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Full text issue 40-2015

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ISSN 1994-2419

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Issue Week 40-2015

Summary of news published in Week 39-2015

 

jpa4Sibil220THE NEW Lycra® technology being launched by Invista comes at just the right time to revive consumer interest in shapewear, which was starting to level off after several years of strong growth. While the concept of shapewear continues to attract women with the promise of a more shapely body than nature, or their diet and lifestyle, has provided, consumers are becoming more critically aware of its shortcomings. Chief among these is the discomfort that is experienced after long hours of wear and the greater wellbeing promised by Lycra Beauty Cooling fabrics is sure to be much appreciated. As is the case with all improvements in fabric and garment performance, however, the advance will not be evident when looking at a garment and consumers will need to be informed. Sales staff cannot be relied upon for this, swing tickets will not always attract the attention they deserve and the impact of advertising will be limited by the size of budgets. Consequently, word of mouth, whether direct or through social websites, will play an important role in communicating the advance. This means that sales growth is likely to be slow at first but should grow exponentially as time goes by.                                                                                                                                 

Jean-Pierre Adeline

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BACKGROUND – developments to bear in mind

 

UK: new study analyses lingerie market

FRANCE: clothing sales continue to weaken

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SUPPLIERS – information from the upstream sector

 

INVISTA: new Lycra technology launched

WILLY HERMANN: Superfine® now eco-certified

CELC: Colour Card for A/W 2016-17 unveiled

COLORJET: new digital printer to launch at ITMA

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THE APPAREL SCENE – news of brands and labels

 

HOP LUN: acquires lingerie brand from Triumph

NAKED: loss slashed as Q2 sales almost doubled

MARIE CLAIRE: starts to open owned stores

REGINA MIRACLE: USD 243m IPO launched

SPINALI DESIGN: smart swimsuit exceeds expectations

KNIX WEAR: funding sought for new bra concept                                             

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DISTRIBUTION – evolution of chains and channels

 

DAMART: flagship store opened in Brussels

AMERICAN EAGLE: Aerie strategy reviewed

ESPRIT: flagging sales caused loss in 2014/15                                                                

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PEOPLE – corporate personalities

 

ANDREAS SOEFFKER: joins Calida as wholesale chief

DEANNA JACKSON: hired in US by Billabong

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EXHIBITIONS– what to see and where to trade

 

PREMIERE VISION: attendance reported almost stable

MAREDIMODA: trend area to be improved further

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FINISHING TOUCH – the smile for this week

 

HOLY SEE: thong commemorates papal visit

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BACKGROUND – developments to bear in mind

 

UK: new study analyses lingerie market

 

PUBLISHED by Research and Markets under the title Lingerie Report 2015, a new study provides detailed information on the UK market for corsetry, lingerie and hosiery. Contents include market trends, size and segmentation as well as data relating to strengths, weaknesses and prospects for the local industry and for traders. The study also provides comprehensive coverage of all the elements that impact upon the market, from political and economic to social and environmental. It includes an updated survey of the major players in the UK.

 

Panache

Panache

The contents promise to prove as useful for brands seeking to boost their sales in the UK as for companies seeking to benchmark their operations there.

 

FRANCE: clothing sales continue to weaken

 

THE LATEST figures provided by the Institut français de la mode (Ifm) show that consumption of clothing in France had declined by 0.8 per cent in the first eight months of 2015, following the decline of 1 per cent recorded in full year 2014. The Ifm reports that volume has remained constant but that prices paid have continued to flag. While low cost chains tended to lose sales, or at best to stagnate, department stores raised their sales by an average of around 4 per cent, largely as a result of the weak Euro that attracted foreign tourists.

 

Chantelle

Chantelle

As long as high unemployment continues to sap French consumers’ confidence, no significant rise in clothing consumption can be expected.

