Issue Week 45-2014
Summary of news published during Week 44-2014
WHILE it is well known that a high proportion of men’s under garments is bought by women, the volume of lingerie bought by men is much lower. The reason is also well known: women buy underwear for their partners and sons mainly because most men are not sufficiently interested to buy replacement garments for themselves. On the other hand, men buy lingerie as gifts, perhaps in appreciation for services rendered, or as an indication of services desired. At the same time, surveys have shown that lingerie received as a gift is often never worn by the woman receiving it. Consequently, the initiative taken by RougeGorge, and described in this issue, promises two desirable results. The first is that it will make it easier for men to buy lingerie, which could boost consumption appreciably. The second is that, thanks to the advice provided by the chain, the lingerie bought is more likely to be appreciated and worn by the woman concerned, which could encourage men to make more gifts of the same type. The next step is to encourage men to spend more on each item bought than most women are prepared to spend on their own purchases of lingerie.
BACKGROUND – developments to bear in mind
SUPPLIERS – information from the upstream sector
THE APPAREL SCENE – news of brands & labels
DISTRIBUTION – evolution of chains and channels
PEOPLE – corporate personalities
EXHIBITIONS – what to see and where to trade
FINISHING TOUCH – The smile for this week
BACKGROUND – developments to bear in mind
TRENDS: how designer shows influence bodyfashion
THE WAYS in which the designer catwalk shows of S/S 2015 collections highlight fashion trends applicable to the field of intimate apparel are analysed in the latest report from Concepts Paris, the only styling and marketing consultancy specialized exclusively in innerwear and swimwear. The report headed Universal & Sophisticated Taste Prevails, which is made available only to subscribers, comprises five trend boards devoted to Paris shows and three devoted to London designers, all richly illustrated, with explanatory texts, and complemented with many photos showing significant fashion details. It is available in French and Mandarin as well as in English, as are all other monthly reports.
Like all other reports from this source, this one will also influence the look of future collections by leading brands and private labels worldwide.
EROTICISM: trend gains more ground in Europe
SWISS popular newspaper Blick reported last week that traditionally staid and functional Swiss distribution group Migros, the largest retail chain in the country, is adding more risqué models to its range of women’s innerwear. Labelled Ellen Amber – secrets for special moments, the new range includes transparent lace bras, panties and bodys as well as suspender belts and other sexy items. It is being introduced into 31 of the chain’s larger stores throughout the country.
The new range provides further evidence of the progress that continues to be made in Europe by more erotic lingerie concepts.
UK: retailers report strong sales growth in past year
)A RECENT survey of 124 British retailers by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) found that 48 per cent had achieved higher sales in the year to September 2014, with only 17 per cent reporting a sales decline. The resulting positive balance of 31 per cent allowed the average quarterly sales balance to reach +33 per cent, the highest since February 2011. The apparel sector performed particularly well, with a positive balance of sales reaching an average of +68 per cent. The CBI report said that sales are expected to show an equally strong growth in the 12 months to November.
It remains to be seen whether the positive consumption trend in the UK can be maintained if the Euro zone economy continues to stagnate as it has done in the past few years.
DESIGN DIRECTIONS: Interfilière reveals S/S 2016 trends
CREATED as always by Concepts Paris, the bodywear trends for S/S 2016 proposed by the Interfilière salon that presents production supplies and services for the lingerie, swimwear and legwear industries were unveiled last week. Click here to view these latest colour and styling trend indications.
The trend information is supplied to all exhibitors and visitors at the January 2015 edition of the salon and promise to influence the look of collections for the season’s wholesale collections that will be shown in Paris in July 2015.
SUPPLIERS– information from the upstream sector
NILIT: specialty fibres to be highlighted in Munich
A LEADING world producer of nylon 6.6 fibres and yarns, Nilit, is to highlight two of its most successful functional fibres at the Performance Days salon being staged at the MTC in Munich on 4 and 5 November. Its exhibits on stand 506, Hall 5, will feature prominently the Nilit Breeze yarn that provides a cooling sensation for bodywear and hosiery as well as the Nilit Heat thermo insulating yarn that conserves natural body heat to warm wearers from inside out.
Because the salon promises to attract many producers of functional apparel, it should allow the Nilit yarns featured there to achieve broader penetration of the market, including in the bodywear and hosiery sectors.
DOGI: new owners define growth strategy
PRIVATE equity concern Sherpa Capital, that now owns a majority stake in stretch fabrics producer Dogi, plans to grow the business through acquisitions in Europe and the US as well as through joint ventures in Asia. Sherpa CEO Eduardo Navarro told online textile news service Modaes.es that he intended to apply to Dogi, which is the first quoted company acquired by the group, the same strategy as that applied to other acquisitions. He added that the coming quarters would show clear signs of recovery by Dogi, whose order book position was already improving.
Freed of its once heavy debt burden, and with access to the considerable resources of its new majority owner, there seems to be no reason why Dogi should not resume its former position as a major fabric supplier.
