Six brands helping women take back the lingerie industry
Neon Moon(NEW YORK) — While there’s a time and place for elaborate lingerie, more women want to be comfortable and practical, forcing the lingerie industry to adapt.
According to a Zion Market Research report, the “global lingerie market was valued at approximately [$]38.19 billion in 2017 and is expected to generate a revenue of around [$]59.15 billion by end of 2024.”
It’s no secret that lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret has dominated the industry, but in the time of Me Too and Times Up, women are taking more control of their bodies and what they wear.
We’ve seen a change in some major companies over the past few years, with brands such as Aerie eliminating retouching from its ads and website, but now we’re seeing more indie brands pop up to give women what they want.
Singer and songwriter Rihanna even took notice of the change and, in 2018, launched her own lingerie brand, Savage X Fenty, which showcases models of all ages, sizes and skin tones.
So, what’s next for the lingerie industry?
Get to know the story behind six brands who are reshaping the industry.
Indie brands LIVELY, Lonely, THINX, Nubian Skin, Dear Kate and Neon Moon were all created to give women more functional and practical undergarments that cater to them instead of the male gaze.
Michelle Cordeiro Grant created LIVELY in 2016 to not only be a brand but a community for women.
With social media, “you can actually build your community and your brand with customers,” Grant told ABC News’ Good Morning America.
“The community’s goal is one thing, which is to inspire women to be passionate, purposeful and confident,” she added.
In nearly three years, LIVELY has built a following of more than 141,000 on its Instagram page and inspired more than 10,000 posts using the hashtag “#livingLIVELY.”
With its following and community, Grand says its “customers tell us what to make.”
Seventy percent of the bras at LIVELY do not have wires in them, so “our bras conform to you, not the other way around.”
“Everything about our brand came from the realness of how women look, feel and think,” Grant said.
The brand has even found fans in celebrities with Jessica Alba and Kate Upton both seen wearing the bras during their recent pregnancies.
LIVELY combines lingerie, activewear and swimwear to created “leisurée,” a term coined by the company to describe its aesthetic.
The company offers all of its bras for $35 no matter their size.
LIVELY’s goal for the future is to “be even more inclusive than we are today,” according to Grant.
“When Lonely started 16 years ago, our vision was to celebrate the strength and individuality of women, everything we’ve done since is anchored in this idea,” co-founder Helene Morris told GMA.
Lonely was ahead of its time with its ideas and it continues to stay on the pulse of the industry, with its website featuring real women of all ages.
“Our goal is simply to portray women as they are without applying a set of filters or expectations on how their bodies are meant to look,” Morris said.
When it comes to creating their pieces, Morris said, “The idea of creating a lingerie piece that has the power to make a woman feel special is hugely important to us.”
She added, “Hopefully, less stereotyping and more female voices become the new normal. Sadly, we still have a long way to go, but there are positive signs that change is taking place.”
THINX has created its own space when it comes to lingerie.
The company is a unique mix of feminine hygiene and lingerie offering period-proof underwear.
CEO Maria Molland says the company was a “response to a lack of innovation in feminine hygiene.”
Molland wants to make sure, “women know what they are putting into their bodies.”
“We wanted to make sure that the women that came to our website could see themselves in our models,” Molland added.
THINX focuses on, “comfort and making sure women can feel confident,” with its website offering different styles, sizes and materials for customers to find an ideal fit.
Over the next few years, THINX plans to focus on more performance-oriented fabrics and hopes to see more innovation from the U.S. being used.
What do you think of when you hear the word nude? For Ade Hassan, she was frustrated with the term and how it was represented for women of color in stores.
“My nude isn’t the nude I see in shops,” she says on the website for Nubian Skin, which she launched in 2014.
Since everyone has a different idea in their head, Hassan felt stores should reflect that.
“Representation is important,” Hassan told GMA. “We should care about it because women of color are often underrepresented, and it’s an incredibly empowering thing to open a magazine and see someone you can relate to.”
Hassan’s impact in the industry has not gone unnoticed. Nubian Skin has provided underpinnings for Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour and Hassan was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2017 at Buckingham Palace for her services to the fashion industry.
Despite all of these advancements in inclusivity, Nubian Skin founder Ade Hassan says, “there is still work to be done!”
Monthly Gift, which sends period products to your door, acquired Dear Kate in 2017 as an extension of its subscription service.
Co-founder and COO LisaMarie Lawrence told GMA the purpose of Dear Kate is to be functional as well as fashionable.
Lawrence even used local moms from her own community as models for the Dear Kate website.
“It’s all about real bodies,” she said.
While Lawrence looks for something comfortable, she says her sister loves the fashion element and that Dear Kate offers both.
Lawrence says Dear Kate has new and exciting things coming in 2019 and says she can’t wait to see how far they can push their technology.
Neon Moon is “feminist lingerie for all shapes and sizes,” according to its website.
The company founded in 2014 is taking a stand against body shaming, and lingerie made only for specific sizes and in certain colors.
The company says it has, “seen a huge increase in love for lingerie which is inclusive, especially regarding body types but also in items which are designed with trans folk in mind.”
“Women don’t want to buy from companies which don’t align with their views and in the era of Me Too, the sexualization of models just doesn’t cut it for a lot anymore,” the company told GMA.
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