Driven by consumer trends and the desire for market share, the stretch specialist has launched Lycra Moves Athleisure, aimed at the intimate apparel market.
Patti Ficorilli, senior account manager for the Intimate Apparel and Underwear divisions, said the ath-leisure trend has been driven by the consumer’s desire for comfort and is now “a lifestyle being adopted by women around the world.”
“It represents a substantial market with significant potential for future growth for the intimate apparel market,” said Ficorilli in an interview at the Interfilière New York show, where Lycra Moves Athleisure was being introduced.
She said according to the NPD Group, the sports bra market has grown from $800 million to $1.5 billion in sales over the last five years, with the strongest growth occurring in the last two years. Citing a Morgan Stanley report, Ficorilli said the ath-leisure sector has contributed to a 42 percent growth in the $270 billion sports apparel and footwear segment over the last seven years and is forecast to grow another 30 percent by 2020.
“What I love about ath-leisure is that it speaks specifically to comfort, fit and performance and that is what the Lycra brand stands for,” Ficorilli said. “Lycra is all about comfort, fit and freedom to move.”
In the new campaign, Ficorilli said, “We want to collaborate with the various intimate apparel brands to help them try to figure out how they’re going to capture the market share within the intimate apparel space. A lot of the business, especially the bra business, is shifting to the sports bra business. Fifty two percent of sports bras are being bought and used for non-sport use.”
She said women are looking for some level of support while wearing ath-leisure clothes and “the intimate apparel brands need to figure out how they are going to stay true to their brand but also fit into the whole bra casualization movement, and we want to be there to help them.”
This can be accomplished through the technology and through marketing, with Lycra providing hang tags and working with the brands tell their story at point of sale.
She said Lycra has six different technologies in its portfolio that have been packaged together to provide the brands with “a one-stop shopping experience to solve their product development needs.”
These are Lycra Cooling, Lycra Black, Lycra W, Lycra Soft Comfort, Lycra Sport and Lycra T400.
Lycra Cooling technology is a permanent cooling solution using Invista’s X6300 nylon that can be combined with other cooling finishes that provide texture and a tactile element but wear away in time.
Lycra Black fiber is for blending with black fabrics for color consistency and has a level of chlorine resistance for swimwear, while Lycra W is for whiteness retention and rich coloration and is a dyeable fiber.
Lycra Soft Comfort uses Lycra’s T902C fiber is aimed at the bralette trend that offers a fashion layering piece without much structure. By using Soft Comfort fiber, brands can offer enough stretch to make the bralette more practical and comfortable. Ficorilli said it provided fit flexibility for the consumer that is between cup sizes or pants sizes, and provides better recovery and elongation.
Lycra Sport uses Invista’s Coolmax thermo-regulating technology, and T400 is a bicomponent polyester yarn with durable stretch and moisture management.