Latest Sibil Sponsors
Sunday 3 June 2012
TWO ITEMS in this week’s issue of the SIBILintimate newsletter provide an apt illustration of the situation facing the fibre and fabric industries in the Euro-Med area, and indeed in the Western hemisphere. On the one hand, the launch by Nilit of yet another special performance fibre highlights the importance of on-going R&D and innovation, allied to the financial clout to promote adequately such new products. On the other, the court order to liquidate the Meryl Fiber concern underlines the vulnerability of highly leveraged operations carrying a heavy debt burden. Under the current conditions of keenest competition, both technological leadership and solid financial foundations are essential elements of survival.
NILIT: new PA 6.6 performance fibre provides cooling effect
PIAVE MAITEX: details of new A/W 2013/14 collection unveiled
MERYL FIBER: axe finally falls on failed fibre company
EUROJERSEY: themes of new Sensitive collection revealed
HANESBRANDS: European exit and other cutbacks announced
AMANTE: diversification into swimwear announced
MAIDENFORM: AR technology to be used to launch new range
IMEC: upmarket bodywear label acquired
STEFFY: licence agreement will revive intimate wear label
BEACH RIOT: new swimwear collection being launched in US
MARE D’AMARE: period of virtual fair to be extended
COCK-UP: call made to withdraw Indian underwear advertisement
ITALIAN beachwear salon Mare d’Amare released details of its beachwear styling proposals for the 2013 season. It commissioned US styling bureau Stylesight to identify the four major design directions for the season and these are now online here. Click here to access the corresponding style trend and colour boards.
Mare d’Amare Trends
This more specialised information provides a valuable complement to the Paris salons’ styling proposals published here some time ago.
ACCORDING to the latest Distributive Trades Survey published by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 43 per cent of UK retailers reported stronger sales in May against the same month in 2011, while only 23 per cent reported a decline. Sentiments regarding the business climate for the next three months were also positive (+3 per cent) for the first time in six months. Nevertheless, sales remained below the historical average for the time of year and stock levels rose relative to expected demand. The majority of retail sectors saw sales increase, including department stores (+65 per cent).
It could be that the Royal Jubilee celebrations are encouraging consumers to take a less restrictive attitude to spending, which promises to boost imports of innerwear.
FINDINGS of the latest Shopper Engagement Study published by the French association for POS marketing (Popai) show that 76 per cent of purchasing decisions are taken within the store and that one sale in six is linked to the presence of POS advertising for the brand within the store. The study also concludes that 56 per cent of customers remember which brands offer POS promotion and that 66 percent of products picked up on promotional stands are actually purchased. Another important finding is that 57 per cent of consumers spend more than initially budgeted.
Because in-store buying decisions depend largely on human nature, rather than on cultural influences, the findings are likely to apply to consumers of all nationalities. This suggests that many brand owners would have much to gain from providing more POS promotional material for their retail customers.
LABELLED Breeze, a revolutionary (patent pending) speciality yarn is now offered by leading PA 6.6 yarn producer Nilit as a performance fibre for hosiery, underwear, shapewear, socks, sportswear, outerwear and workwear. Available in specially textured and flat nylon 6.6 yarns, Niilit Breeze fabrics have been proven to cool wearers by almost one degree Celsius in comparison to fabrics knitted with standard fibres. The yarn’s cooling effect comes from a special cross-section, the insertion of an inorganic additive in the polymer itself and a unique texturing process. This combination gives fabrics very efficient ventilation capabilities and UV protective properties. As a result, garments made with Nilit Breeze keep the wearer more comfortable during and after physical exertion. In addition to its benefits for activewear, the yarn brings shapewear and hosiery to the next level. Products made with Nilit Breeze are soft, flexible, smooth and fit the body’s contours to move with the wearer. They also provide comfort, control and elegance by keeping the wearer cool in the heat of summer. “Always at the forefront of textile technology, we at Nilit are constantly striving to produce high-quality yarns with added consumer benefits, " commented Michal Ron Gavish, Nilit’s Global Marketing Manager.
This new product provides further confirmation of Nilit’s leading position in its sector of operations.
