With swimwear sales representing €11.5 million in 2018, the swimwear market is fully evolving. The sector is undergoing a number of profound changes, as is the case for lingerie. Bodyfashion has been forced to reposition itself over the last few years, encouraging brands to change and adapt to this new market. The objective is to find or keep one’s place in a highly competitive and ever-changing sector. Faustine Baranowski from the Promostyl agency translates the summer 2020 trends for us.
Body positive and “to all” approaches
The trend for diversity is gaining ground. Brands have taken this on board and are now aiming to appeal to all women, through their photos and ad campaigns. This ‘to all’ approach targets women with all different types of skin, body shape and size and is designed to satisfy their requirements. Retail giant H&M has brought the message to our screens with plus-size model Jill Kortleve, who has also worked with the Ysé brand. Lingerie modelled on women with natural curves rather than the ‘perfect body’ is now increasingly common. At the other end of the scale, the highly controversial Victoria’s Secret brand continues to favour its “angels”, with their perfect, often unrealistic bodies, for catwalk shows. The body positive movement is becoming ever more popular. The show is accompanying the movement with its IFEELUNIQUE catwalk show and three ambassadors who advocate self-acceptance, wellbeing and imperfect bodies. Aged between 20 and 60, their message is for every woman. A number of brands are aiming to join the movement by presenting a carefree, joyful spirit and their own ‘girl team’. US brand Aerie was something of a pioneer in this area, featuring overweight or disabled women in their adverts to help women overcome their insecurities.
What’s the future of the swimwear and lingerie market?
Sustainable development helps brands compensate for recycling difficulties in the textile sector. Brands are increasingly interested in sustainable approaches. Mara Hoffman has aimed to be as ethical as possible since 2015, without neglecting its fashion-forward image. Other eco-responsible brands include Reformation, Natasha Tonic and Oysho. A number of brands use responsible fabrics and materials, such as fishing nets, to help alleviate plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. French brand Ysé has embraced this approach and is reusing fabric stock from previous collections for its new capsule collection. The goal is to use up residual stock and offer more accessible prices to attract a wider clientele. In the same vein, brands are increasing transparency with regard to production costs, applying fairer prices and avoiding sales throughout the year. Hand-made designs are having a major comeback with a very modern take on crochet swimwear. At the same time, we’re also seeing the appearance of a new, high-luxury niche with very elaborate swimsuits. Couture swimwear, featuring diamante and fringes, to be worn on and off the beach. The Amaio brand offers exceptional swimsuits which are also ethical.
Daring to be different
Swimsuits are still visual and impulse-based purchases. Social media are increasingly popular for establishing brand image. Instagram tags can be used to directly identify brands in posts. Ready-to-wear brands now include swimwear in their summer collections. The Rouge brand, belonging to French blogger Jeanne Damas, is a good example, as is Esquisse, which is presenting its first swimwear collection this summer. Brands such as Noo Paris and Anja Paris are also setting up an increasing number of pop-up stores to enable customers to try on swimwear, an effective way of attracting new customers, before taking the plunge.
The Promostyl agency was present at the July edition of the Unique by Mode City show.