Bare Necessities has big plans for its plus-size intimates business.

The online retailer has launched its first plus-size initiative with Bare Plus by Bare Necessities at Bareplus.com.

Jay Dunn, chief marketing officer at Bare Necessities, said that since 2007 there’s been a “growing movement” of plus-size women who have been searching online for fashion bras, lingerie and hosiery.

“Bare Plus makes sense because 60 percent of the [U.S.] population is size 14 or larger. I don’t think it’s changing; it’s probably growing,” said Dunn, who formerly served as vice president and chief marketing officer at Lane Bryant and the Cacique brand.

Dunn said that during his career in plus-size retailing, he has identified two consumer profiles: “Deniers and acceptors.”

“I’ve done a lot of research over the years, psychographics and behavior, and discovered there are two plus-size consumers…You have the plus-size customer who is a dress size 14, 16 or 18 who has a tendency to believe she won’t remain that size. She’s a candidate for fast fashion. Then you have the consumer size 20 or more who is reconciled she will remain unchanged. That customer wants quality and is willing to pay for it,” explained Dunn.

He added that the main complaints of plus-size shoppers is limited assortment and sizes in stores.

“She is dissatisfied with the selection [of intimates and apparel] in malls and stores where plus-sizes tend to not be a priority at those establishments. As a result, she goes online to find extended sizes and brands not found at stores.…But data has shown there is a lack of awareness on the part of the curvy girl that fashionable brands in plus-sizes are available, like Hanky Panky thongs, bras by Elomi, Bali, Fantasie, Freya and Wacoal, or shapewear by Spanx,” said Dunn.

Dan Sackrowitz, vice president of marketing, said the Bare Plus site offers more than 1,000 styles of plus-size bras, lingerie and swimwear from 81 brands.

“In November, we celebrated five million bras sold at Barenecessities.com. We knew plus-sizes were important because more than 40 percent of total bras sold were plus-size,” said Sackrowitz. Bras sold at Bareplus.com range from 38AA to 56J. Other bra brands include Olga, Playtex, Eveden, Panache, Goddess, Lilyette, Glamorise and UGG Australia.

Regarding marketing, Dunn said the online retailer will be launching a new campaign photographed on plus-size models.

“We are committed to doing plus-size shoots going forward. We’ll also be partnering with Curvy Kate, a brand from the U.K., to do a model search in April in the U.S. They did a model search in the U.K., and it was very successful…. Women just have to submit two photos of themselves in lingerie, and we’ll partner in judging the contestants. The winner will receive a one-year modeling contract with Curvy Kate,” said Dunn.

He added that capturing the image and aesthetics of plus-size marketing and advertising campaigns requires a top creative director. The company named Robert Vega in February as creative director. Vega was formerly creative director of Lane Bryant and the Cacique brand. 

In other developments, Dunn said Bare Necessities will be part of a Curvy Fashion Show in September at Madison Square Garden. Details have not been finalized.

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