Lingerie News: February
A roundup of everything interesting that happened in the world of lingerie for February…
- [Glamour] Hold the Phone: There's A Plus-Size Model in the Sports Illustrated Swim Edition! - In this year's Sports Illustrated swim edition, Ashley Graham will be the swimwear model, posing in an ad for Swimsuits For All.
- [Seamwork] Anatomy of a Bra - Norma Loehr, a lingerie sewing pattern designer, offers a detailed breakdown of what the anatomy of a bra and each part's purpose. She describes the bra cups, (which hold the breast tissue while shaping it), the frames and bands, the underwires (which act as key support for a bra), straps (which keep the bra vertical) and the hardwire (hooks, eyes, rings and slides).
- [Business Insider] Victoria's Secret Is Under Pressure To Offer Larger Sizes - Although Victoria's Secret controls 35% of the lingerie market, many of their advertising efforts are primarily aimed at thin women. Several petitions have been created - and signed - demanding that the lingerie brand begin to open up its sizing to accommodate plus sizes. Right now, their largest panty size is an XL (a size 16) and their largest bras waver between a D or DDD. Meanwhile, other petitions are asking the brand to showcase more diverse body types, with a recent one suggesting that the VS fashion show "promotes unrealistic expectations for the average woman".
- [The Atlantic] The Rise of the Teenage Breast Reduction - Despite insurance companies categorizing breast reduction as a cosmetic issue (and making it difficult for young women to get the surgery), breast reductions increased by 157% between 1997 to 2013. Doctors, however, aren't sure why they're seeing an increase in young women looking for the surgery. While some studies think women are reaching puberty earlier (thus increasing breast size), some doctors feel that the surgery is getting easier to do (it can be done in a day). Brian Labow, the director of the Adolescent Breast Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital, set out to do his own research and found that adolescent girls (aged 12-21) with macromastia had an increased risk for eating disorders compared to their peers, more breast-related pain, and lower self-esteem. He encourages people not to discount the benefits of a breast reduction and their ability to improve a young woman's quality of life.
- [Fashionista] Robyn Lawley Becomes First Plus Size Model to Appear in 'Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit' Issue - Sports Illustrated reached out to Australian model, Robyn Lawley, to become one of their 2015 Rookies and making her the first plus size model for their swimsuit edition.
- [NY Times] High-Tech Fashion Redefines Meaning of Revealing Clothing - The Pratt Institute's Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator exhibited several different wearable tech pieces by Australian designer Billie Whitehouse. Her show, titled "Cloud Couture", showcased The Navigate Jacket, which was inspired by people trying to navigate where they're going while avoiding hurting themselves. It gives haptic feedback, providing directions through their shoulders by tapping them when it's time to turn. In addition, the accelerator featured the Hexoskin, a smart shirt, which monitored heart rate and other vital signs and a Mood Sweater which reflected a person's excitement levels in colors.
- [Buzzfeed] This Is What A Plus Size Fitness Fashion Shoot Looks Like - Buzzfeed highlighted a recent Bust magazine activewear shoot with models considered plus size in the fashion industry.
- [ABC 7 News] High-Tech Bra Helps Detect Breast Cancer - The iTBra, designed by Cyrcadia Health, is a wearable device that can be worn inside the bra that tracks "what happens with your circadian patterns of heat change on your breast over time". Currently, trials are being run at El Camino Hospital and they'll be checking the results of women who've worn the device for different lengths of time. The goal is to get accurate readings in about two hours and if the trial is successful, Cyrcadia Health hopes to release the iTBra later this year.
- [The Independent] JD Williams Launches 'Over 50 Shades of Grey' Lingerie For Mature Women - JD Williams has released a campaign featuring women aged 50+ wearing lingerie after a survey found that three out of five women (over 50) felt underrepresented in the media. The company has also released other types of body positive campaigns, such as the 'Perfectly Imperfect' which was a response to Victoria Secret's 'The Perfect Body.'
