Category Archives: Miscellaneous

The Growth and Challenges of Full-Figure & Full Busted Lingerie

Full-figure and full busted lingerie is steadily growing in the intimate apparel industry, gaining more representation in fashion and trade shows every year. The average size is increasing in the US, so the demand for larger garments is naturally following the trend. The plus size women’s clothing market has reached $18 billion in 2014 (up by about 5%). According to various sources and depending who you talk to, the most common bra size these days is either a 34DD or a 36DD. That translates to a 38C or a 38D.

This increase in visibility urges brands to expand the sizes they manufacture and encourages retailers to stock up on a wider range of sizes. The progress that’s been made hasn’t been easy to achieve. Full-figure and full busted lingerie designers must overcome unique challenges in the industry in order to bring their products into the market.

6ad6d7_4ce4a5f134fe4734b4570ad04ef93c18via Lingerie Fashion Week

Full busted bras, defined by 34 bands and under with DD cups and over, require special research in order to be made. Larger breasts vary greatly in size and shape, making it a challenge to design well-fitted cups for. While one fit model can be used as a standard for developing cup sizes A-D, and another could work fairly well for cup sizes D-G, the assumptions normally used when fitting a bra don’t apply for bras over a G cup. Creating functional lingerie for larger sizes is an intricate process that deviates from many standards.

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via Additional Elle

Full-figure and full busted lingerie designers may need to implement alternative construction methods in order to maintain a consistent shape across sizes. Larger pieces might require special materials, such as different types of underwires and stronger fabrics like power meshes and durable laces, in order to provide an adequate level of support. Investing in the materials required to expand size ranges can be difficult, especially for small brands.

Interfiliere-July-2015-Trends-2via The Lingerie Journal

Brands that do take the plunge to develop and manufacture full-figure lingerie may find it difficult to find retailers who are willing to stock them. Full-figure lingerie isn’t as likely to sell as core sizes are, so many retailers see it as a financial risk to stock these sizes. Many brands simply choose not to fund the development of expanded size ranges because they likely wouldn’t sell nearly as well as their current bestsellers would in a new color, which retailers would be happy to stock up on.

bravissimo-lingerie-store-design-by-four-by-two-1386016866-0via Glamshops

The full-figure and full busted segments of the intimate apparel industry have been taking on these challenges in order to bring more beautiful, high-quality bras to the market. This trend is likely to continue growing as more women of varying shapes indulge in luxury lingerie, encouraging further developments in the manufacturing of diverse sizes in the intimate apparel industry.

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Gifting Lingerie for Valentine’s Day

Nothing says passion like giving your loved one luxurious lingerie for Valentine’s Day. If you’re daring to purchase such a bold and beautiful gift for the occasion this year, there are a few things you should keep in mind while shopping to ensure her gratitude!

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Suit Her Style

It’s a gift, so her preferences should naturally be the first thing on your mind. Would she buy it? Does she like red? If the piece you present is something she actually loves, her thanks will be reflected in the confidence she’ll exude while wearing it.

Be True to Size

Not sure what size to buy? Sift through her lingerie drawer to find the size she usually wears. Anything too big or small can feel uncomfortable or restrictive, making it difficult for her to even want to wear it. If the fit is right, she’ll treasure it for much longer than you ever bargained for.

Quality Check

Materials that are smooth and flexible are more likely to glide along the body with seamless sensuality. Avoid materials that are scratchy or harsh in ways that may pinch or irritate the skin. Invest in quality! The feel of comfortable lingerie is among the best sensations a woman can experience.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day! Stay warm and feel the love.

Intimate Apparel Journal Debuts for Lingerie Industry

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Last week I met with a group of intimate apparel professionals to discuss the improvements needed in the industry. Andrew Sia, Publisher of Intimate Apparel Journal, headed the discussion along with his wife Mimi. As a founder of Ace Style group, a vertically-integrated women’s intimates manufacturing business covering garments, fabrics, trims, printing, retailing, wholesale, and franchising, Andrew’s established background and experience has allowed him to recognize the disconnect between all levels of the industry and in-turn create a solution. From recent graduate students, to buyers, to factory workers, it obvious that a common thread and understanding of standard practices is absent. In other words, there is no standard go-to resource that one could be educated on the technical, marketing, manufacturing and design techniques. This creates a problem in our industry.
Everyone at the meeting unanimously agreed that the Intimate Apparel Journal (IAJ) is the vehicle that will solve this issue. IAJ will ultimately create a common dialogue within the industry and in turn connect the American, European and Asian markets.  At the luncheon Julia Poteat, assistant professor at Parsons The New School for Design, spoke of the possible use for IAJ in her student’s curriculum. As a new instructor at FIT teaching at the Center for Professional Studies in June, Andrew Sia believes the journal is a great resource for all students studying in the industry. I spoke of how IAJ would greatly help buyers and store owners understand why samples can not be produced over night or why certain fabrics can not be used for specific purposes. Not everyone in the industry understands these simple concepts, which is why a dialogue must be started.
Every article in the journal may not always speak directly to a specific area, but it will serve as a learning tool for students, and an industry resource for professionals to keep up with trends and reports. I look forward to seeing the success of the journal along with world-wide discussion it will create in the industry

