According to Allied Market Research, compressionwear and shapewear market is expected to reach US $ 5,576 million by 2022. Also, a report by Grand View Research has stated that the global shapewear market size was estimated at US $ 2.26 billion in 2018 and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 7.7 per cent from 2019 to 2025. The shapewear segment has shown good growth in India owing to rise in disposable income of consumers, latest fabric technology and change in the lifestyle of people. The segment is growing at a CAGR of 9-10 per cent in India.
The growth of this segment has also proliferated the idea of innovation. This has opened the market for new products and thoughts. Despite the growing lingerie market, there is very little that caters to the comfort of women – physically and mentally. With the purpose of changing perceptions and encouraging women to embrace shapewear, in May 2020, Kamakshi Agarwala founded Butt-Chique — an innovative lingerie brand that promises a comfortable fix when your body needs an extra boost of confidence; offering an array of products from shapewear to body tapes to nipple pasties. Whether it is during a wedding, a milestone event at work, post childbirth, weight-gain issues during PCOS, the objective is about discovering your body’s evolution and finding intimate apparel to match its needs.
“Our aim was to reinvent shapewear as a tool for versatility and empowerment. Fabric after fabric, style after style, every piece from Butt-Chique is curated with a thorough understanding of the body,” says Kamakshi.
Another prominent brand in the category, which has been innovating for long is C9 Airwear by Sangam Group. Pranal Modani, Chief Business Strategist, Sangam Group, when talking about customer expectations and how the brand innovates to cater to the rising needs, says “The most obvious and common feedback we receive from our consumers is that our products give them a toned look by defining the shape of one’s body, all thanks to the targeted power zones that our shapewear offers. We have 8 styles that include Full body shaper; Thigh Shapex; Brief shapewear; High & Low waist brief shaper; Open bust shape wear; Waist belt shaper; Thigh shapewear. Market response for us has been overwhelming if we consider our pre-pandemic growth in the category. We have grown at 100 per cent Y-o-Y since last 3 years. This is a testament of our product acceptance and right price points which has given a wider market appeal to our products”.
Customer makes a conscious choice
Evolving fashion choices and changing customer preferences have made the customers demand for easy-to-use, safe products. This according to Monali Kanakia, Founder, Shaperz has made brands more conscious of their offering. “Talking as a customer and also a user of most of my products, I would be willing to pay a higher price for quality tested products. In the category of body tape solutions, not much has changed since the pandemic but people are shifting to ‘Make in India’ products due to easy availability and better quality compared to most Chinese products. In fact, while buying shapewear, most people are concerned about the outcome. When they are buying the product, they expect to see a change in the way their body looks after putting on the product. The product has to show the desired results and keep up to its promise. Hence I would say functionality is more important”.
Pranal here adds, “The customer has become more cost-conscious post-pandemic because of lowered disposable income. We expect the situation to improve in coming times, however rising raw material prices and GST charge on apparels and garments by the Government are going to increase the price for end users in coming months. Functionality is the minimum criteria for a brand to establish before they can put the product before customers. Since day one, our goal has been to offer the best quality product to our customers at the correct price point. Because of quality/functionality issues, people are rejecting cheaper manufactured shapewear. Having our manufacturing facility in India itself, we are able to control quality and deliver the best fit and feel through our products. Indian customer has always been value conscious with majority of the market seeking shapewear in the range of Rs.400-Rs.900. So in India, a customer seeks both”.
Innovation defining a change
“Quality is the main tipping point in the Indian market and the fact that the lingerie industry is so male dominated. It is still a big taboo in the Indian market. Customers’ expectations have been growing in terms of quality and fit. We at Butt-Chique ensure that the fabric is thin, there is no rolling and women can pee whenever they want to. Plus women post-partum can use the shapewear and still be able to feed their babies. Functionality and affordability go hand-in-hand when it comes to shapewear. Since it is a layer hidden inside the garments, customers do not like to spend too much. The brand has been in work since 2019 and each product has been designed with a thorough understanding of the female body,” Kamakshi informs.
In order to gauge the customer better, she has personally visited over 150 women just to check the fittings of the shapewear samples. In order to innovate and make each product Indian size chart-friendly, every Butt-Chique was put through around 4-5 rounds of sampling and the output is what Butt-Chique shapewear is today!
Holding innovation key to the product line, Pranal also mentions, “We focus on pressure points and localised compression while using quality fabric to manufacture affordable shapewear which provides functional benefits to user. We constantly research on upcoming trends and new technologies that can be incorporated in our products which allows us to showcase fresh collections time and again for our users. To communicate this, we use POP displays, on product icons, training MBO staff for proper communication to end customer”.
Further, in agreement with others, Monali highlights, “Using the latest technology, we develop all our tapes and fashion-aids. Shaperz under KMS Medisurgi is 13485 and CE certified and we have the best R& D department. Our converting units are fully automated. We’ve always had strapless bras and pasties for most of our problems but when it comes to getting that perfect shape under your dress – there was nothing much you could do about it – Now Shaperz Breast lift tape is the answer.”
Shaperz too boasts of the ‘Made in India’ label and all their products are medically tested and will never harm your skin.