Fashion lingerie has changed radically in recent years thanks to the new materials andtechnologies now used. Most women choose their lingerie with as much care as they choosetheir cosmetics. As a result, consumers are now considering additional factors in the selectionprocess. Factors such as health,well-being and safety must be taken into consideration because they modify consumers' habits.In any case, the recurring trend is attractiveness and feminine charm, yet with a focus ontechnology, comfort, and price.
In order to adapt to the consumers’ demands, manufacturers of lingerie are continually creatingnew product lines to appeal to French consumers' tastes. The French market must also facethe globalization of production and the increasing strength of China, which implies new types ofbuying and changes in distribution. This is why the big winners are primarily big distributors,which have grown by 34 percent in volume and 30 percent in value in 2006. According to TSNSOFRES (a center for economic trends), after experiencing a boom in 2005 with 167 millionunits sold in France, the lingerie market in 2006 remained quite stable and reached 170 millionunits sold for a turnover of USD 2.1 million, although the average spent by consumers hasdeclined by 1 percent.
In this competitive market, companies should be able to differentiate themselves, and this is areason why communication is an absolute necessity to attract consumers. Companies shouldbe able to innovate in terms of products but also in terms of communication.
Since there are many well-known American brands already in France through successfulsubsidiaries—Warnaco (Warner’s Calvin Klein, Lejaby), VF Diffusion (Bestform, Variance, Lou,Bolero) and Sara Lee (Playtex, Dim and Wonderbra)—there are numerous opportunities forAmerican companies in this apparel sub-sector.
The next trends (according to the organizers of the 2007 Lingerie International Trade Show inParis) can be a good indication of the market demand for lingerie for winter 2007/2008:
The main themes were:
- Pretty chic and its radiant charm
- Retro chic and its glamorous luxury
- Teen chic and its fun fantasies
- Sport chic and its pure and relaxing softness
Details create personality and individuality, hence their growing importance. Young consumersfall for items that are branded or noticeable.
The tank top is the number one overwhelming star! Colors are taken from surf wear and theoutdoor style of beach houses. These styles are mixed to produce year-round wear ability.
All mixtures are acceptable provided that the final effect is graceful. It is also a liberalinterpretation of all eccentricities; anything goes provided it expresses a statement of luxury andthe opulence of couture.
By Caroline de Villoutreys