Brand Expansion ~ Eurovet & Invista™

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On September 30, I attended a Special “test” event hosted in partnership by Eurovet and INVISTA™.  It was a first ever fabric exposition in NYC of the Interfiliѐre show presented internationally and  covering trends for Fall/ Winter 2014.  I have to admit, I was a bit iffy about attending.  Perhaps I am somewhat inured to that so often seems like marketing hype, but I was in for a very pleasant surprise.  The event was terrific; informative, in a great venue, and delicious food as well as an open bar. I can not wait for the next one!

I met my colleague who writes the Retail Briefs column on our Lingerie Briefs website and asked her if she would give her perspective on the whole presentation.  Ali Cudby is internationally known for her work with lingerie retailers, manufacturers and consumers. Her company, Fab Foundations®, features a worldwide lingerie boutique directory, bra fit information based on her trademarked FabFit Formula, and a blog that features the latest industry news and trends.  Here is her take…..

It’s important to be strategic when considering expansion. There’s plenty of upside – new market, new customers, and dreaming about the ka-ching dropping to the bottom line. On the flip side, getting expansion wrong can be expensive in both dollars and cost to your established brand’s reputation.

Before you go rushing off to multiply, it’s important to consider how and when to grow. One way to consider expansion is with a test. Even smarter – doing that test with a partner who stands to benefit while also shouldering some of the cost.

lycra_invista_8151826The lingerie world recently saw an ideal example of that kind of brand expansion test. The players were Eurovet – the company that runs our lingerie trade shows worldwide – and INVISTA™, the company that brings us Lycra®.

The event was a taste of the famous and highly attended Interfiliѐre, the fabric supplier side of the annual July trade show in Paris. The exclusive event connected key buyers and retailers with leading global fabric mills with a first-of-its-kind trend presentation format. “The trend presentation allowed us to bring deeper insights directly to the American market and its key players,” states Marie-Laure Bellon-Homps, CEO of Eurovet.

In other words, for Eurovet, it was an opportunity to test the viability of bringing the bellonInterfiliѐre fabric show to the US market in the future, most likely in conjunction with Curvexpo.

For INVISTA™, it was a chance to share some key innovations in Lycra® directly with the designers and manufacturers who make the fabric decisions for intimates, activewear and swimwear

Both partners won by presenting their benefits directly to the market of pros who stand to gain directly from their products and services. By doing the test as a one-day event, with a select subset of strategically selected mills, expenses and exposure were limited. The event was a success, with great turn-out and a fantastic look at the trends we’ll be seeing translated to garments in Spring/Summer 14 and even looking as far forward as AW15.

So, as a retailer, what does this mean for you? First of all, when fabric shows come to North America, it means better access to materials for independent brands that may not otherwise have the opportunity to see the newest fabrics, trims and trends the market has to offer. Access means more choices to eventually find their way into the products you’ll be seeing on the market.

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It’s also helpful for you, as retailers, to see the fabric market for yourself. These raw materials will ultimately make their way into the lingerie that you will be buying the following season. Since fabric is providing some of the most exciting innovation in lingerie, direct exposure helps you better understand what goes into the lingerie you select for your stores.

Learning more about the fibers and fabrics that go into lingerie, active-wear and swimwear means being able to explain the difference quality makes to a finished garment. It’s important to understand quality differences and share them with customers in order to justify the premium prices that come with higher-end garments. There is opportunity to upsell more easily when customers understand the value of quality products.

The more you, as a retailer, are educated about all aspects of the products you offer customers, the more it enhances your brand.

 

 

 

Diversity In Lingerie

Recently, the lingerie blogger behind Braless In Brasil called for a push in diversity within the lingerie industry. It’s received an overwhelming amount of support among lingerie bloggers, providing refreshingly realistic perspectives regarding the representation of beauty in its many forms!

See the list of contributions to the #diversityinlingerie discussion:
http://www.bralessinbrasil.com/2013/08/diversityinlingerie.html

Bra Studies & Sampling Methods

Catherine Clavering of Kiss Me Deadly wrote a blog post about why the sampling methods of ‪breast‬ and ‪‎bra‬-related studies matter for the calculation of valid statistics on The Lingerie Addict. Think critically before taking the results on any of the studies that reach the news as fact. This is what you should consider before deciding if the statistics are representative of its population.

Bra Fit Science: Why Sampling Methods for Lingerie Research Matter