Lingerie Market Boom: What the US $ 4bn Indian lingerie industry looks like

by Apparel Resources

19-December-2019  |  14 mins read

Lingerie

The lingerie market has evolved fast in the past 5 years. Starting as a necessity, it has now become a style statement. This has given the brands an opportunity to play with designs, cuts, colours, styles, etc. How the market is evolving? What is driving this growth? What are the trends picking up in the market? AOI explores answers to these much-anticipated questions…

26 AO India|September 1-15, 2019Lingerie has finally come out of the closet. It is no longer considered a hush-hush segment and has attracted a large number of women openly demanding for the most attractive and innovative pieces with uber confidence. This has also given the brands an opportunity to play with designs, cuts, colours, styles, etc.

According to a Technopak report, the Indian lingerie market is growing at 22 per cent per annum and is projected to reach US $ 9 billion in next four years. Taking a cue from the growing industry, actress Sunny Leone recently launched her innerwear brand ‘Infamous by Starstruck’. Leone says, “I’m really excited to launch ‘Infamous by Starstruck’. Infamous is for all kinds of women from all around the world.

”Seeing lingerie retail boom rapidly, French lingerie and beachwear brand Aubade has also entered the Indian market through India Intimate Fashion Week’s business subsidiary ‘Candy Shop’, a brand that helps premium Indian and international intimate fashion brands.

Gregory GoHILL, Country Head and CEO, Aubade says, “We are happy to introduce our lines in the wonderful Indian market. It is such an opportunity to share the great IIFW platform and its marvellous team.

”Commenting on the association, Niraj Jawanjal, Founder, IIFW and Candy Shop India corroborates,“Intimate fashionwear is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Understanding the current market scenario for the Indian intimate fashion sector, there was a need for a premium and designer lingerie that needed to be plugged in and fulfilled.”

Evolving segment

Akhil Srivastava, Managing Director, PARFAIT India
Akhil Srivastava, Managing Director, PARFAIT India

Indian lingerie market has moved from the cluttered segment of the industry to become a much-organised sector. “Lingerie market has come a long way from being considered as an apparel sub-category in the earlier days. With the rise in the purchasing power, there has been a subsequent rise in the demand for bralettes, activewear, resortwear and daily intimatewear,” says Akhil Srivastava, Managing Director of PARFAIT India.

Pankaj Vermani, Founder & CEO, Clovia
Pankaj Vermani, Founder & CEO, Clovia

The current US $ 4 billion market is still so nascent that the top 10 brands put together are not even addressing 8 per cent of the overall market. It’s a market with enormous potential, waiting to be tapped. While the apparel market is growing at 8-9 per cent CAGR, lingerie is pegged to grow anywhere between 15-22 per cent annually,” asserts Pankaj Vermani, Founder & CEO, Clovia.

Amisha Jain, CEO, Zivame
Amisha Jain, CEO, Zivame

“Traditionally, lingerie shopping was not a pleasant buying experience for women. Conversations around the category used to take place in hushed tones, but there is a lot more dialogue today. Women are no longer shy in expressing their opinions on a category that forms an essential part of their wardrobe,” says Amisha Jain, CEO, Zivame.

The consumer has evolved and is now discerning and aspirational. She now has a higher purchasing power; her per capita spending has doubled over the last 7 years.

28 AO India|September 1-15, 2019She is now more educated and aware about the category. There are significant tailwinds favouring this category from a macro-perspective currently.

“Innovation is at the core of everything we do and have brought in exciting developments and changes to a hitherto basic category. We are continuously engaging with our consumer to understand her changing lifestyle and intimate needs. Taking a cue from her evolving needs, we have developed several products to deliver on our promise of quality, comfort and fit. Each woman is different, and we are looking to deliver products that she can choose from to solve her intimate needs for various outfits, occasions and moods,” avers Amisha.

Sharing a few examples, she says that True Curv Collection is a special crafted range of bras, aimed at curvier women for D+ cups, going up to 44E. These are highly technical bras providing additional lift, support and seamless coverage. The Miracle bra is a 24×7 bra, which seamlessly transitions from a day to a comfortable night bra, and is also a super-light product. The Marshmallow bra is the ultimate T-shirt bra with super soft cups (touch it to believe it) and gives a seamless look on the outerwear; it is a wardrobe must-have.

Amisha further adds that these products are a testament of her company’s relentless focus on innovation and its promise to solve the intimate needs of women while staying on trend.

