Kim Kardashian’s Cotton Collection, the second installment of her Skims Solutionwear, arrives online today at 9 a.m. PST.
The first batch of Skims, the shapewear line, was said to sell out within minutes of its Sept. 10 launch, pulling in an estimated $2 million in sales. Representatives for Skims would not confirm or deny this, but Skims’ Instagram page has been flooded with comments from would-be shoppers ever since, asking when they will be able to buy the products.
“We just restocked @skims Solutionwear,” Kardashian wrote on Instagram on Oct. 8. “Shop now at Skims.com before they sell out.”
Then earlier this month, Kardashian revealed the second collection, the Cotton Collection, was coming. Unlike the first line, which was designed with reshaping in mind — “Who likes to exercise?” Kardashian said in an Instagram post last month advertising the shapewear — the Cotton Collection is meant for lounging.
Tank tops, bras, underwear and leggings in five different colors are just some of the items that comprise the collection. Whether or not the Cotton Collection will have a similar effect on shoppers is yet to be seen.
Still, one can’t help but notice Kardashian’s star power over her products. After all, products similar to those in her shapewear collection can be found elsewhere in the market. Spanx, which is the market share leader in shapewear, according to the NPD Group, offers body shaping bodysuits, underwear and waist cinchers, among other things. But there hasn’t been much innovation in the category since Spanx came on the scene in 2000.
“Women have saturated their wardrobe. The reason why they need something new to add to their wardrobe is because someone has promised a better experience, a better fit, something new, something different,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry adviser of the NPD Group, told WWD. “Anything new, anything innovative, anything that has the promise that it will work, is going to reshape the shapewear industry.”
With or without Kardashian, there’s no denying the shapewear industry is growing. The global shapewear market, which was worth about $2 billion last year, could be worth as much as $6.4 billion by 2024, according to some reports. In the U.S. alone, sales of women’s shapewear grew 3 percent to $526 million during the 12 months ending in August, according to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service.
And Spanx’s knit shapewear — which many people considered to be a more comfortable version of shapewear — has pretty much cornered the market for two decades, according to Cora Harrington, founder and editor and chief of The Lingerie Addict blog.
“But that was kind of the last new major thing that happened in shapewear,” Harrington said.
Kardashian’s star power aside, Harrington pointed out that she does offer new products that consumers haven’t seen before, like the shaping shorts that are cut for dresses with high side slits.
“She’s bringing things that are interesting to people,” said Harrington, who also authored the book “In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear and Love Lingerie.” She likened the excitement that Kardashian is generating to that of Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie line.
“The fact that they create so much conversation around lingerie and around the industry is definitely a win,” Harrington said. “And I think the more people that are excited about lingerie and interested in lingerie, talking about it, wanting to buy it, that’s just a net positive for the industry as a whole.”
Cohen agreed, adding that all the excitement is getting people to pay attention to a category that they wouldn’t normally.
“Shapewear is one of those categories that you kind of need to be reminded of every once in a while that there’s something new and exciting in the market and it’s time to replenish your wardrobe,” he said. “Think about it: if I don’t tell you that you need milk, it’s not the first thing that comes to mind. [Skims] gets people thinking, ‘Well, maybe I do need to adjust my wardrobe. Maybe it is time for some new shapewear.'”