Intimate apparel market trends are set in motion long before lingerie and swimwear brands show off their latest collections at trade shows.
Manufacturers are busy testing new products, sourcing materials, and gathering feedback from potential customers year-round. It can take anywhere from 12 to 24 months (or longer) from design concept to the finished, fluffed, and tagged product on a store hanger.
The average consumer may never see all the styles and sizes that intimate apparel brands have to offer each season. Why? Because retail buyers make up their own minds. Stores must stock what they believe will appeal to their customer base. (This is why your purchasing habits, as a lingerie consumer, do count.)
One of the biggest trade shows in North America is the Curvexpo Lingerie & Swim Show. The event attracts both large and small exhibitors and a mix of established and newer brands. Well-known names in the business (think Wacoal, Hanky Panky, Panache) return year after year. Smaller lingerie start-ups may or may not be back; but they're fun to visit with because of their enthusiasm and energy.
At this year's Spring/Summer 2015 show in Las Vegas, I saw trendy strappy lingerie styles, vintage-inspired high-waisted panties, and long line bras, all in bright and colorful prints. More labels seemed to be branching out into sleepwear and activewear. Bra-sized swimwear was abundant, with choices in one-piece, bikini, and tankini styles. Buyers could match these up with a mix of brief styles and coordinating cover-ups.
Here's a small sample of what I saw from a few returning brands:
The Little Bra Company showed off its latest fashions for the small bust lingerie customer. Petite band and cup wearers can look forward to new fashion colors for Spring, and this swoon-worthy Lucia babydoll, available in 3 colors (and which my older iPhone did no justice):The Little Bra Company Lucia Babydoll Available in bands 28-36, and A-C cups
Panache has been in the lingerie biz or over 30 years. Their fashion, sports, and swim lines (under Panache, Cleo, and Sculptress) are dedicated to fitting and flattering D-K cups. I was excited to see their new Koko Icon deep plunge strapless bra (fitting US bands 28-38 with D-G cups), along with a wireless version of their popular sports bra. Their cup-sized swimwear featured bright colors, polka-dots, and bold prints, too.Panache Edie Bikini (available w/skirt shorts and matching cover-up) Panache Sports Bra and laser cut briefs Available in 28-38 bands, cups B-H
The newer (only 5-years old) UK brand Curvy Kate continued to focus on a youthful full bust D-J cup market with flirty styles and prints. Cheerful models showed off their lingerie and swimwear designs.
Curvy Kate Cup and Back sized Bardot Babydoll Available in UK bands 28-40, and D-K cups Matching thong, briefs w/suspenders, and balcony bra
Lingerie and swim brands that were new to the show included:
California-based Cielo Rosso's modern hybrid collection of active and swimwear meant to be worn from beach to the gym, and back again:Cielo Rosso Active Sport Top and Shorts
Aima Dora Lingerie presented beautifully crafted lingerie designs from France. Their bralettes, chemises, and triangle bras came in both basic and vibrant colors.Aima Lora Allegra Rose Dawn Triangle Bra Available in bands 32-36, cups A-C
If you're looking for a unique and cheeky g-string, don't miss this new adjustable and detachable rhinestone collection from Jackie G-String.Jackie G-String
Want to see more intimate apparel market trends for Spring/Summer 2015? Please visit The Lingerie Journal for my recap of the Curvexpo show.
What do you think of these intimate apparel market trends? Which ones would you try or buy? Let me know in the comments below.
Image credits: The Breast Life