- [Forbes] Taking The Taboo Out of Lingerie in India By Putting it Online -Engineer turned MBA Richa Kar founded Zivame - a half Hebrew, half English word meaning "Radiant Me" - in 2011 with hopes of weakening the taboo of buying lingerie in India. After realizing that Victoria's Secret made over 25% of their sales online, Kar decided to follow suit by putting everything online. Kar's work with Zivame has created several firsts in India: online bra-size calculator, a plus size collection, fit consulting helpline. Recently, the brand released a TV ad showcasing difference women of various ages and in different stages in life listing their lingerie needs.
- [The Root] Halle Berry Launches An Affordable Lingerie Line - After buying into the luxury French brand, Scandale Paris, Halle Berry has decided to create her own, more affordable lingerie for American women. With pieces ranging from $7 to $18, most of the collection is available at Target with more releasing later this year.
- [Vogue] Three Models On Being Rejected From the Victoria's Secret Show - Although we tend to hear about the models who make it into the Victoria's Secret fashion show each year, it's not as common to hear from those who don't. Sara Sampaio, a Portuguese model, was rejected two different times before being accepted on her third try. However, acceptance into the fashion show doesn't guarantee you a spot next year - so unless you have an 'Angel' contract, everyone has an audition. Elyse Taylor experienced that first hand, receiving an acceptance her second year but rejections for both her first and third auditions. Then there are the models that haven't been invited at all, such as Gigi Hadid, though she still feels confident and will audition again next year.
- [SmartCompany] Seafolly Owner: Why I'm Selling Up to Louis Vuitton in "Emotional" Deal - Anthony Halas, who took over Seafolly from his parents in 1988, recently sold a majority of the company to L Capital Asia, "the private equity arm of fashion powerhouse and luxury goods retailer Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy". Although a painful decision to make, Halas is hopeful that L Capital Asia will help Seafolly grow into an internationally known beach brand, as well as solidifying Seafolly as a beach lifestyle brand by offering more than just swimwear (i.e. apparel and accessories).
- [BostInno] This Wearable Tech Sports Bra Will Keep You From Slacking Off - Created by Victoria Sowerby, a British design student and fashion graduate, the Keep Beat Bra is meant to match your heart rate with your music. So if your run turns into a stroll, your music will slow down accordingly and speed up once you've picked up the pace.
- [Vogue] Suzy Menkes: Collette Dinnigan's Comeback - Even though Collette Dinnigan has shuttered her business to focus on her young children, in autumn she'll be launching an updated version of her early lingerie designs.
- [Wall Street Journal] China's Corruption Crackdown a Boon for Lingerie - Since 2012, the sales for high-end underwear in China have increased and last year it accounted for 30% of lingerie sales. Whereas high end brands like La Perla struggled in the past, now they've seen sales jump 41% at their 14 stores in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Agent Provocateur also saw high sales at their Chinese locations with their four boutiques at 25% above sales expectations. Agent Provocateur - which says that 70% of its sales come from lingerie in China - plans to open up three new stores on the mainland. "Sales of lingerie in China reached $20 billion in 2014 and are projected to grow 18%" in 2015.
- [Melanie Testa] Shirts Off, Underwear On: Play Out, Breast Cancer, and Gender Expectations - Melanie Tesla writes a personal essay about her experience with breast cancer and choosing a bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction - contrary to what her doctors thought best for her. During her journey, Tesla dealt with many ideas being projected upon her (most notably by doctors) about what she should choose to do after her surgery (i.e. reconstruction) while convincing her that her decision to go flat wasn't the best one for her. During her photoshoot, Tesla wanted to show others that you're beautiful no matter what and your reconstructive choices are valid.
- [CNBC] Will This Lingerie Shop Join The Retail Graveyard? - In an effort to sustain itself, Frederick's of Hollywood will close down at least a third of its stores. One of the reasons why the brand may not be doing well is its status as a specialty store. Within the last year, "eight specialty apparel retailers" have declared bankruptcy - including Wet Seal and Caché.
- [The New York Times] What Lies Beneath That Oscars Outfit? - Kerry O'Brien founded Commando in 2003, after quitting her job as a senior vice president at a PR firm. While O'Brien tried to figure out what to do next, she helped her friends with their wardrobe questions, often inquiring about their underwear. Feeling as if elastic didn't help anyone look or feel better in their clothes, she set out to create her own line of underwear that would stay up without it. Calling the new product Commando, it immediately began to sell being stocked in 500 stores within a year. Even though several other brands have begun to offer a similar item, Commando now comes in different colors, prints and styles.
