The centerpiece of the glamorous 2006 Victoria’s Secret fashion show was the Hearts on Fire diamond-studded Fantasy Bra. The Victoria floral motif is centered with a 10 carat diamond brooch, and the rest of the bra is comprised of over 2,000 smaller diamonds. The stones took over 20,000 hours of labor to perfectly cut and polish, while the bra itself took over 300 hours to design and fabricate. Victoria’s Secret Angel Karolina Kurkova modeled the gorgeous piece and, unusually, the fantasy bra was featured in the Christmas Dreams catalogue - in case someone wanted to turn their expensive fantasy into an expensive reality.
6 Victoria’s Secret Millennium Bra / Star of Victoria Bra; Heavenly “70“ Fantasy Bra / The Royal Bra - All $10 million
These four Fantasy Bras were all showcased at different fashion shows, and they are all worth about $10 million each. The “Millennium Bra” was featured in 1999 to celebrate the turn of the century. The glittering garment was strutted around by supermodel Heidi Klum, and it was encrusted with over 2,000 exquisite diamonds and sapphires (to mark the whole “year 2000” thing) all set in platinum. Strangely, it was not featured on the runway.
In 2002, Karolina Kurkova was the chosen Angel to wear the “Star of Victoria” Fantasy Bra, featuring an awe-inspiring 1,150 rubies and 1,600 emerald leaves. It was designed by the jeweler Mouawad as part of the Objet d’Arts Collection, and had a total weight of 320 carats.
The “Heavenly “70“ Fantasy Bra” was designed by jeweler Mouawad and modeled by Tyra Banks in 2004, getting its namesake from a flawless 70-carat pear-shaped diamond cradled in the middle of the piece. It took over 270 hours to craft.
The most recent $10 million Fantasy Bra was called “The Royal” and was showcased by supermodel Candice Swanepoel at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It was covered in over 4,200 precious gems such as diamonds, rubies, and yellow sapphires, all set in 18K gold, and also a 52-carat, pear-shaped ruby shined as the centerpiece. It came with a matching bow and belt. According to the South African supermodel, the bra came with two bodyguards and everyone had to wear gloves when putting the pricey undergarment on her body.
5 Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Fantasy Bra - $11 million
In 2003, Angel and supermodel Heidi Klum was awarded her third Fantasy Bra, the $11 million “Very Sexy” Fantasy Bra. The stunning red and white brassiere took 370 hours to create, and the reason for its ridiculous price tag stemmed from the 70-carat diamond embedded in the center (the second largest in the world). At the time, the “Very Sexy” bra was the Guinness World Record holder for being the most luxurious and expensive piece of lingerie ever made.
4 Victoria’s Secret Heavenly Star Fantasy Bra - $12.5 million
The “Heavenly Star Fantasy Bra” was the first ever Fantasy Bra to appear on the runway. It began the tradition in 2001, and Heidi Klum was the first supermodel chosen to wear the tight-fitting brassiere. There had been other Fantasy Bras bras since 1996, but they were never featured on the runway. The “Heavenly Star” featured 1,200 Sri Lankan pink sapphires and a 90-carat emerald-cut diamond in its center.
3 Victoria’s Secret Sexy Splendor Fantasy Bra - $12.5 million
Designed in the style of the company’s “Very Sexy” collection, this bra was designed by regular Victoria’s Secret designer Mouawad. It boasted 2,900 pave-set diamonds and 22 rubies, all interwoven and set in 18-karat white gold. The hanging centerpiece was a 101-carat Mouawad Splendor diamond. Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen was chosen to wear this piece, making it her second Fantasy Bra. The “Sexy Splendor” bra is tied as the second-most expensive Fantasy Bra ever showcased, and it might be the most expensive one-piece bra ever created.
2 Victoria’s Secret Red Hot Fantasy Bra and Panties - $15 million
The most expensive Fantasy Bra ever premiered came at the annual Fashion Show in 2000. This beautiful crimson bra-and-panty set was made of red satin and was decorated with 1,300 gemstones, including 300 carats of Thai rubies. The stunning angel Gisele Bündchen was chosen to wear the piece of art. Currently, the “Red Hot” Fantasy Bra set holds the Guinness World Record for the most extravagant and expensive underwear ever created.
1 Susan Rosen Diamond Bikini - $30 million
Victoria’s Secret doesn't top the list! The top of the list isn’t even a piece of lingerie, it’s a “bikini,” just about. This dental-floss-sized swimsuit was designed by Susan Rosen for Sports Illustrated’s 2012 Swimsuit Issue. It is worth a whopping $30 million. Molly Sims took the honors of showcasing the bikini (and a whole lot of skin) which is an assembly of over 150 carats of D flawless diamonds. The thong contains one of the world’s largest pear-shaped diamonds, weighing in at 51-karats, in addition to a 31-karat emerald-cut diamond. All of these stones are set in platinum, making this teeny bikini the most expensive masterpiece of lingerie in the world.