Sportive underwear is catapulting lingerie sales and reshaping the market as more women seek comfort and flexibility in a post pandemic world.
Lingerie houses have seen a change in buyer behaviour with more customers seeking comfort, quality and flexibility from their undergarments over appearance alone.
Le Salon de la Lingerie spoke to three companies within the industry about the boom of sportive lingerie and how they are harnessing the trend.
Enna Moda expanded its sportive lingerie collection and adapted its colour palettes and designs, after noticing a rise in demand.
CEO Harun Ozdemir shared interesting insights from the company’s research into changing buyer behaviours and what this means for the industry and his business which operates consumer sales, global distributors and white label sales.
« Customers’ requirements have changed due to the pandemic », he explained.
Before, people had to look their professional best to go to work and attend meetings in person.
Now, things have changed entirely with people working from home and making video calls instead.
So customers want something comfortable. We are also seeing demand for affordable luxury – products that are not too cheap or expensive but somewhere in between which are durable and of good quality.
« Another new trend to emerge is the demand for multifunctional clothing and lingerie that people can wear whether they are active outside or relaxing indoors », Mr Ozdemir highlighted.
« We asked women of different body shapes including very slim, plus size and tall for their feedback and found that they want something soft, very durable and flexible so you can do any activity while wearing it, from running to cycling to relaxing. They no longer want to wear multiple bras for different activities during the day. Instead, they want to have shape, feel powerful and feel comfortable in the same bra », he said.
« Buying behaviour around colour – one of the main reasons why people choose a product – has also changed. Before the pandemic, black was one of the most popular selling colours whereas now it is khaki green. Perhaps this is because it is linked to nature and plants. »
Mr Ozdemir said one of the company’s white label clients in Portugal saw sales triple during the pandemic for sportswear and lingerie for cyclists. Enna Mode is also reacting to the boom with plans to launch more wearable sports accessories and undergarments plus another seven colours of sports bra.
« Some people have gained weight during the lockdown and therefore everybody wants to be in shape and do sports. While others wanted to use the lockdowns to get fit and escape in nature,” he continued. “Companies need to respond to customer demand ».
« We can also see a big shift for more sustainable eco-friendly products, especially among the younger generation aged between 18 to 25. People are also looking for a good quality product they can use for longer ».
Lingerie house Simone Pérèle also noticed how many people were embracing sports during the pandemic and launched its new sportive lingerie collection – branching out into an entirely new market sector.
Digital marketing manager Marion Redelsperger explained : « The launch was truly a success. We started this in 2020 during the pandemic, as we noticed how many people were enthusiastic about doing sport at home ».
« Today, the trend is still going well in France as well as in Australia and the United States. Facing such a great outcome, we even developed our line and now we can offer two sports bras, panties, and legging. All in two different colours »
Ms Redelsperger said that assisting women during their workouts “simply came naturally” for the lingerie boutique.
« We wanted to be even more dynamic and break new grounds. Designing a sports line came with great innovation for our company. It meant to enter a new market sector and reach a new customer category », she added.
« To launch this sport style, we partnered with Lucile Woodward, a famous health and fitness coach. Working with our corset-making savoir-faire and her fitness experience, we succeeded in creating a technical, efficient but also feminine and fashionable product.. »
« Indeed, the product offers proper support during workouts and presents beautiful details such as a lively lace in the back and lurex patterns »
The change has also inspired more niche lingerie designers and retailers including Célisette, offering menstrual underwear and sportswear.
Founder Celine Samama commented: « We are in a period where we are looking for comfort and freedom from constraints in all areas, so it is quite logical that this also concerns sport. Comfort and freedom also applies to lingerie adapted to sporting practices ».
Célisette has reacted to this trend with the launch of its menstrual swimsuits that allow swimming, even during menstruation. The new range is a success and has become one of the most popular products among customers, developed in collaboration with French athletes.
Ms Samama added: « This new category of menstrual products has freed women up in their practice of sport and has necessarily developed the lingerie market. It was time to bring solutions! »