BEFORE being launched officially at a special event in Italy on June 28, prior to the international launch at the Paris Interfilière salon in July, the new A/W 2013/14 collection of Piave Maitex was unveiled to the trade press last week. It includes many interesting novelties as well as new themes for printed lingerie fabrics. Click here to access a detailed description of the new collection together with images of the new fabrics.
As always, the rich variety of fabric types and innovative designs merit the attention of intimate wear manufacturers.
FOLLOWING three months of administration, during which it proved impossible to interest a buyer for the business, the local commercial tribunal ordered last week the immediate stoppage of production and the liquidation of Meryl Fiber. The local labour union had been hoping that contacts with regional and national politicians might serve to win an extension of the administration period but this failed to materialize.
Remaining suppliers of nylon yarn will be relieved to note that the new socialist government of France is allowing market forces to operate normally.
INTRODUCING the A/W 2013/14 collection of Sensitive fabrics, knitting concern Eurojersey highlighted four themes. Whites feature innovative print technology, From the Archives is inspired by antique laces, Timeless reflects a profound feeling for tradition and Pigments reflects a trend towards oriental luxury. The full collection will be exhibited at the Paris Interfilière salon.
All the themes are expressed in fabrics produced with the patented Sensitive technology.
US BODYWEAR giant Hanesbrands announced the sale of its Imagewear division that includes all of its direct operations in Europe. The sale of the division, that accounted for 8 per cent of the company’s sales, will reduce annual turnover by USD 60m and its disposal is expected to involve restructuring costs of around USD 90m in the second quarter. The deteriorating economic situation in Europe, together with the sluggish development of business there, are said to have prompted the sale. Other cutbacks announced last week include the proposed sale of the Outer Banks career apparel operation and exit from the private label business in the US. Last month, HanesBrands posted a first quarter loss of USD 26.8m as sales dipped by 3 per cent.
Hanes by Hanesbrands
The exit from Europe will not impact Hanesbrands major labels such as Lovable that are produced under licence throughout the region.
CREATED in 2007 as the first own brand operated by Sri Lanka intimate wear giant MAS Holdings, Amante is to add swimwear to its range in 2013. When making the announcement; MAS Managing Director Ajay Amalean said that Amante sales in India are expected to increase by 35 per cent this year and that the label was on track to become the number one premium lingerie brand in South Asia by 2014/15. He added that the expansion of the Amante business into Sri Lanka and the Middle East was being considered. Amalean also predicted that several major foreign innerwear labels would launch in India during the coming two or three years.
Amante by MAS Holdings
By coincidence, it was only last week that our editorial comment in these pages referred to the enormous potential for swimwear sales in Asia. We wrote then that it might be several generations before the potential could be exploited optimally but the decision announced by Amante suggests we were perhaps unduly pessimistic about the rate of cultural evolution.
AN AUGMENTED reality app is to be used by Maidenform to introduce its new Comfort Devotion line of bras, panties and shapewear later this year. Lucille DeHart, Maidenform’s CMO, told magazine Marketing Daily that the company understands how women are shopping nowadays, and has always tried to be respectful of that. A marketer’s challenge is to figure out a way to engage these digitally connected shoppers in the physical environment. Maidenform is to use a free app called Aurasma to do that. The consumer can take a picture of a hangtag, and then interface with the company in this new dimension. She’s already engaged in that in the virtual space, when she shops online or with a tablet. This will let her do that in the store with her smartphone.
The new approach represents a further extension of the "bricks’n’clicks" marketing concept. In time, it, or comparable techniques, are likely to be adopted by most major labels.
ITALIAN bodywear concern IMEC, which is part of the Tex Zeta concern in Carvico, Italy, acquired the Ritratti lingerie and swimwear business based in Milan as well as its Swan Original and Essere labels. The amount involved was not revealed but it is known that Ritratti generates annual sales of some EUR 7m. The deal is seen as important because it allows IMEC to expand its operations upmarket. It is hoped that the acquisition will also help to develop the export sales of IMEC, that is active almost entirely in Italy whereas Ritratti exports 40 per cent of its output.
Beachwear constitutes an important part of both collections, which creates synergies that could also serve to expand sales of innerwear and sleepwear .
