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A Brief Look at Lingerie


The Ever-Changing Market:  

+ Sales of lingerie and hosiery are set for growth as the female population is forecast to age and increase. Analysts predict lingerie sales to quadruple by 2006, with bras counting for 33.4% of the market.

+ The growing trend lies in diversity and choice – with an increased number of women now prepared to spend more for something a bit different.

+ In the past Marks & Spencer accounted for at least one third of UK bra sales and while others have certainly nudged in of late, the British chain store has maintained customer interest by introducing a variety of new ranges. 

+ Prices are dropping due to cheaper imports from Eastern Europe and the Far East. In response branded houses have upped the stakes with new construction techniques, fashionable styling and modern fabrics.

+ The UK lingerie industry is currently experiencing a huge surge in growth, with retails sales to 2001 standing at £552 million, forecasts predict this could rise to £1.9 billion by 2006.

+ The plus size market now represents almost 30% of the women’s clothing and underwear market, which compares with 25% five years ago.

+ As with the clothing market the UK’s supermarket giants Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are getting in on the action with their own underwear ranges.

+ Women are generally becoming larger and heavier. Statistics reveal that the average woman in the UK now measures: bust: 38.5  waist: 34 hips – 40.5 height – 5’4.5 weight: approx 10st, an increase of 2.5inches in height and an additional stone in weight than the national average back in 1941.

E-Tail Is Where It’s At:

Lingerie e-tailers such as www.figleaves.com www.silkstorm.com and
www.agentprovocateur.com has seen phenomenal success.
At present only 37% of retailers websites are transactional with more about to follow suit. New brands/websites are encouraged to think global.

Movers and Shakers:

Current Top 5 Lingerie Brands

1 Fantasie

2 Triumph

3 Lejaby
4 Marie Jo
5 Chantelle

Lingerie News:

Janet Gets Naughty

The recent explosion of naughty whilst teetering on boundary of tasteful a la Agent Provocateur, Salon Rose, State of Undress and co, has prompted brands to develop raunchy ranges of their own. Janet Reger is one such brand with a new autumn/winter 2004 collection called Naughty Janet. The range features sexy bras, thongs, garters, basques and lace slips in rubber and silk, some covered in a smattering of Swarovski crystals. Prices range from £15 – £60.


LK Legs

Kylie Minogue has added a new range to her Love Kylie lingerie label. Launched in London last week, the new Love Kylie Legs line glams-up hosiery and features – peek-a-boo suspender belts, fishnets and glossy legs galore. Love Kylie nightwear is due to follow. Selfridges exclusively launched the Love Kylie lingerie range when it first hit the UK and reported sales of more than 5,000 units in the first week. The momentum has continued with a UK sales increase of 300% over the past 12 months. At the launch, Minogue said: “LK Legs has been quite some time in the making. William Baker (her stylist and co-designer) and I are involved throughout the design process”.

Elle Macpherson Intimates

Elle Macpherson Intimates has been successfully selling in the UK for the past three years. The Australian supermodel recently caused controversy with her provocative adverts for the Intimates range both this season and last. No harm done however, as sales have grown 25% in the last year, totaling around £38 million. The brand is now poised to enter North America and the Middle East. By February 2005 Elle Macpherson intimates will hit 30 North American department stores and more in the Gulf States.


Welcome to the House of Diehl

New York label the House of Diehl continues to impress the fashion pack by recently bagging the Triumph International Fashion Award 2004. Last February seven designers were shortlisted by a panel of sixteen international fashion journalists. Whittling it down to just three – people could vote for their favourite via the Triumph fashion-zine. The shortlisted three included: Aleksandra Paszkowska representing both Poland and Belgium, Elodie Sturniolo for Italy/ Switzerland and Mary Jo Diehl. Designs were based on the theme of Dress Me Up The Seductive Décolleté. House of Diehl’s winning entry – ‘Mermaid’, includes a bikini, a garter strap corset dress, a batwing dress made from recycled business shirts and a swimsuit/’mermaid cover-up’ with wooden beading. This is the third major award for the House of Diehl as the label recently picked up – the Gen Art Styles Award and Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation.


State of Undress 

Ever since the launch of Agent Provocateur ten years ago lingerie has very much come to the fore. Along with the likes of Damaris, Myla and PPQ, there’s a brand new label State of Undress. Made up of three talented individuals: Alexander Suhner, Emma Cheevers and Daniel Reynolds, State of Undress offers luxurious modern prints on beautiful bras, knickers and kimonos.


Lingerie Shows Info & Dates: {mosimage}

Harrogate Lingerie & Swimwear Exhibition
Harrogate International Centre UK.

20 – 22 February 2005

& 21 -23 August 2005

Last season’s Harrogate Lingerie & Swimwear show saw a 15% increase on last year’s attendance. Attracting more than 1,530 visitors, there were over 300 collections to check out ranging from brand leaders such as Triumph and Playtex through to niche brands like Tabooboo.


Intimate Body & Beach
Will be co-locating with Pure this season at London Olympia.

13, 14 – 15 February 2005

The show will be split into six themes which will cover leading designer and luxury brands, sensual and daring collections, legwear and hosiery, contemporary and cutting-edge, classic and core labels and Intimate accessories.

There will also be daily catwalk shows and forecasting reports from trend, styling and colour bureau – Promostyl.

Other lingerie websites:


www.agentprovocateur.com  {mosimage}








www.panache-lingerie.com  {mosimage}








By JoJo Iles

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