Challenges

Historically, lingerie has been the ‘unmentionable’ category, characterised by lack of conversations around it. Our data shows that more than 80 per cent of women are unaware of their correct size.

Online lingerie brands like Zivame have revolutionised the way lingerie is purchased in India. The earlierun comfortable, impersonal buying experiences at hosiery shops is transforming to a pleasant shopping experience in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.

Earlier, there was little to no conversation around the lingerie category. “Zivame was a catalyst in bringing the conversations out to the forefront. We were the first brand to say the word ‘Bra’ on National Television. Our ‘Salesman wali bra’, ‘Fit for all’ and ‘Pair it right’ campaigns struck a chord with women and have been category shapers,” Amisha states.

“We are a digital first company and given our DNA, a large share of our voice is digital in nature and hence technology is a very important enabler for us. Lingerie is a category where size and fit matter the most to a woman and through data and technology, we are intelligently leading the customers to buy the right size and the right fit through our tech solutions like ‘Fit Code’. We are also working on hyper personalisation in terms of offering the right style, size and fit as per the body type and the price point they want to buy,” she adds.

“Our mission is to be the ‘destination for every woman’s intimatewear needs’. Each woman is unique, has her own way and her own style, and Zivame wants to be the brand she resonates with,” states Amisha.“While developing our product suite, we make sure we have sufficient frames, styles and sizes to suit all body types. We currently have over 3,000 styles and 50+ sizes available for our consumers. We believe that a woman shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a bra which forms an essential part of her wardrobe. We make sure we price our products so as to deliver a great product at the right value,” Amisha adds.

VM and retail design

Retail design and VM are an integral part of success of any stores. “At Zivame, the customer is at the nerve centre of everything we do; it is our endeavour to provide her with an unparalleled and comfortable shopping experience. A well designed retail space is essential to ensure that the shopping environment is warm and welcoming. It makes her feel comfortable to browse and interact,” CEO of Zivame says.

Good VM aids in unassisted shopping, which means that the customer can privately browse the category herself. As per Amisha, through Zivame’s retail design and VM, it looks at giving its customers a personalised and exceptional shopping experience.

“Retail design and VM are of utmost significance for every brand in offline retail as they attract the customer to the store. All of Clovia’s retail stores are in high street markets. It’s even more important for us to attract customers who are already in the market, to visit our store. Hence an attractive VM and show window play a huge role. Our stores are pretty with inviting colours and are manned by only female staff. We take these efforts to ensure our customers feel welcome and comfortable at the store,” says Vermani.

Plus-size

India is a favourable market for plus-size lingerie. The brands are increasing their offerings in plus-size category. “Indian market has an immense potential for the plus- size brands as the size inclusivity industry is becoming more global to adhere to the customer needs. The struggle to find right fit and styles for the plus-size women, made way for the plus-size lingerie brands in India. With a female population of about 48 per cent, India is a land to different shapes and sizes which makes it imperative for a market like this to have plus-size brands who can cater to a particular segment of the population,” says Akhil adding, “We aim at serving plus-size women aged between 18 to 50 years with band size of 30 to 44 and cup size of D to K. Our products range from Rs. 1,599 to Rs. 2,499.

”Speaking about the plus-size categories offered by Zivame, Amisha briefs that the brand’s True Curv collection was launched in 2014 with a range of 40+ sizes when no other brand in India catered to that range. The brand realised there was a huge gap in the market for sizes in this category as the largest size sold was a 38D and the lingerie consumers were constantly struggling to find the right fit and size. Zivame was the first Indian online lingerie brand to fill this gap and focused on engineering the True Curv collection specially designed for curvy women.

Talking about the challenges of plus-size, Amisha opines, “With breakthrough engineering, support and design, we have launched various products like super support, sag lift and minimisers. The biggest challenge is to make the consumer aware about these products and their functional benefits. We have put up a large amount of video and blog content to raise awareness about these products.” The company offers sizes varying from 32D to 44E.

Road ahead

Talking about the expansion plans, Pankaj says, “In the next 5 years, Clovia intends to be the largest lingerie brand in India. The company is planning to open 75 stores by 2021.

“Currently, we have 34 stores, and we are looking to expand to 60+ in a years’ time along with 800+ MBOs. Our constant endeavour is to provide the customer a seamless shopping experience and serve her through her channel of choice,” says Amisha.

 

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