FOLLOWING a new licensing agreement concluded with the Steffy intimate wear concern in France, a lingerie collection bearing the Kookaï fashion label is to return onto the market after an absence of two years. Initially, the new Kookaï lingerie collection, competitively priced at around EUR 30 for a bra and briefs set, is to be distributed through supermarket non-food channels in France. Later, it is planned to expand distribution to home shopping channels and department stores. The sales effort will also focus on export markets such as Switzerland, Spain or China where the Kookaï label currently enjoys a strong brand image. It is hoped that, within a few years, the Kookaï innerwear collection will equal, or exceed, the annual sales volume of EUR 10m it had reached when the licence was last operated by Princesse tam tam.
Steffy has a very creditable growth record with its own label in the volume distribution sector and appears well able to reach the objectives it has set for its new licence.
CREATED by Nicole Hanriot, the former designer of the Tavik swimwear range, a new beachwear collection labelled Beach Riot is being launched at the Miami Swim Show next month. Currently, Nicole Hanriot is said to be one of the most influential designers on the US swimwear scene and her creations have appeared on the covers of the leading fashion magazines there. The new collection will showcase her effortlessly chic style and the spirit of the California beach babe.
Few US swimwear labels have made a significant impact on the world scene but the Beach Riot collection has the pedigree to do so.
DESPITE having reported strong trading during the last week of the period, UK lingerie market leader Marks & Spencer is said to have seen its sales of intimate wear decline by 4 per cent in the seven weeks to May 19. The Financial Times report notes that the distributor’s sales of all types of women’s wear slumped by 19 per cent during the period while sales of men’s wear declined by 9 per cent. Unseasonably cold weather is blamed for the poor performance.
Marks & Spencer
Since it tends to reduce footfall in stores, cool weather also depresses sales of lingerie and other items of bodywear.
TROUBLED US chain American Apparel announced more good news last week. CEO Dov Charney said that sales in stores opened for at last a year had risen by 19 per cent in May against the same month in 2011. He suggested that this reflected the efforts made in recent months to improve store productivity and said he was more confident about trading in the coming months.
Despite the improvements achieved in recent months, the company still has a long way to go before its future can be made secure.
FOUNDED by two former employees of Microsoft to exploit a bra fitting algorithm they developed to allow the online selection of bras with superior fit for all women, True & Co. promises hassle-free bra selection at home. The algorithm was developed on the basis of comments by expert bra fitters, many of whom were able to determine which bra would offer a better fit merely by assessing a customer’s morphology and without using a tape measure. Visitors to the online shop are asked to spend about two minutes completing a short questionnaire and the algorithm produces an individualised selection of bra styles and sizes that promise a better fit.
The new site, and its algorithm, have received extensive press and web coverage in the US and worldwide. As a result, it is likely to win customers from established e-tailers.
SAYING he wished to pursue other interests, Dan Sawall resigned from the post of Vice President Retailing he had held at Under Armour since February 2010. Until a new appointment is made, Henry Stafford, Senior VP Apparel and Brad Dickerson, CFO, have been named to jointly oversee the retailing functions.
FOLLOWING the end of the second mandate in the post of Alberto Jelmini , the presidency of the Milan fashion fabric salon Modal In was bestowed on Antonella Martinetto, CEO of leading fashion accessories concern Remmert SpA.
AS ITALIAN beachwear salon Mare d’Amare prepares to return to the Fortezza da Basso venue in Florence from 14 to 16 July, the organisers announced that, in view of its considerable success last year, the digital version of the salon would remain open for trade buyers until the end of September. This allows buyers to use their PC or tablet to visit stands, view merchandise and place orders. Last year, the digital salon had been staged alongside the physical event for the benefit of trade buyers who could not visit in person. Both salons will feature some 300 beachwear collections from all over Europe and provide visitors with a comprehensive overview of beachwear fashion trends for 2013.
The extension of the duration of the digital salon promises to be of great value for exhibitors as well as for trade buyers whose busiest season coincides with the time of the physical salon.
ON THE GROUNDS that the advertisement depicted the birds in a bad light, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) asked Euro Fashion Innerwear to withdraw a press advertisement featuring cockerels. The image depicted naked men holding roosters to cover their private parts, accompanied by the company’s slogan: "What’s your size?"
The advertisement brings a new and disturbing meaning to the expression "pecking order".