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SUPPLIERS – information from the upstream sector

 

INVISTA: new Lycra technology launched

 

FEATURED as part of the Interfilière New York one-day salon for intimate apparel fabrics, the Creative Lab display that was created jointly by Invista and Concepts Paris, served as a launch pad for a new technology named Lycra Beauty Cooling. The technology is a response to consumer research findings that 69 per cent of female consumers found moisture management to be an extremely or very important element of shapewear and that only 42 per cent were satisfied in that respect. The Beauty Cooling technology involves fibres with a specially engineered cross-section that allows moisture to reach the fabric’s outer surface where it evaporates quickly. Click here for more details and more photos of Lycra Beauty Cooling shapewear creations.

Lycra® Beauty Cooling

Lycra® Beauty Cooling

 

Because Lycra Beauty Cooling fabrics are already available from leading international suppliers, shapewear brands can start to benefit in S/S 2016 from the promising sales opportunities they offer.

 

WILLY HERMANN: Superfine® now eco-certified

 

LONG a successful speciality of Willy Hermann, Superfine® knitted fabrics, that are so fine that they offer a smooth surface that hardly shows a trace of stitches, are now STeP certified. The certification, which is managed by the Oeko-Tex organisation, guarantees that fabrics are environmentally friendly, socially responsible, efficient in the use of natural resources and in full respect of labour laws and working conditions.

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The certification adds elements of environmental and social responsibility to the now widely recognized aesthetic and functional qualities of Superfine® knitted fabrics.

 

CELC: Colour Card for A/W 2016-17 unveiled

 

FRESH from what it described as a great Première Vision presence, with considerable interest shown in winter collections of linen fabrics, CELC Masters of Linen unveiled its colour card for A/W 2016-17, which was devised by Ornella Bignami. Click here for details of the three colour themes proposed.

Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale

Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale

 

To date, the associated linen fabric producers have concentrated on the fashion sector, but linen, a traditional bodywear fabric, has some functional advantages as an underwear fabric. Now that finishing processes can provide linen with a soft hand, the natural fibre could attempt a comeback on the bodywear scene.

 

COLORJET: new digital printer to launch at ITMA

 

A NEW digital colour printer of potential interest for suppliers to the intimate apparel sector is to be launched at the next edition of the ITMA textile machinery trade fair, to be staged in Milan in November 2015. Made by Indian equipment supplier Colorjet Group and named Metro, the printer described as future-ready incorporates the latest technology as well as efficient engineering. It accepts all types of ink so as to print all types of fabrics and blends but is said to produce the best results with pigment inks. The Metro is also said to be particularly noteworthy for its exceptional scalable properties and can print fabrics as thin as 0.1mm.

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Colorjet is the first Indian company in its field to show at the ITMA and expects the new machine to arouse considerable interest.

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THE APPAREL SCENE – news of brands and labels

 

HOP LUN: acquires lingerie brand from Triumph

 

HONG KONG-based lingerie manufacturer Hop Lun, that operates the 6ixty 8ight label and produces the Scandale collection, acquired the Dorina lingerie business from Triumph International. The sale by Triumph, which follows that of the Hom men’s underwear label, marks a further stage in the restructuring of the Switzerland-based German lingerie brand. The value of the deal was not revealed.

 

Dorina

Dorina

The acquisition suggests that Hop Lun continues to expand its product range and to broaden its distribution.

 

NAKED: loss slashed as Q2 sales almost doubled

 

SECOND quarter sales of Naked Brand Group almost doubled year-on-year to reach USD 0.36m while the net loss was slashed to USD 3.14m from USD 29.03 a year earlier. Recent developments announced by the company include the launch of its first collections of intimate apparel, sleepwear and loungewear for women; a licence agreement with NBA Champion Dwyane Wade; the closing of an “offer to amend and exercise outstanding warrants with aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $2.34 million;” and a 1-for-40 reverse stock split. Naked also said that it plans to introduce swimwear and activewear into its product range in the future.

 

Naked

Naked

Though still at the development stage, the brand promises to grow into a significant player on the bodywear scene.

