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.
Breaking: @cushnieetochs’ co-founders @carlycushnie and @ochsmichelle are parting ways. After a 10-year run, Ochs is leaving the brand. Get the full story on WWD.com – link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
@maybelline’s Kanako Takase had snow bunnies in mind when creating the beauty look for @philipppleininternational. Playing off of the bedazzled snowboards in the collection, Takase mixed two highlighters together for a luminous sheen. #wwdbeauty #nyfw (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
“There’s a huge gap between the old way of doing things and today. It takes the youth to help evolve that. You have to count on the kids today to help lead you into the future. A lot of these retailers are stuck in the past. Communication is the biggest thing,” said @ronniefieg of @kith on the youth’s role in retail. On Monday night, Jeff Staple moderated a keynote session with Fieg and @syresmith at Assembly - a series of workshops, talks and keynotes addressing topics or issues in the apparel industry. Head to WWD.com to read more advice from Fieg and what Smith thinks of his dad @willsmith’s Instagram account and sustainability (📷: @weston.wells)
@joansmalls closed the @michaelkors fall 2018 show in black sequined pants and a varsity T printed with 19 on the front and 81 on the back. 1981 – the year Kors went into business. #wwdfashion #nfyw (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“You think your life is going to be a certain way, and nothing you thought would happen ends up happening. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be designing clothes and working with Mickey Drexler, and building something I’m deeply proud of,” said Jenna Lyons. Nine months after leaving @jcrew, Lyons is exploring the meaning of happiness. Read the interview, where Lyons talks about reinvention and more on WWD.com – link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Farrell) #jennalyons #jcrew