The reality star and entrepreneur recently hinted that her shapewear line, Skims Solutionwear, might soon include an assortment for men.
“I have been asked a lot about the men’s question and I would love to do that and I hope that we’re working on that soon,” Kardashian West recently told E! News. “There’s some fun stuff in the works.”
The Skims team declined to expand on the possibility of a men’s compression line.
But the expansion might fit right into Kardashian West’s brand.
The inaugural Skims Solutionwear collection came in nine colors that ranged in size from XXS to 4XL and 28 cups sizes. Shapewear extended up to size 5XL. (Since then she’s added the Cotton Collection, Bonded Collection and body accessories, like boob tape and nipple covers in multiple colors.)
Kardashian West also used a lineup of “real women” in lieu of models to promote the brand and show how “Skims empowers them to feel [like] the best version of themselves,” according to the company. The women included plus-size models, childhood friends, family members — like Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and mom Kris Jenner — and Alice Marie Johnson, a former inmate who had been serving a life sentence for nonviolent drug charges.
“My brands and products are built with inclusivity and diversity at their core,” Kardashian West wrote on Instagram in July.
The total global shapewear market, which was worth approximately $2 billion last year, could be worth as much as $6.4 billion by 2024, according to some reports.
The market for men’s shapewear — or more commonly called compression wear — however, is slim compared with the women’s market.
Brands like Spanx, RocBodyWear and Leonisa have some options. There are also a number of brands that sell men’s compression wear for working out in, including 2XU and Under Armour. Marshal Cohen, The NPD Group’s chief industry adviser, said the men’s compression wear category is in “replenishment mode.”
“The replenishment business just maintains the business,” Cohen said. “Men are wearing [compression wear] until it wears out and then are buying more.”
That’s a stark contrast from a few years ago, when Cohen said the men’s compression wear business saw double-digit growth. A lack of innovation led to slower sales volumes.
“Guys don’t need more of the same product,” Cohen said. But he added that he does think Kardashian West can succeed in selling shapewear to men, if Skims offers something new.
“If the product is innovative enough, then it will drum up curiosity,” Cohen said. “But if it’s just another celebrity line, then men are not going to buy it. Some of the players in the industry, in the last few years, have basically gotten steeped in tradition.
“But the industry still has a lot of room to grow,” he added.
Kardashian West’s track record shows that she’s an expert in marketing, routinely teasing products on social media and using her digital savvy to communicate with consumers. She launched an infomercial hosted by Kris Jenner and reality stars Kyle Richards and Lisa Rinna.
Meanwhile, the products continue to sell out. The first batch of her Skims was rumored to sell out within minutes of its Sept. 10 launch. Kardashian West has since been posting on social media how other collections, such as the Bonded Collection, have sold out.
If nothing more, Kardashian West’s shapewear line — and possible expansion into men’s compression wear — has got a lot of people talking about shapewear, said Cora Harrington, founder and editor in chief of The Lingerie Addict, a blog on intimates apparel.
“Just because of Kim’s reach, at the very least, a portion of her audience would be interested in, if for no other reason than that her audience is so big,” Harrington said. “It’s not like it’s a business or product that hasn’t been done before. I think the difference would be Kim calling it ‘shapewear’ outright. That might honestly make the category a bit more normalized, or a bit more visible than it is right now. Because I don’t think a lot of people are aware that shapewear for men is a thing.”