- [BBC] The Bra: An Uplifting Tale - Though the exact origins of the bra are debated and largely unknown, Colleen Hill, associate curator, accessories, at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology suggests that Cadolle (a French lingerie house) was instrumental in shaping the bra as we know it today. Herminie Cadolle is credited with the bra's invention, who sought to liberate women's bodies from the corset during the Belle Epoque. As the history of the bra evolved, Hill points out Rudi Gernreich’s “no-bra” bra, which came out in the early 60s, and touted as the first sheer bra. Then you have Madonna reclaiming the exaggerated cone bra as a sign of female empowerment, and later the Wonderbra Hello Boys ad in the 90s which the model also found empowering.
- [Buzzfeed] ModCloth Employees Modeled Its Swimwear Collection To Promote Body Diversity - ModCloth employees, including COO and founder Susan Koger, modeled in various swimsuits that the online retailer sells. The campaign was done in part to counter the unrealistic body ideals in Sports Illustrated with hopes that women will these ModCloth images and feel good about themselves.
- [Page Six] Why Doutzen, Karlie and More Are Leaving Victoria's Secret - Several Angels, such as Karlie Koss and Doutzen Kroes, have exited their Victoria's Secret contracts due to time constraints (the models have to commit at least 50 days a year to VS) which keep them from pursuing other opportunities and now many of the Angels are making significantly less money.
- [Kotaku] How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong) - Breast Physics is the term used to emulate the ways breasts move in real life in video games. While many games have terrible breast physics, Patricia Hernandez found that many amateur developers struggle with depicting breasts realistically. Some of the shortcomings could be technical - drawing breasts by hand is rare, but the simulation system available isn't realistic - other times it can be intentional (the person in charge may like the way the breasts look/the way they move).
- [Bloomberg Business] Victoria's Secret Touts Bikinis on TV in Bid for New Customers - Victoria's Secret is hoping to attract new customers via its swimwear line by capitalizing off of the success of the Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. Although the company sells about $500 million in swimwear, it accounts for less than 10% of its overall revenue.
- [Wall Street Journal] A Tale of Two Lingerie Retailers - Although both Victoria's Secret and Frederick's of Hollywood had similar beginnings as catalog lingerie retailers founded by men with new ideas about women's lingerie, the brands have grown in nearly opposite directions. Out of the $13 billion the U.S. lingerie industry made last year, Victoria's Secret's market share is at 41.3% while Frederick's of Hollywood makes up less than 1%. Industry watchers suspect that Victoria's Secret consistent image has helped make the brand the success it is today while Frederick's of Hollywood has struggled in that area, often trying different tactics that have failed to invigorate the brand.
- [Elle] Meet The Woman Shaking Up the Lingerie Landscape - Elle interviews Mckenzie Raley, a plus size model turned designer who founded Land of Women, a lingerie brand that focuses on functional, basic black pieces. Raley had been inspired to create her first bra, dubbed 'the classic', because she doesn't like frills, loud colors or padding. When asked about how her experience as a model helped her create Land of Women, Raley says that it helped give her a better understanding of business. The name, Land of Women, is meant to be empowering and showcase women as being confident in a way that's not "hyper feminine". Going forward, Raley will incorporate new pieces into the second collection (including white items) and focusing on what women can easily customize.
- [Sports Illustrated] Hannah Ferguson Seduces As the New Face of Triumph Lingerie - Triumph Lingerie has chosen Sports Illustrated model Hannah Ferguson as the new face of their brand.
- [The Gloss] Not Only Is This Campaign of Pregnant Women Modeling Underwear Gorgeous, It Is Also Photoshop-Free - Pansy, an organic lingerie line, has some new ads that feature two pregnant women who haven't been enhanced by Photoshop.
- [Marie Claire] Kim Kardashian is Trying to Make Latex Happen (And She Kind Of Is) - The reality TV star has been wearing latex dresses and bodysuits to various Hollywood events, and had even inspired Rita Ora, who wore a rose latex dress to a party being held for Madonna. Kardashian has also worn Atsuko Kudo while celebrating the launch of her fragrance Fleur Fatale.
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