The intimate apparel industry isn’t growing rapidly, but vendors predict a strong turnout at CurveNY as buyers search for new product to jolt business.
This story first appeared in the July 29, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Innerwear has been fairly stable, recording sales over the past year of $10.9 billion — off by 1 percent from a year ago, according to The NPD Group. Brands attending the CurveNY trade show, which takes place from Aug. 2 to 4 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, are feeling positive about business after a strong second quarter, which followed a less robust first quarter, but they did notice that buyers have been more prudent.
“It’s been a solid spring with online accounts driving growth in our business,” said Brittany Neitz, national sales manager at the Carole Hochman Design Group. “We have taken many reorders in specialty stores as well, which tells us that buyers may have been overly cautious when placing spring 2015 orders.”
Kay-Lin Richardson, director of sales at Panache, concurred: “Even though buyers were a bit cautious this year, we did experience another growth year.”
Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel, chief executive officer of Curvexpo USA, attributed the slow first quarter to weather thwarting shoppers — like most retailers — but believes the mood has shifted after a better second quarter and brands’ willingness to take more chances on new styles.
“I think the main thing is that creativity is back in a big way,” Hurstel said. “Brands were conservative when the business was tough and people wanted to stay within their basics, but now brands are presenting new things and the buyers are excited about it.”
CurveNY will showcase 300 brands. The trade show recently relaunched its Web site, which allows buyers to book appointments with vendors online. The show will offer trend and design seminars along with a fitting workshop by Eveden.
On Aug. 3, intimates manufacturer Lingerie Française will launch its new blog, Truly French, in the American market.
Lisa Leigh, senior vice president of sales and merchandising at Flora Nikrooz, said the brand will introduce a collection of lacy, soft-cup daywear. It will also present teddies, bodysuits and seasonless bridal merchandise, like knit chemises, kimonos, camis and shorts.
Susan Malinowski, vice president of marketing at Wacoal America, expects a strong market owing to new styles that performed well at retail, in addition to Wacoal’s 30th-anniversary promotion with celebrity stylist Zanna Roberts Rassi, which boosted consumer awareness.
The brand will showcase two new spacer bras. It’s seeing growth in the soft-cup market and will present soft-cup styles for full-figure customers.
The Carole Hochman Design Group, which includes sleepwear brands Carole Hochman, Midnight and Jane & Bleecker, is pushing more versatile loungewear that can be worn outside the bedroom, in addition to Mother’s Day packaged gift sets, a new category for the company. Additionally, Kate Spade sleepwear and Bollydoll, a sleepwear brand inspired by Indian textiles, will launch.
Robert Zarabi, president and ceo of Felina Lingerie, said his company is seeing double-digit sale increases.
“We believe that a fresh sense of fashion are key in attracting business, for current and new accounts. In addition, adding G and H cups that go up to 42 band sizes has done well for us,” he said.
Felina will preview an expanded foundation and lounge collection. Its younger line, Jezebel, will introduce a larger nightwear collection that includes a bridal assortment, while the capsule Siren by Jezebel features elevated, provocative lingerie. Paramour, its contemporary line that goes up to an H cup, will showcase bra styles with back interest and a long-line silhouette.
Richardson of Panache will introduce a wireless sports bra in nude and black and a new basic colorway in Cari, its spacer T-shirt bra. It will launch a nonmolded T-shirt bra from its Porcelain Elan group that goes up to an H cup.
In its Sculptresse full-figure collection, Panache is showcasing core colors for the Chi Chi fashion line, going to a 46HH cup. For the more contemporary Cleo collection, it will offer more fashion T-shirt bras in demi and plunge styles, going to an Hcup.
WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 2, to Tuesday, Aug. 4
HOURS: Aug. 2-3, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Aug. 4, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
LOCATION: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center North, 11th Avenue and 39th Street, Level 2