As the winner of this unique competition, Tiya will not only appear on packaging, promotional materials and advertising but also get an opportunity to build her profile.

Andreas Henkel, commercial executive for Hanes South Africa, which manufactures the Wonderbra lingerie range in South Africa, says that the very first time Wonderbra caused ripples in the advertising world was in 1994 when it launched its first iconic campaign featuring supermodel Eva Herzigova.

The 'Hello Boys' campaign became one of the most successful lingerie campaigns and was voted in the top 10 of 'all-time advertising posters' in the United Kingdom during the nineties.

It was soon followed by market-localisation as South Africa chose Kerry McGregor as its first Wonderbra icon. She was followed by, amongst others, Lieschen Botes and Elbie van der Merwe.

"Phumza is now part of a proud South African and international tradition. We are truly local in all we do, and design, develop and manufacture almost all our products in South Africa. At the same time, we are backed by a strong, quality-oriented global brand. The icon search is another example of how we value and are committed to developing our own talent," Henkel says.

The contest ran between January and March. Each month, three semi-finalists were chosen – two by a panel of judges and the third by a popular social media vote.

According to Henkel, the company opted for this interactive style of competition as its target market likes to be involved via social media.

"This competition is a truly special opportunity for a South African woman. Wonderbra is about self-confidence. It is a brand that encapsulates the empowered woman of the twenty-first century. It is an inspiring, motivational brand with garment designs that continue to lead trends in undergarments," says Henkel.

"We were looking for the quintessential South African woman, who was not only confident and beautiful but who was able to leverage the strength of an iconic global brand to set her own trends," he adds.

Henkel says the Wonderbra team in South Africa looked closely at how today’s successful models were potentially powerful name brands, celebrities and potential business owners.  

"I entered the icon search because I believed would open up new opportunities for me as a lingerie model, whilst also allowing me to grow and be more confident in what I do. It will help me to teach other young women like me to believe in their unique beauty," says Tiya.

She adds, "This is more than just about wearing Wonderbra. I will be exposed to their business and brand. I believe this is one of those truly transformational journeys."

For more information, visit You can also follow Wonderbra South Africa on Facebook.