 

MARIE CLAIRE: starts to open owned stores

 

WHEREAS the past expansion of Spanish hosiery knitter Marie Claire into retailing had been on the basis of department store concessions and franchising, the brand has now begun to open owned stand-alone stores. It said that it expects to open three or four such stores every year. As one of the largest knitting concerns in Spain, Marie Claire has the capacity to produce annually 5m dozens of stockings, 1.6m dozens of socks, 0.5m pieces of swimwear, 4.5m pieces of seamless underwear and 0.55m pieces of lingerie. Last year its domestic and export sales, both wholesale and retail, reached EUR 39m.

 

Marie Claire

Marie Claire

With a strong brand image and adequate capacity, the brand is likely to provide greater competition during the coming years in all the markets where it operates.

 

REGINA MIRACLE: USD 243m IPO launched

 

INTERNATIONAL news agency Reuters reported that Regina Miracle International, a Hong Kong-based contract manufacturer, had launched an IPO of 295m new shares, representing a value of USD 243m. The company, that is said to be the world’s largest bra manufacturer, produces lingerie for major global brands, including Victoria’s Secret and Calvin Klein. The IPO is intended to fund additional production capacity and to reduce debt.

Victoria's Secret

Victoria’s Secret

 

The planned increase in capacity suggests that Regina Miracle expects to win a higher proportion of the production of its major US customers, or is preparing to serve other global brands.

 

SPINALI DESIGN: smart swimsuit exceeds expectations

 

A SMART swimsuit that warns the wearer of overexposure to the sun was expected to generate sales of around 1000 pieces when its launch was reported in these pages in May 2015 (Click hereto see our original report). Now, manufacturer Spinali Design says that demand flooded in from all over the world, with 5000 pieces being ordered in the UK alone. Since then, other applications of the swimsuit sensor have been developed, including one that alerts parents when a child swims beyond 50 metres from the shore.

Spinali Design

Spinali Design

 

This year, the smart swimsuit was distributed only through the manufacturer’s website. But results suggest that that the launch of wholesale distribution could well be justified.

 

KNIX WEAR: funding sought for new bra concept

 

NEW YORK City bra start-up Knix Wear started a crowdfunding campaign to secure capital to develop its 8-1 Evolution bra. Offering eight wearable options, the patented wire-free bra features bonded construction that moulds to the shape of the wearer to provide exceptional comfort. lt also offers a unique sizing chart, developed after tests on 70 women with different breast sizes and shapes, to facilitate selection of the correct size. The brand also proposes digital fitting consultations to help customers to determine their bra size accurately.

 

Knix Wear

Knix Wear

Many other brands claim that their bra moulds to the shape of the wearer, but none have won significant additional market share as a result. Perhaps the claim is perceived as too good to be true.

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DISTRIBUTION – evolution of chains and channels                                                   

 

DAMART: flagship store opened in Brussels

 

FRENCH distributor Damart, that was the first to propose thermal underwear produced with Thermolactyl fibre, opened a new flagship store in Brussels. Sited on the prestigious avenue Louise alongside the boutiques of world luxury brands, the new store proposes the company’s full range of outerwear as well as innerwear for men and women. CEO Patrick Seguin commented: “Our objective is to double the international presence of Damart, in terms of countries, within the next ten years.”

 

Damart

Damart

Although Damart pioneered the concept of thermal underwear in the past century, it has since been overtaken in many major markets by Uniqlo and its HeatTech underwear. Winning back its leadership in that sector will not be easy, if it can be done at all.

 

AMERICAN EAGLE: Aerie strategy reviewed                                                                 

 

THE GLOBAL Brand President President of Aerie, the lingerie brand for young women operated by American Eagle (AE), Jen Foyle, told UK trade paper Drapers: “We think there’s a great opportunity for Aerie overseas because overtly sexy doesn’t work in all cultures, so we’ve seen a great response in Canada and Israel for example, and now we’re looking at the UK.” Ms Foyle added that there is potential to grow the business by expanding overseas and that, since AE planned to open three or four more stores in the UK in 2016, these could well be flanked by Aerie stores. Earlier this year, the AE management had announced that future openings of Aerie outlets would be shops-in-shop within AE stores rather than standalone shops.

