While a majority of manufacturers and retailers acknowledge the melting pot of multicultural consumers has untapped potential in the $12.4 billion innerwear market, the ethnic market continues to be addressed as a small, niche business by major...
While a majority of manufacturers and retailers acknowledge the melting pot of multicultural consumers has untapped potential in the $12.4 billion innerwear market, the ethnic market continues to be addressed as a small, niche business by major department and specialty stores.
A key reason: a lack of real estate to display expanded assortments and colors, particularly in sleepwear departments, several retailers said.
“They just don’t have a lot of space, and that’s a real issue at department stores,’’ said Anne Keenes, a merchandising and marketing consultant and a former vice president and general merchandise manager at Saks Fifth Avenue. “The Latin, African-American or Indian woman for that matter has a different take on color. And I do think sizes definitely are a big part of the equation.”
However, the demand for foundations aimed at a wide range of multiethnic consumers is skyrocketing, and companies such as Sara Lee Corp. and VF Corp. are pumping up their advertising and marketing campaigns for bras, panties and shapers in fashion colors and expanded sizes. The leading brands include Sara Lee’s Playtex, Hanes and Hanes Her Way; VF’s Real Sexy by Vassarette and Curvation by Bestform labels, and the Maidenform bra brand.
But for Donna Wolff, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of intimate apparel and hosiery at Bloomingdale’s, a “consumer is a consumer,” regardless of ethnicity.
“Within intimate apparel, a bra is a bra, and underwear is underwear,’’ Wolff said. “If a woman chooses to wear a thong or a brief, we can service her with what we have.”
She did acknowledge, though, that addressing ethnic consumers in the sleepwear and loungewear areas offers a real estate challenge.
Terry Deliz, a native of Puerto Rico and designer of Feminina sleepwear said, “We [Hispanic women] don’t wear a lot of black or brown. We want a certain look and we’re not afraid to show more breast, more femininity. We live with color in the Caribbean, and we want different colors and styles for figures that are more curvaceous.” Whatever the approach, the two highest-channel outlets for multiethnic consumers are specialty stores, of which Victoria’s Secret maintains control, and mass merchants, dominated by Wal-Mart. At specialty stores, African-Americans spent $242.4 million on lingerie; Hispanics, $223 million, and Asian-Americans, $25.7 million, according to 2002 NPD data supplied from other sources.
At mass channels, African-Americans spent $242.2 million; Hispanics, $170.6 million, and Asian-Americans, $4.4 million on lingerie.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia