Eurovet’s Curvexpo New York Mode Lingerie and Swim trade show took place at the Javits Center from February 26-28, 2018. Exhibitors featured Fall/Winter 2018-2019 collections to buyers, industry partners, and known industry leaders in all Intimate Apparel and Swimwear categories. Most North American lingerie boutiques (57%) reported improvements in sales in 2017. In order to keep this trend going, businesses should recognize the preferences of a generation that will make up 50% of the working force by 2020: Millennials.
Millennials, known as the “wireless generation,” currently comprise 30% of the global population at 2.5 billion. Millennial mothers have some of the highest purchasing power in history. They tend to be eco-conscious and drawn to brands with sustainable practices and embrace the developments of digital technology. This generation has shown a preference for “barely there” styles like wireless bras and soft bralettes — a trend that is here to stay. Comfort is expected and many reject artificial padding or “enhancements.”
Comfort is key to the future of lingerie, especially without compromising beauty or sex appeal. Many garments in these collections are made with ultra-light, breathable, and natural fibers that prevent skin irritation such as modal cotton, silk, microfiber, nylon, 3D spacer fabrics and laces that are pleasant to the touch. Fuzzy and fluffy coverups and robes made of faux fur or wool will be hot for Fall/Winter 2018-19. Soft and warm materials like velvet and suede are gaining traction in intimate apparel.
Much of modern lingerie is sleek and minimalistic. T-shirt bras remain very popular with superior fit and more smoothness than ever before. Seamless styles like bodysuits and bralettes are very much on trend, which is shown in the strong lack of wires this season. Comfort and support is instead accomplished with technical solutions such as slings in cups and specialized lycra fabrics. Versatility is valued, so these garments seek to accommodate different functions and body types to make women’s lives easier.
As a counter-trend to modern sleekness, geometric and linear patterns, mesh panels, embroidery, quirky prints, and ribbed fabrics were salient stylistic trends at Curvexpo. Straps and cut-out details are still in. Bold-striped functional elastics with a sporty, contemporary style will be seen in a variety of designs. Transparency effects and patchwork, achieved with mixed mesh, were among the top trends. Embroidery with novel designs and tulle trims embellish luxury garments. There were playful graphics such as butterflies, dragons, koi, stars and cats on display. Metallic glints and golden pigments will inspire lingerie as outerwear looks.
Fuller bust bras and size expansions are being embraced by brands. Plus size cups are a sure sell for many boutiques and the plus size market is growing globally. Body positivity and inclusivity is integral to the identity of some of the most relevant brands today. Flesh tones for everyone, trendy nursing bras, and androgynous styles are picking up in popularity. The intimate apparel industry is well on its way to providing beautiful lingerie for everybody!