Aerie by American Eagle

Aerie by American Eagle

 

As shown by the strong growth of Etam’s Undiz chain in France, there is evidence that young women in Europe, as well as in the US, prefer lingerie that reflects their personality rather than projects a femme fatale image. This promises further expansion for the Aerie brand everywhere, whatever the retail concept finally adopted.

 

ESPRIT: flagging sales caused loss in 2014/15

 

LONG troubled leisurewear distributor Esprit, that includes much bodywear in its assortment, reported a net loss of HKD 3.7bn, equivalent to USD 477.45m, for its full year 2014/15. A decline of over 15 per cent in sales, to HKD 19.42bn, was attributed to the economic slowdown in China and to a weak Euro. News agency Reuters reported that the chain’s retail sales area could shrink again in the current year as a result of the closure or downsizing of underperforming stores. Since January 2015, Esprit shares have lost 27.9 per cent of their value on the Hang Seng index.

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Despite extensive restructuring, the chain has still not recovered from the serious setbacks it suffered during the economic downturn of 2009.

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PEOPLE – corporate personalities                                     

 

ANDREAS SOEFFKER: joins Calida as wholesale chief

 

SWISS bodywear brand Calida announced the appointment of Andreas Söffker as Head of Wholesale. Söffker (55) was formerly CEO of Gerhard Rösch and earlier had occupied key management posts with Falke and Odlo.

 

Andreas Söffker

Andreas Söffker

DEANNA JACKSON: hired in US by Billabong

 

RECENTLY turned around surfwear brand Billabong said that it has engaged Deanna Jackson as VP Women’s Sales in North America. Ms Jackson comes to Billabong from Quiksilver where she was Sales Manager.

Deanna Jackson

Deanna Jackson

 

EXHIBITIONS – what to see and where to trade

 

PREMIERE VISION: attendance reported almost stable

 

THE SIX sections of the September 2015 Première Vision salon in Paris attracted an aggregate attendance of 61’700, showing a 1 per cent dip against the comparable edition in 2014. As usual, the fashion fabrics section was the largest, with 770 exhibitors from 34 countries. The organizers’ closing report said that the strong business activity at the show reflected renewed optimism within the fashion Industry.

 

Première Vision Paris

Première Vision Paris

Exhibitors in the fabrics and yarn sections included a number of major suppliers to the bodywear sector.

 

MAREDIMODA: trend area to be improved further

 

THE ORGANIZERS of swimwear fabric salon MarediModa announced that the Trends area at the next edition, in November 2015, will be curated jointly by WGSN, the Istituto Europeo di Design as well as publisher and consultant David Shah. They also say that the event will feature more than 100 exhibitors, all European companies that maintain the highest standards of quality. MarediModa President Marco Borioli commented: “We are ready to show our cards, indeed the next edition will be richer in contents and services for our visitors. I am talking about those well-conceived essential instruments that will be made available for our visitors in the full awareness of the important role played by our exhibition. In the meantime, the new structure of the fair is what makes it new and impressive: a partially changed configuration due to the bigger exhibiting surface. At such a time when all trade-fairs in the textile sector suffer a decrease in both the number of exhibitors and the total exhibiting surface, we have been able to grow up and include leading companies.”

MarediModa

MarediModa

 

Because it is staged at the right time of the year for the swimwear supply chain, and features exclusively European suppliers, the event becomes progressively more important and influential.

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FINISHING TOUCH – the smile for this week

 

HOLY SEE: thong commemorates papal visit

 

THE US PRESS reported that among the many different objects, ranging from sports bras to iPhone covers, being proposed by local distributors as souvenirs to commemorate this week’s visit by Pope Francis is a women’s thong bearing the Pontiff’s likeness.

 

Definitely NOT among target consumers

Definitely NOT among target consumers

Even some confirmed atheists will find the thongs in exceptionally bad taste while more conservative believers may call for a return of the Inquisition.

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