2013 Lingerie News in Review
Above: Kiss Kill Lingerie’s Debut Collection.
2013 was a busy year for the Lingerie world.
It was a year of launches, relaunches and new events. The inaugural edition of Lingerie Fashion Week launched in early 2013 as did the first US-edition of the popular UK trade show — the Lingerie Collective.
The industry also faced more than a few controversies this year from the divisive Jockey Fit Bra to the uproar caused by AR Wear’s line of anti-rape underwear.One of the most saddening events of 2013 was the passing of noted corsetiere Velda Lauder in early 2013.
“Velda Lauder’s sudden death had a huge impact in the worlds of corsetry and lingerie. Velda’s corsets had appeared on such noted burlesque performers such as Dita von Teese, and many agreed that Velda herself was at the peak of her creative and professional career,” noted Cora Harrington, founder of the Lingerie Addict (TLA). “Velda was irreplaceable, and her loss is deeply felt by many in the lingerie industry. TLA wrote a tribute post to Velda Lauder here.”
2013 was also a year in which we saw the very best in each other with brands and retailers coming to the aid of those in need. In early February, Bex Anderson, owner of the Fitting Room joined together with another retailer to help support the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy which hit that past holiday season with a fundraiser.
And after a powerful tornado hit the city of Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013, Baci Lingerie donated 1,000 bras to the victims of that natural disaster.
Over the past 12 months, we also noticed more brands and designers embracing new technologies such as 3D printing and new ways of doing business online and on social media.
Above: Ampere used Kickstarter to raise over $25,000+.
Crowd funding sites like Kickstarter are changing how entrepreneurs and existing companies start or launch new ideas. Instead of looking for angel investors or waiting for a windfall of cash, lingerie businesses are going directly to the public for fundraising and giving them a stake in their success. In 2013, we reported on brands like Ampere and Clothing With a Kiss successfully leveraging crowd funding for their businesses.
But these are only a few events that happened this year. We wanted to dig deeper and polled industry insiders, bloggers and designers about what they thought were the biggest news items of 2013. We asked each individual to give us their top three picks (some of which we covered earlier). Naturally, everyone had their own opinion of what made the biggest news splash, but the majority noted one event as the number one news item of 2013:
#1 Lingerie News Item of 2013: Hanesbrands Purchasing of Maidenform
In late July we reported on the acquisition and the story quickly racked up the views.
“Consolidation of that magnitude is a big deal, especially given the number of layoffs involved, the size of the price tag – $583 million, and what that multiple implied on Wall Street. For indie retailers the deal may not make an impact, but as a news story for the industry it mattered,” said Ali Cudby, Lingerie Industry consultant and Founder, FabFit Academy.
Cake Lingerie expanded into the Maternity Swimwear category with its acquisition of the 22 year-old Australian brand Illant.
European lingerie powerhouse, Triumph, made its official US debut this summer as well with a lovely event that showcased the company’s long history within the industry.
Coquette Lingerie Celebrated 35 years in business — a huge milestone for any company. Coquette celebrated in style with the launch of their new 2014 Collection.
On a similar note, retailer Bella Intimates celebrated 10 years this December with a lingerie fashion show.
#2 Lingerie News Item(s) of 2013: Technology
Above: the SizeM Bra Fitting App home page.
We’re lumping together a few items under this category to showcase how technology changed the lingerie landscape in 2013. A great example is the launch of ThirdLove’s new smart phone app that utilizes a cell phone image to “fit” the consumer. Additionally, several companies like IntiMint, Adore Me, Brayola, Ampere and the Sizem App also rolled out their own proprietary fit processes that work both online and off.
The cause of all these developments? Fit.
Moira Nelson, Intimate Apparel Industry Expert and Founder of Bra La Mode Consulting notes more and more people are recognizing the need for a new approach to fitting lingerie (bras in particular).
“Some of these companies are really trying to educate women about a proper fit…what a proper fitting should look like and feel like on your own body — because each one of us is unique,” says Moira. “Technology provides us with an opportunity to speak directly to the consumer, bridging the gap between the manufacturers and the consumer. Fittings can be conducted virtually, the consumer can compare product side by side, review comments on fit and in some cases purchase an assortment of bras to try on in the privacy of her own home and return the ones she doesn’t like — free of charge.”
Most importantly, Moira notes, “There are more and more options available to the consumer. I still think we have a ways to go, but we are headed in the right direction.”
#2 Lingerie News Item(s) of 2013: Controversies
Above: The Lingerie Addict notes Victoria’s Secret’s “Bright Young Things” collection controversy as one of the biggest lingerie news items of 2013.
Some of the most important events in 2013 were the ones that got us thinking, talking and, sometimes arguing with each other. Controversies such as Victoria’s Secret’s “Bright Young Things” collection or the report of Microsoft’s Smart Bra research caused heated debates online and off worldwide.
But, Cora Harrington of the Lingerie Addict says one story stood head-and-shoulders above the rest — the French study that said bras cause breast sagging.
“I don’t know if there was any other event in the lingerie world that caused such lasting controversy in 2013! While the study had some definite flaws (lack of peer review, small sample size, an homogenous sample, etc.), several of those issues are endemic to the world of bra and breast research (and honestly, a lot of scientific research in general),” said Cora. “The study itself undermined a key marketing angle of many lingerie retailers, while simultaneously agreeing with previous research on the subject. It’s still interesting to see so many insist that bras prevent or arrest breast sagging as there is still no scientific evidence at all that they do.”
TLA discussed this event here.
We hope our readers enjoyed this look back at 2013. Did you agree with some of the events? Disagree? We’d love to hear opinion about what you think the biggest news items 2013 in the comments below.