Naturana Celebrates 100 Years
Above: Delicate floral embroidery enhances this light Simplex shapewear design, new for 2017.
The lingerie industry is constantly changing and its hard for a company to stay afloat with so many competing brands and changes in trends. One brand that has been able to navigate the tricky waters of fashion and lingerie is Europe’s Naturana!
2017 marks 100 years in business for this well-loved lingerie brand. It wasn’t always easy to stay in operation, in fact, during the post-war years, when fabrics were scare, Naturana made a virtue out of necessity and produced bras made out of old aprons and tablecloths. With that level of hard-work and dedication to bra making, its no surprise that Naturana has continued to rule the lingerie world even into 2017!
“We were the founders in a lot of early technologies with the use of fabrics, especially, in the 1960s with the use of more flexible, stretchable elastic fabrics…” Tom Kavanagh, Naturana.
Founded in 1917 in Germany, Naturana is now one of the largest lingerie and swimwear manufacturers in the world. The brand has always been celebrated for its ability to combine fashion with a perfectly engineered fit. Naturana makes creating comfortable, well-fitted affordable lingerie for all shapes and sizes their number one priority.
Carl Dolker, the brand’s founder, originally set out to create fashionable silhouette for women without the restraints of a corset; a revolutionary idea at the time! This desire to create a more natural silhouette required innovation and pioneering textile manipulation. This hard worked paid off and by the 1930s, Naturana was known as the brand for the modern active woman of the day.
Their sales and marketing director in the UK, Tom Kavanagh, explains, “We were the founders in a lot of early technologies with the use of fabrics, especially, in the 1960s with the use of more flexible, stretchable elastic fabrics that did not restrict the movement of the body…”.
A Star is Born
Naturana’s dedication to innovation continued into the 1970s with their brand new silhouette, a soft cup bra called “The Star Bra”. The Star Bra features crossover detailing at the front, giving a natural look. This bra is still one of the company’s bestselling models, with over 30 million items manufactured and sold since its creation. Famous showgirl, Marlene Charell, became the face of this iconic bra in 1978!
During the 1950s, their bestseller was a rigid cotton bra with circular stitches. This bra was produced by Naturana in shiny satin with overstitched cups and matching girdle, creating an hourglass look which was so popular with the many glamorous film stars of the time, such, as Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. Shoppers alike clamored for these delicates so that they could indulge in the luxurious styles of Hollywood with a great fit.
Keeping it in the Family
Naturana is not only unique in its vision, but also in the way the company itself is structured. Since its inception in 1917, the brand has been a family business. Being family run, certainly has its perks. Kavanagh relates, being a “…family business is a real benefit because they respond quicker,” allowing the brand to respond to proposals and trends immediately.
The family’s commitment is evident in their support for the move of its UK premise to Sutton Coldfield, England last year. Kavanagh continues, “…the family has invested heavily, especially in the UK, with an office/showroom relocation and a new restructured sales force to help to drive sales and the brand forward into the next 100 years”.
Above: Ornate and beautifully feminine, in classic colour palettes of midnight blue and white, these designs make ideal fuller figure sets. Extremely comfortable to wear, these highly popular bras offer a choice of underwired and soft cup styles, together with matching briefs.
Although the family is still leading the lingerie brand, there have been several big changes for Naturana. Their sales and marketing director in the UK explains that one of the biggest changes is that they’re, “…moving from our core essential business, which is still 60% of our sales overall, to more fashionable colourful collections” and focusing on their high-end boutique collection, Eva, which celebrates the femininity and sensuality of the female form.
Naturana’s soft cup padded bras make the perfect everyday style, in a choice of pure white, skin colour or midnight blue, teamed with smooth shaped briefs.
2017 and Beyond
So, when it comes down to it, what has lead to 100 years of success for the Naturana brand? The innovation? The celebrity endorsements? The relocation to the UK?
While those things have certainly helped, Tom Kavanagh breaks it down simply, explaining, their “…great quality products with a great fit and affordable value…have always helped us stay ahead of our competitors”. Naturana not only considers their retail customer, but also their wholesale clients. Kavanagh reveals that, “we also offer great intake margins for our retailers when considering their budgets”.
Naturana is certainly enjoying their centennial celebration, but they are also looking to the future. Kavanagh says the brand hopes to, “…continue supporting curves… [and] continue to raise its brand profile in many high street doors with up to date merchandising units and valued point of sale, that will help drive sales and the awareness of a ‘value for money brand’’ like Naturana.
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