Frustrating is the word that perfectly defined an innerwear shopping experience in India just some years ago. Forget fashion choices, even figuring out what is right for you whilst evading the ubiquitous stares was a quest. It was an absolutely fleet-footed aff air; you either were hustled through the few insipid options laid out or had to satiate your needs with whatever the sales person claimed as the alternative options. And yes, shop attendants, you discovered, were ignorantly inept in guiding a customer on her size and fit queries.
For years, the industry as well as the women of the country yearned for some sort of a coup, which finally manifested in the form of e-commerce. The internet came as a saviour!
The impetuous also compelled the traditional retail formats to revamp and stay relevant. While sizing up this issue, and especially going through the market mapping research by Technopak, I myself was completely overwhelmed by the progress of this industry over the last few years. Innerwear is now a booming sector – with new national and international entrants and established brands expanding their portfolio in an attempt to emboss a mark. The arrival of the international brands is also a welcome phenomenon, as it is increasing the importance of the category in large format multi-brand retailers and hitherto western skewed departmental stores, as well as upping the ante on the design side. At last, sheeny straps have begun to sneak curious glimpses from racer backs and colorful thongs now gleam above svelte waistlines marking liberation from the traditional retail hegemony that treated the category just as a commodity. Even the men’s segment is also no longer the realm of the blacks and whites.
Besides on-line retail, which we study as a phenomenon, there is also tremendous activity going on in several emerging segments. The featured studies on shape wear, lounge wear and sleep wear, beachwear, kids’ innerwear, thermals, and socks, will take you on an odyssey of exploration on the opportunities brimming in the inner garment segment. Some segments are in fact being spawned by talented Indian designers as is evidenced by Nidhi Munim’s interview in this issue. We also have featured an exclusive interview with Nick Tacchi, Global Marketing Director of the famed Italian luxury lingerie brand La Perla, as he discusses their launch plans for India.
In addition, the issue also looks into the moves of major innerwear brands like Jockey, Hanes, Triumph, Amante, Bwitch, Lux, Marks & Spencer, etc., who outlines the season’s best selling trends and bet on upcoming fads.
I hope you enjoy this issue on innerwear as much as we enjoyed creating it.