SUNSELECT: breakthrough made in US market
LEADER in the field of tan-through fabrics for swimwear and other applications, Netherlands-based SunSelect announced its first major contract in the US. Los Angeles-based converters and fabric distributors LA Global Textile LLC has added the patented SunSelect fabrics to its range and is creating a new brand to market them. It is planning to launch a TV promotional programme in four States, including California and Texas, as well as in the city of Miami, in the coming weeks. The programme is to be extended to four other States later. The promotion highlights swimwear and polo shirts as prime end uses.
The agreement means that as from S/S 2015, some US consumers will have the opportunity of using tan-through garments that are really effective.
SYSTEMI ASSYST: bodyscanners to be shown at MarediModa
TO BE shown by Systemi Assyst at the next edition of the MarediModa salon is the Vitus XXL bodyscanner that, with Vidya software, can be used by manufacturers to simulate the performance of all aspects of fabrics and garments in wear. With the device, manufacturers can check digitally both size and fit as well as fabric behaviour, drape and prints on the static or moving model without loss of time due to size differences. The company will also show its new Ditus MC3 scanner that is intended to simplify and speed customer fitting by retailers.
The scanner and software can prevent the delivery by manufacturers of garments that feature attractive styling and fabrics yet fail to prove totally satisfying when tried on by real consumers.
THE APPAREL SCENE – news of brands and labels
SCANDALE: US collection targets mass market
US MEDIA reported that actress Halle Berry had acquired an interest in French lingerie brand Scandale, that had been revived after an absence of four years in 2012 following its acquisition by Hop Lun in Hong Kong. It was reported further that a special collection had been designed with her inputs to be sold by the Target chain in the US. The range of 10 bras and panties is to be sold under the Scandale label to benefit from the brand’s French image as well as its history and heritage, but would be priced for the volume market, with bras at less than USD 20. Halle Berry told the press that despite the low prices, “we’ve kept all the qualities of the Parisian sort of style intact.”
By the sound of it, the deal with Target is essentially a private label production agreement that involves the use of the Scandale label for the merchandise.
àOH LA LA CHERI: growth strategy for 2015 revealed
SPEAKING to US trade magazine Body, Oh La La Cheri CEO Tugdual Denis said the Miami-based lingerie and swimwear label had doubled its sales in 2014 and hoped to make comparable progress in 2015. This year, the progress has been due partly to the launch of three new product lines comprising a plus size collection, a range of sexy dresses and a swimwear group. Other elements of success were the Never Out of Stock (NOS) programme that guarantees deliveries of designated styles as well as improved merchandising collaboration with retailers. For 2015, the brand is to expand the NOS programme from 15 to 45 styles and plans to launch a plus size swim collection that will wholesale at USD 35 to USD 40.
The success of the NOS programme, for which demand exists everywhere, merits the attention of brand owners in all countries. Risks can be minimized by limiting the service to best selling styles, and sales gains can prove substantial.
BELLY ARMOR: men’s anti-radiation underwear developed
TARGETED at men who worry that radiation from smartphones and other electronic devices could reduce their fertility, as reported by a recent WHO publication, boxers developed by Belly Armor offer peace of mind. Labelled RadiaShield, the boxers are said to provide 99.9 per cent effectiveness against radiation at levels ranging from 10MHz (TV) to 8000 MHz (exceeding the WiFi level). The protection is achieved thanks to a fabric incorporating silver, which also offers anti-bacterial properties and minimizes odour.
Although the effects of radiation on sperm count and mobility are well established, most men are unaware of the danger. As and when keener awareness develops, demand for such products could increase substantially.
MAISON LEJABY: majority stake acquired by Parisian fund
FRENCH private equity concern Impala SAS acquired a majority stake in Maison Lejaby, providing CEO Alain Prost with the means he had been seeking to maintain and accelerate the expansion of the business. Although the amount invested was not revealed, it is known that, at the time of the brand’s rescue from administration in January 2012, Prost had secured EUR 7m from three investors, including Tunisian manufacturer Isalys. Exports are said to have accounted for 65 per cent of the Maison Lejaby turnover in 2013.
Since its rescue, Maison Lejaby has made very encouraging progress. Now, with the resources at its disposal, it is set to achieve further expansion, which could well allow it, in time, to exceed the best past performance of the label.
HANESBRANDS: acquisitions begin to boost sales and profit
REPORTING on its third quarter results, HanesBrands said that the Maidenform business it had acquired last year had raised the period’s innerwear revenue by 16 per cent as it contributed sales of USD 115m while DBApparel contributed USD 81m. It also confirmed that it has begun to plan cross-company integration in respect of the DBApparel business in acquired in August. Q3 total net sales are reported to have risen by 17 per cent to USD 1.4bn and the innerwear segment had generated a 29 per cent increase in operating profit thanks to acquisition benefits and base-business profitability. The period’s results allowed the company to raise again its full year guidance on sales and EPS.
