American Marketer


Luxury brands lead lingerie market in growth: report

March 9, 2015

La Perla made-to-measure fall/winter 2014 campaign image La Perla made-to-measure fall/winter 2014 campaign image


The luxury intimates segment is growing at a faster pace around the world than the lingerie market itself, according to a new report by Fashionbi.

The largest market for lingerie is North America and the United States, while in Europe the highest growth occurred in Germany and Italy. Overall the lingerie market is growing with support from the luxury sector, emerging markets and new trends such as shapewear and eco-friendly intimates made from natural fabrics.

“[The luxury] sector is supposed to grow leaps and bounds,” said Ambika Zutshi, CEO of Fashionbi, Milan. “Today's woman is conscious, working and needs comfort at all stages of life.

"She also needs to be and feel sexy all the time," she said. "She is independent and able to afford all charms of life to spoil herself and to seduce her man.

"Hence, the luxury lingerie market can really expect an exceptional growth in its segment."

Fashionbi's Undressing the Lingerie Market: Evolution and Global Perspectives report used data from individual case studies and ecommerce platforms.

Underneath it all
Italian lingerie maker La Perla has introduced new strategies to become one of the most popular brands in the luxury market sector. The brand has focused on expanding distribution, and in 2014, 30 new stores were opened around the world.


Cara Delevingne models for La Perla

Additionally, the brand invited famous celebrity models such as Cara Delevingne to star in its advertising campaigns and promoted its products in the most well-respected magazines, including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. It has focused on portraying La Perla as an understated and sophisticated lingerie brand that appeals to refined women.

In keeping with this image, La Perla recently launched a made-to-measure service that highlights the brand’s heritage as a luxury atelier. It has also re-launched a loungewear and beachwear collection for men that debuted in Florence in 2014.

m2m perla

Images from La Perla's made-to-measure campaign

Brands can also find success by expanding outside of their usual sphere. Fashion brands have begun to offer lingerie lines, such as in the case of Chanel, which launched an independent women's swimwear and lingerie brand called Eres.


Image from Eres' resort 2014 campaign

La Perla expanded its traditional lingerie line to include honeymoon lingerie and even some ready-to-wear clothing. By introducing new products, brands can ensure that they remain in consumers' minds and stay relevant in the industry.

"The market of plus size and shapewear underwear is booming," Ms. Zutshi said. "These two categories are expected to rapidly grow due to the rising level of obesity and the increasing popularity of ecommerce shopping among the plus size customers.

"Brands are making efforts to attract new customer groups by offering attractive and sexy shapewear underwear in order to make it more desirable," she said.


La Perla introduced a special honeymoon collection

Few luxury brands offer shapewear lines at this time, making it the ideal venture for a company looking to scoop up the market. Fashionbi's report includes many other innovative ideals that can help brands improve their marketing strategies.

Undress for success
By using new strategies such as those suggested in the report, brands can gain an advantage and more successfully connect with consumers. For example, Italian lingerie maker La Perla offers made-to-measure services at select stores to give consumers a bespoke experience.

The service is offered exclusively at the boutiques that have been redesigned by architect Roberto Baciocci to reflect a new retail concept for the brand. Choosing this time of change to roll out a new bespoke feature helped amplify La Perla’s re-launch (see story).

Another strategy mentioned in the report was for luxury brands to introduce new divisions. Chanel was able to do this successfully with Eres.

Eres itself uses marketing strategies to connect with consumers. For example, the French swimwear brand got a jump on swimsuit season with an email blast sent to subscribers.

Eres, owned by the Chanel Group, chose to focus on its campaign video within the email rather than products themselves. Through this approach, the brand was able to showcase its swimwear in an ideal tropical location to get consumers thinking of summer (see story).

This strategy is an excellent way to improve a brand’s offerings and for it to stay relevant with new consumers. It is important for brands to continue creating new ways to connect with consumers.

“Lingerie brands,” Ms. Zutshi said, “are expanding further to launch home wear and swimwear lines as well to open new opportunities on the basis of already established trust in the market.

"[In the Fashionbi study] readers can get a full scoop on this market, its growth trend and forecast, the key players, their successful strategies, distribution model of this business, different category underwear, as well as the ecommerce and best potential markets," she said.

Final Take
Kay Sorin, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York