A flair for executing a smooth unhooking of the intimate apparel that has thwarted the best efforts of many may be enough to earn a West Cork retailer a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
As part of a month-long campaign to raise funds for a breast cancer charity, Sean Murray of Sean Murray Fashions in Skibbereen turned his talents to the kind of challenge most men can only dream of — unclasping as many bras as possible in one minute.
To practise for the world record attempt, which took place at the weekend, Sean enlisted the help of a couple of female staff members — and nine mannequins.
For the past couple of months, the shop was closed from 9am to 9.30am most mornings to facilitate “staff training”.
“We’d line up the nine mannequins and two or three of the female staff stripped down to their bras and I practised on them, with one of the male staff doing the time- keeping. It was a good team-building exercise,” Sean said, tongue in cheek.
The practise paid off and Sean succeeded in unclasping 91 double hooked bras with one hand in his shop on Saturday afternoon, breaking the existing world record of opening 69 bras in 60 seconds. To help with his efforts, 56 volunteers took part, mostly women.
Asked what his wife Maria thought of his endeavours, he said she had thrown her full support behind him.
“When we were pooling fundraising ideas at the start of the year, this one came up. I thought she should do it but she said I should. I didn’t complain. Physically, she was behind me the whole way,” said Sean, laughing.
Those who took part were given the choice of stripping down to their bras or wearing t-shirts with holes cut in the back to preserve their modesty. Money raised at the event will go to Get the Girls, the Irish Cancer Society’s breast cancer awareness campaign.
“I would like to thank Playtex for their support, quite literally,” Sean said.
It will take a couple of weeks before Sean finds out if he has achieved a world record. A video of the event and evidence of timekeepers must be sent to the Guinness Book of Records for verification.
In the meantime, Skibbereen’s “bra man” is already planning fundraisers for next year.
Asked what they entailed, he would only say he was “keeping them close to my chest”.
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