Parfait Lingerie Enthralls at Indian Intimate Fashion Week
Last month, all-embracing lingerie leader Parfait took part in Indian Intimate Fashion Week (IIFW) with a first of its kind plus-sized fashion show. This was a pioneering event for a country where lingerie is a taboo subject. The runway show, which featured the brand’s Spring/Summer 2019 styles and was headlined by the sensational Bollywood star Zareen Khan, helped to build awareness on the topic and spread the message of size-inclusivity.
Boo the Taboo
In India, “to talk about lingerie is a taboo,” says Ankita Soni, the Indian General Brand Manager of Parfait. Lingerie itself is often referred to as the more demure “innerwear,” rather than even the technical “bra.”
Indian Intimate Fashion Week is willing to tackle both the education and the stigma around lingerie in India. Previous years themes included “Boo the Taboo.” While lingerie may not be the only category – resort wear, jewelry and swimwear are also included, the event aims to bring brands together to have an open dialogue, whether global or local, emerging or established.
India is struggling with sizes. Sizes are missing, which has created a huge opportunity and potential for plus size lingerie.”
Parfait’s goal in the Indian market is to “encourage women to feel empowered and be open to showcase their bodies, as there is no definition of a perfect or flawless body,” says Ankita. This event, and the brand’s upcoming brick and mortar stores, will be there to arm women in India with the means and education to get the most comfortable fit, she adds.
While the Indian market may be a challenge with many traditional reservations regionally around lingerie, the fuller bust segment is “underserved and widely unrecognized by existing brands,” says Ankita. “India is struggling with sizes. Sizes are missing, which has created a huge opportunity and potential for plus-size lingerie and our customers are expecting fashion and comfort in these sizes.”
Parfait looks to bring both comfort and fashion to the fuller bust range (30D-44KK). Their Spring/Summer 2019 range is launching in India with many of their core styles, including Sandrine, Dalis and Wendy.
Education is an important part of Parfait’s Indian launch. Not only is the brand helping Indian women understand why it’s important to have a good quality bra, but is also helping them find their correct size since many women have not had the ability to do this before.
Ankita says the catwalk at the event was much needed to showcase the brand’s real products on real plus size women. Khan worked with Parfait in the lead up to the event as well as walking the catwalk herself, and has helped support all the “beautiful and bold plus-sized women” through her own her social media channels. While Khan herself was plus sized when she was younger, Parfait made the choice to partner with her now because of her positive messages around body image in India – particularly her stance that “every woman no matter how she looks or weighs is beautiful.”
Size-inclusive runways are still not the norm in India, so for Parfait every step of this process has been special and unique, from auditions to fitting and rehearsals. For those in the audience at IIFW, it was a revelation for many to see “real life women wearing lingerie not only walking the ramp but also enjoying the walk by showing their dance moves,” says Ankita. The women walking the runway were not hidden by accessories or props and still owned the moment, as well the attention of the crowd, she adds.
Parfait’s wish to empower plus-size women has only just begun to blossom and will hopefully continue to grow in 2019 with their stores in India and further education around well-fitting undergarments for the plus-size market.