True & Co., the American lingerie start-up, recently released a survey of some 2.7 million women. The results showed that four out of five women don’t wear push-up bras anymore, and instead are turning to bralettes. Moreover, as push-up bra sales dropped from 24% to 15% in a single year, the unlined bras grew to be the company’s biggest new thing.
According to the NPD Group, 41% of female millennials wear a sports bra at least once a week, compared to just 21% of females above 35. Comfort is key for the younger generation and it looks like they do not discriminate as more and more “comfy” products are coming out. Major brands are also very quick to join in on this trend and offer new products to the comfort seeking clientele. Victoria’s Secret introduced the seamless bralettes last year, Urban Outfitters offer the cotton lounge bralette by Tommy Hilfiger and that is just the tip of the lacy iceberg.
To explore this phenomenon we had a chat with Kamelia Loukipoudis, a designer with the Bra Silo Division at Delta Galil.
Where do you see this market going next?
“When it comes to the future of bras, the evolution of the bralette is the next big thing. It’s all about new techniques, new fabrics and new details on bralettes and unlined or wireless styles. We are currently working on new development – the bra/bralette hybrid. I believe it is going to revolutionize the market and offer something new and unique.”
“The traditional bralette does not offer much support – which can be difficult for some women who are more on the large side of the scale, but still need some support. Traditionally that included a hook & eye strap, a wire or other more constructed details. In the past, bralettes were all a pull over the head with minimal support, lacey or strappy pieces. The hybrid adds the support and structure of a bra with the fun and flirty details of the bralette. It is a product meant to be seen as fashionable classic, but also designed to be worn by those who need a little more support.”
How do you approach such a project as a designer?
“As designers we always think about the end customer. Who is she? How does she intend to wear this? It’s also important to think about the human body, real figures. I think that is why the hybrid style has come into existence – there was a huge demand from women who wanted to enjoy the fashionable trend, but it just didn’t fit them or it wasn’t flattering. As a result, a void was created and we decided to create the solution.”
Where do your inspirations come from?
“Inspiration comes from all around. For seamless we might be inspired by a pair of sneakers. For cut and sew we might be inspired by an Oscar gown. It can literally come from anywhere.”
How much of your personal experience is put into the design process?
“I know there is some disagreement on this topic. Some people think you should dissociate yourself from the product because it’s not about you, it’s about the customer. Others think you should always include yourself because you too are a customer. I like to think about how I would interact with a product. If I was a customer, how would I feel about it? What would I think? If I wore it, would it be uncomfortable? So I do include my personal experience, even if not as a designer.“
“We constantly stay in the know on what is trending by following social media, trend reports, celebrity culture etc. We also look at other categories like shoes, home furnishings and even new technology to see what it was that they are innovating, and we try and bring those ideas into our world of intimates.”
How is your work changing things out in the world? Do you see any impact?
“Though it might be simple, there is nothing more rewarding than making a product that a customer wants to wear. A great fitting bra can make any woman feel confident and strong. It is the back bone of her day, it could shape how she feels about herself and therefore how she acts. Seeing reviews of our products that people have purchased, worn and loved makes us all feel like we’ve achieved something.”