SHANGHAI–Premium Chinese lingerie brand Neiwai, known for its feminine and sensual designs, has teamed up with Wolford for a six-piece sustainable capsule.
The line, called “She Will Gaze Into Eternity”, includes a jumpsuit, blouse, leggings, skirt and a headband and come either in the shades red or black. Prices mostly range between 1,000 to 2,000 renminbi, or $155 to $310–slightly more expensive than Neiwai’s main line but under Wolford’s usual price point.
Neiwai cofounder Liu Xiaolu said the appeal of the collaboration lay in Wolford’s unique technology and circular “cradle-to-cradle” gold certification. Meanwhile, Wolford was seeking to boost its awareness in the country. While the Austrian bodysuit-maker was acquired by China’s Fosun Group at the start of 2020 it is still in its early steps of expanding in China.
“There is some overlap between these two brands’ customer base,” Lu shared, “but I think Wolford because they are a bit new to the China market, for them they want to attract a younger consumer and local consumers through this collaboration. For us, we care about the technology and R&D and seamless technology that we couldn’t find locally in China.”
“We added some transparent sections to the bodysuit, and on another top, a low back,” Lu said of the collection. “Wolford is a bit more conservative than that [typically] so we added a bit of the DNA of Neiwai which is very elegant.”
The capsule is available not only in China but the U.S. too, a market where Neiwai has started to ramp up since the fourth quarter of last year.
“The U.S. market is our first market [overseas] because we see the openness for the local consumer to accept new brands, not like Europeans they have a lot of lingerie brands with long history,” said Lu. “The U.S. is more open to D2C brands and because of Shopify they have the structure for us to expand the brand. We see a need in the market for something more subtle in fabric, in terms of design, we see the opportunity for them.”
“This year, we experienced growth beyond our expectations,” she went on to say. “Of course, we started from Chinese and Asian KOLs because they know the brand well but now around 20 percent are non-Asian. This is a very good starting point. I think the U.S. market has a big potential for us.”
Lu also pointed to the loyalty of American consumers also as a compelling reason to expand.
“When we do business in the U.S., we find that it is less competitive than in China. China is a country with very good supply chain,” she said.” Everyone can copy your products in a short time, so branding becomes much more important here. But in the U.S., consumers are more sophisticated and more loyal. That’s why a good concept of a brand can attract a bunch of consumers.”
In addition to geographical expansion, Neiwai, which closed its 100 million Series D funding in July, has been expanding its categories from lingerie only to loungewear and activewear, too.
“This year, we have almost 200 percent growth for online and offline,” Lu shared, adding that it was driven by expansion in brick-and mortar. “We have a very good arrangement in offline stores…as most people need to experience it and try the fit.”