The London Lowdown: Top Trends for AW20 at INDX
By HELEN MASTERS
Despite the worst gales and floods we have seen all winter, the lingerie industry came out in force for the biggest UK intimate apparel trade show in the calendar – INDX.
I braved my own way through the adverse weather, arriving 2 hours late thanks to delayed trains , and I have to say I was delighted that I did – once again this fabulous show proved how our industry is now stronger than ever – after weathering a fair few storms of our own in the last few years.
With Brexit distractions now behind us, and the foremost UK lingerie trade show bigger and better than ever, it feels like the British lingerie industry is on the up – with a wealth of innovative and exciting brands and trends that put on a fabulous display.
We read all the time about the key trends driving global lingerie growth – sustainability, body positivity, fuller figure brands, comfort as the new sexy, and the growth of both emerging markets and of the athleisure, loungewear and legwear categories – and INDX showed that those are not just trends on paper – they are living, breathing and they are indeed driving growth across the industry.
Here’s my take on how the top global trends are being translated for the UK lingerie buyer, straight from the London Lingerie scene…
Sustainability hits the Mainstream From beautiful bamboo nightwear courtesy of Pretty You London to recyclable bras from industry stalwart After Eden, sustainability is no longer the preserve of the millennials – it has hit the mainstream and across the industry, brands have clearly realized that it simply cannot be ignored. Body Positivity is in Full Swing. The winners in today’s market are certainly those brands that recognize the diversity of body shapes that the industry needs to cater for. At a show that prides itself of the high amount of orders written by buyers on the spot, the stands with the greatest attendance were without a doubt the fuller figure brands.And in a world that has increasingly felt dominated by the bigger names due to buyers playing it safe in the last few years, it was fabulous to see the continued takeover of the Polish brands. Both Corin and Krisline excel in this market, offering product that is gorgeous, perfectly fitting and affordable. Krisline’s debut of the first ever S cup bra to the UK market at the INDX show, proves that wow lingerie can at the same time be unashamedly full figure and yet again that emerging markets are the engine of growth.
Elsewhere the body positivity trend manifested itself in probably the most impressive range of post breast cancer bras that I have ever seen at a British trade show. With breast cancer diagnoses and preventative surgery on the up, as well as the huge increase in demand for post breast cancer bra fitting courses that I have seen myself from clients, this is an industry on the increase. I know from my own clients and my post cancer bra fitting models that even today women struggle to find decent bras after breast cancer so I was delighted to see a plethora of pretty, fashion forward styles from the likes of Amoena, Anita and Royce.The good news is the size range is expanding all the time. What’s more, for retailers and shoppers wanting to support the cause, I spotted a great innovation from Cancer Research UK – a soft and sumptuous post-surgery cushion – specifically designed and shaped to offer comfort and protection under the arm and breast after mastectomy and lumpectomy surgery, with a satin ribbon that can be tied over the shoulder and adjusted for comfort. A great way to support Cancer Research. Comfort Continues to be King The focus on comfort first continues to go from strength to strength with a further explosion in the range of non-wired bra styles now available. Fuller figure brands are now well on board with the bralette trend and I saw some fabulous examples of fuller figure non-wired bras from brands such as Parfait.Nightwear, swimwear and legwear to get Noticed – with everything from funky fruit to moody moonlight print emblazoned nightwear from Mia Amore to brilliantly bold legwear and acid bright swimwear from newcomer Sahara, these categories continue to enhance the intimate apparel offer and excite the buyer.
The Colors of the Moment… And of course no review of the upcoming season would be complete without a mention of the AW20 color palette – bursting with berry shades, contrasting with blue in every hue , the color palette for AW20 is prefect for the winter buyer as these examples from Simone Perele, Parfait, Lou, Pour Moi,and Louisa Bracq show. Roll on the autumn!
But who stole the show?
My top prize goes to Pour Moi – whose takeover of the UK lingerie world continues – so much so that they are my Hot Brand of the Moment (see below.) I was one of the first stockists of this brand in the UK many moons ago and it is amazing to see how far it has come – now boasting not only lingerie, but swimwear, leisure wear, nightwear, hosiery and the owner of big name brands such as Lepel – this is a business that shows UK lingerie at its best.
All in all, INDX AW20 was a delight – despite the weather – so much so, I can’t wait to see what’s in my Xmas stocking for 2020!
Helen’s ‘Hot List’
Hot UK Brand – Pour Moi
Chosen for stealing the show at the recent INDX AW20 previews, Pour Moi is a perfect example of the strength of the British lingerie industry. Having grown from a small unknown lingerie brand just a few years ago to a dominant force in the industry today boasting lingerie, swimwear, nightwear, legwear and leisure wear and now the home of some well-established big name brands, this really is one to watch. Check it out at pourmoi.co.uk
Hot UK Retailer – SOS Seeds of Success
This Derbyshire based fashion and lingerie stylist is leading the way in the one to one bra fitting and styling niche. With a private studio in a relaxing rural setting, a top to toe makeover service offering curated collections of both outerwear and underwear, Seeds of Success is a must-visit.
Check it out now at SOS LINGERIE – Seeds of Success