Seismic Shifts in the Lingerie World – Podcast Interview with Ellen Lewis

by ELLEN LEWIS | Several weeks ago I was interviewed by Brandon Roe, publisher of The Fashion Consumer, a Podcast featuring experts from the fashion world offering fresh ideas and insights to better understand the ever-changing fashion consumer (www.FashionConsumer.com). Our discussion focused on the evolution of tastes and technology development that has caused fundamental shifts in the lingerie business. Brandon was interested in my perspective due to my nearly 4 decade career in the Intimate Apparel Business. Take a listen below… (or read transcript of interview/podcast HERE)

Listen to Brandon Roe’s interview with Ellen Lewis

click small box to the left below to start audio…

 

9 Discussion to this post

  1. A great Podcast! As an editor of Lingerie Magazine for the last 20 years, and as an industry expert and a consultant to many brands over here, I quite agree with a lot of what you have said because I have experienced the same at the beginning of my career. It was difficult to make the brands understand their true value and make them see out of the box and see the many opportunities that lie ahead. Truly today Lingerie scene is much more exciting and more encompassing than what it was even 15 years back.

  2. Enjoyed the interview, Ellen. I’ve found huge a difference between the Canadian lingerie consumer, whose buying patterns mimic more the European attitudes, and the US consumer. So when the brands talk about the “North American” market, I know they’re not really paying attention.

    • Ellen Lewis says:

      You are absolutely right! I am always amazed when a brand tells me how well they do in Canada with a specific style that I know won’t fly in the USA (and vice versa)

  3. Thomas G says:

    Hi Ellen, I’ve followed your blog on and off mainly to see whats new and different out there beyond the States. However, I wanted to comment as an avid shopper/collector about some of you remarks regarding shopping trends etc.

    I find it incredulous that brands would pull product from retailers just because of the amount of sales/discounting they do. Frankly, retailers like Macy’s should be applauded for their ability to adapt to a changing market place, not punished. I believe this is one of the reasons Macy’s is doing so much better than other retailers that are closing their doors completely.

    There is definitely something to be said for quality over quantity, but many of the high end brands don’t seem to understand that when it comes today’s current market (i.e. millennial’s) even that has limits. I absolutely love finding deals on high end brands like a Thistle and Spire Chemise for $40 or a Simone Perele Nightdress for $30. There are a lot of great brands out that offer premium products that many more people would love to own that can, and sales makes that possible or within reach for a larger customer base.

    As a volume product buyer at my place of work, markup is the one thing that drives me up the wall, especially since the gear we buy is mandated to go through a whole seller and then an integrator before it reaches our hands. Many times we request the product directly from an integrator that is then shipped to us without touching an integrator’s hands, yet they still expect their share of mark up despite them providing no value add to the product, and that they have no holding costs!

    I get that Amazon has rules that may not be beneficial to most brands, but if Amazon or other retailers are willing to forgo their markup, that should be their business! I don’t get this brand elitism that many of them carry that their premium products should only be enjoyed by premium clientele!

    In any case, thanks for an informative podcast!

    • Ellen Lewis says:

      Hi Thomas
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I understand your concerns. But stores like Macy’s who promote almost everyday now are teaching the consumer to wait for the next sale. This compromises margin growth for everyone. Eventually it undermines the integrity of the retailer. Just look at Nordstrom who has sustained their market position by only entertaining one big sale a season.
      As far as premium brands geared to premium buyers, it’s a market niche, elitist as it is. There’s a line in the sand at which point $margin per unit out paces volume unit sales.
      Anyway, I totally agree with you about the ridiculous number of middle men touching a product and demanding a fee. That is one positive thing about the internet: more direct to consumer.

      • Thomas G says:

        Nordstrom is a bit of a grey area. I do buy from them, but not as frequently. They do have sales more often than you give them credit for though. They just aren’t very good comparatively. Typically, I see 40% off sales at least once a quarter, and sometimes a few products at 50%.

        Where they make up for that is Nordstrom Rack. I’ve gotten a lot of good pieces from there at 60%+ off. Macy’s on the other hand doesn’t really have the relief valve.

  4. HI Ellen:

    Very informative conversation and interview about the lingerie market! Bravo…!!!!

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