It is clear that the restructuring of the supply chain undertaken in the past few years, product innovation and significant acquisitions have all combined to strengthen considerably the company’s growth and profitability prospects for the coming years.
DISTRIBUTION – evolution of chains and channels
BIKINI VILLAGE: loan and debentures deals concluded
TROUBLED Canadian beachwear chain Bikini Village announced that it has secured a CAD 0.75m short term bridge loan and has successfully concluded a private placement of secured redeemable debentures for an aggregate principal amount of CAD 1m. The loan bears annual interest of 12 per cent and is repayable in three tranches, the last on 31 January 2015. The debentures, that mature on the same date, also carry interest at 12 per cent, payable on maturity.
It remains to be seen whether the chain can turn itself around during the relatively short period at its disposal and suppliers will continue to be wary.
M HOLT: major UK wholesaler preparing to close
BRITISH trade publication Lingerie Insight reported that one of the country’s leading lingerie, nightwear and hosiery wholesalers, M Holt Manchester Ltd, is disposing of its inventory prior to closure of the business. The move is being made because all three owners of the company are retiring. A director said that attempts to sell it had failed, mainly as a result of the high value of the inventory, which could reach as high as GBP 0.5m at certain times of the year. Holt supplied independent retailers, online stores and market traders throughout the country and had generated a healthy volume of sales over many years.
Given a minimum of goodwill on the part of both sellers and potential buyers, it is rare that a solution to dispose of a healthy business cannot be found, unless the inventory includes a high proportion of merchandise carried over from past seasons that is priced unrealistically.
ROUGEGORGE: attempt made to boost sales to men
RECOGNIZING that many men hesitate to enter physical stores to purchase lingerie as a gift for their partner, French lingerie chain RougeGorge, which formerly traded under the Cannelle brand, created a special section of their e-commerce site that targets male buyers. Showing a subtle touch, the sub-site is not labelled as a section for men but is presented as an aid to buying lingerie as a gift. As such, it provides information and tips that even women can find useful as well as leads towards different types of lingerie styling and comments on packaging.
The almost gender-neutral way of offering essential information and advice should help to protect men’s self-esteem and promises to generate an appreciable volume of extra sales for the chain.
PEOPLE – corporate personalities
VERONIQUE BONNET: takes key post at Concepts Paris
THE ONLY design and styling consultancy specialized exclusively in intimate apparel, Concepts Paris, announced the appointment of Véronique Bonnet to the newly created post of Marketing Director. Ms Bonnet, a former head of Eurovet‘s operations in Asia, created the first lingerie trade show of its kind in Hong Kong and, as consultant, has created lifestyle events around Asia.
IRIS ALONZO: returns to creative role at American Apparel
US RETAIL chain American Apparel re-appointed Iris Alonzo to the post of Creative Director from which she was evicted in June this year, at the same time as founder Dov Charney was ousted following allegations of improper conduct. Ms Alonzo was one of the few defenders of Charney at the time, maintaining that the chain’s recovery depended on his leadership.
EXHIBITIONS – what to see and where to trade
MILANO UNICA: attendance rises at China event
THE CHINESE edition of Italian fabric show Milano Unica, staged within the Intertextile salon in Shanghai from 20 to 23 October, attracted 3’900 visitors, up by 14.7 per cent against the preceding autumn event in 2013 when economic conditions were more favourable. The 127 Italian exhibitors believe that their products, in the high-medium to luxury price segments, correspond to market demand in China, where sales of apparel are increasing at a annual rate of 11.5 per cent.
Although the event features mainly outerwear fabrics, the prestige it confers upon Italian textile products generally promises, in due course, to boost demand for all intimate apparel fabrics and garments made in Italy.
INTERFILIERE: next edition to highlight silk fabrics
MARKING the 30th anniversary of the salon, the next edition of Interfilière, to be staged in Paris on 24 to 26 January 2015, will feature silk fabrics in the The Exception limited access area of the show. There, silk fabrics from exhibitors’ collections selected on the basis of creativeness and technical characteristics will illustrate the latest advances in the silk sector. As usual, the salon will also present its trend forum, for the S/S 2016 season, a variety of conferences on topics of interest to the industry and the Business Networking Service, which speeds and eases contacts between industry buyers and suppliers. With some 150 exhibitors, the salon aims to attract around 10’000 visitors.
Although the January edition of the salon is less widely appreciated than the summer event, it remains an important supplement to the S.I.L. lingerie show that is staged alongside.
FINISHING TOUCH – the smile for this week
REST-CURE: intruder recovers from labours
RETURNING from an absence of a few days, an elderly English couple found a man’s underwear drying in their house. Upstairs, they found the underwear’s owner asleep in their bedroom. He was arrested and later pleaded guilty to burglary.
The man’s arrest is a clear miscarriage of justice: had the house owners installed an electric dryer, the man would not have needed to rest after washing his underwear and hanging it out to dry.