Nov. 8, 2013 at 8:26 AM ET
Likely the world's most expensive brassiere produced this year, the Victoria's Secret Fantasy Bra is the highlight of the brand's annual fashion show, which kicks off its holiday selling season on Nov. 13. This year's bra and belt are handset in 18-karat gold and feature a 52-carat, pear-shaped center ruby plus more than 4,200 precious gems, including diamonds and yellow sapphires.
Victoria's Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel will be given the honor of modeling the bra at its public unveiling.
The undergarment's eye-popping price tag is the most expensive since 2005. Prices for the retailer's Fantasy Bras plunged during the recession and were a mere fraction of those created during the early 2000s, which begs the question: Is the Fantasy Bra an indicator of economic or market trends?
Interestingly, prices of the Fantasy Bra tracked the S&P 500 higher and lower from 1996 to 2005 (with the exception of 2003) and again in 2009 and 2013. So market watchers may want to debate its merits along with those of the "hemline theory" attributed to Wharton economist George Taylor in the 1920s. (Under that theory, women wear shorter skirts during good times, and longer ones during bad ones.)
Before the bra hits the runway, CNBC reached out to Victoria's Secret to go behind the bra and find some interesting tidbits about this year's megamillions undergarment.
The manpower involved: The bra took 527 hours to complete, or nearly 22 days, with help from 14 craftspeople.
Selection process: Victoria's Secret executives pick the Fantasy Bra model and design in May. The fitting process for the undergarment begins at the end of May, nearly half a year before its catwalk debut. The brand works with many different fine jewelry designers, a list that can vary from year to year.
Measuring up: This specific bra required a body cast to be created to ensure perfect measurements.
And the lucky buyer is ...: No one typically, because most bras are eventually dismantled. So far, only one bra, last year's $2.5 million one, has found a buyer. Victoria's Secret declined to reveal the name of its owner.
This year, the bra will be held for a year and available for purchase during that time.
—By CNBC's Katie Little. Follow her on Twitter @KatieLittle.
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