SHANGHAI — Every year with its "What Is Sexy" list, underwear maker Victoria's Secret has tallied up the celebrities, artists and influencers it finds most alluring. In 2017, actresses Priyanka Chopra, Margot Robbie and songstress Bebe Rexha were among those featured and deemed "bold, powerful, confident" by the brand.This year, though, that question takes on extra weight as it heads to China for the first time to tape its fashion show on Monday, part and parcel of its strategy to open the Chinese market after rolling out its first full-apparel stores there in February.To be sure, it's not the only large international purveyor of underwear with China on its mind. Calzedonia Group is making inroads in the country, too, setting up its first China stores for its underwear brand Intimissimi in April. It now counts two stores in Shanghai. In October, the high-end Italian lingerie label La Perla devoted special attention to the Chinese customer, debuting its spring collection in Macau.Looking at the data, it's not hard to see why so much attention is shifting to the Chinese market. Data from consulting firm Oliver Wyman showed that the global lingerie market is valued at $35 billion, but growth in the sector is hard-won, forecasted to grow only 4 percent over the next four years.Historically underpenetrated and only representing 20 percent of the pie now, Asia makes for the next logical frontier. Oliver Wyman expects the region to increase its share by 8 percent a year, but the reality of unlocking that potential is a little bit more complicated, said Oliver Wyman partner Jeremy Sporn.MORE: China Fashion Insiders Explain Victoria's Secret Chaos >>
"Intimate apparel isvery localized. The fit is localized, colors, technical patterns. There are very, very few global intimate apparel companies," he said.
"At least in the U.S., Victoria's Secret and intimate apparel particularly for younger consumers are synonymous. I think as they expand internationally, they are going to face a slightly different story. American perceptions of sexy and international perceptions of sexy will be different," Sporn said.
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"I think Spike is such a brilliant director because he holds up a mirror to society and reflects these issues, yet he doesn't shove it down your throat, he doesn't tell you what to think," says @lauraharrier on her latest film @Blackkklansman. Harrier was at the Cannes Film Festival – for the very first time – with @officialspikelee. #wwdeye #cannes (📷: @zefashioninsider)
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"I always feel curious and I feel like there's more to learn. But I think being relevant, feeling relevant, I personally always feel that there's just so much more to know. And maybe that's the key.” — @themarcjacobs #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty (📷: @patrickmacleodphoto )
“The most amazing thing about her is that, regardless of all the things that have happened to her, her spirit is so undaunted by all of it. She is the most cheerful person you will ever meet. She doesn’t see problems, she only sees solutions,” said @ajanaomi_king of activist Ifrah Ahmed, who she plays in a new film “A Girl from Mogadishu.” WWD caught up with King at Cannes — Head to WWD.com to read more about her new role, personal style and how she uses social media for causes like Time’s Up and Black Lives Matter #wwdeye
WWD asked a number designers to share their thoughts on what Meghan Markle’s wedding gown will look like this Saturday. Here, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli sketches his look. #wwdfashion #royalwedding #meghanmarkle