In the sector of lingerie for men, targeting women is crucial because purchases are often prescribed or carried out by them. For brands, the issue is difficult because they have to talk to both men and women.
In 2013, the Aubade brand introduced a new strategy to conquer the male audience. « In 2003, we launched a menswear collection, but after the takeover by the Calida Group in 2005, the strategy was focused on retail development, Strengthening product was then used to serve our feminine universe. (…) Today, the women’s collection plan and the network (fifty shops) have reached a certain maturity, we can tackle the men’s market, and even more interesting since it is stable « said Claire Masson, brand manager. (1)
A survey published in January 2012 by Kantar Worldpanel for The International Lingerie Salon in Paris analyses hot consumers trends relating to underwear. It reveals, in particular, that in regard to seduction, men and women are far from having the same perception on lingerie. Let’s take a look at these gender differences in relation to underwear.
Less thongs, more comfort
In the big match between girdle and thong, the girdle amazingly wins. The survey shows that women buy thongs less than in the past. The thong simply isn’t fashionable anymore: between 2008 and 2011, purchases of thongs declined from 30 to 25%. On the other hand, shapewear could be the new brands’ spearhead. The girdle and high-waisted briefs are quickly regaining ground: 1 woman in 4 has one and 50% of women consider them to be practical buys, helping them to appear more slim or purchases which are fashionable again.
Created in 1968, the swimwear brand Erès has always been proud of being different to other swimwear manufacturers: the brand produces luxury, elegant, perennially stylish and impeccably cut swimming costumes and bikinis, which enhance the shape of women’s bodies and are seen as a feminine rite of passage.
The brand’s founder, Irène Leroux, invented a concept that a lot of people believed was doomed to failure: a swimwear shop open all year round. Back then, the majority of women purchased their swimwear while on holiday, without really thinking about whether the cut of the garment was appropriate for their body shape. « At the time, when people were wrapped up in their winter coats and they passed in front of the shop window and saw my swimming costumes with red and white Tahitian prints, they thought I was crazy. I had the idea as a result of the Brazilian jet set passing through Paris: the women bought their swimwear in September because summer in South America only began in October, » explains the designer to Les Echos newspaper. With Erès, wealthy Parisians finally had a place where they could choose a swimming costume to flatter their body before heading off to exotic destinations.
Thanks to Laëtitia Schlumberger, an age-old fantasy is now possible: she has created Dement, a collection of magnetic underwear that men can ferociously rip off… without causing any damage. Dement’s lingerie is quite simply magnetic!
Women have reason to celebrate: from now on, they can surprise men with underwear that’s both sexy and fun: gone are the days of struggling to unfasten a bra or clumsily slipping off a pair of pants. This underwear, attached through an invisible magnetic system, can be ripped off with no consequences to the garments.
What led you to develop this range of lingerie for women who have had breast cancer?
Bérengère Bachellerie: Initially, it was a meeting with a sick young woman who adored lingerie who was angry to only find « special » underwear, purchased in orthopedic stores. I then met many others who expressed their feelings of damaged femininity, and their relationship with their chest.
They spoke of their difficulties of finding and offering lingerie that resembles them, they told us that, « before anything else, we are women. »
Passionate about lingerie and emotional as the women in these exchanges, I wanted to support them and to create a brand taking care of breasts, without sacrificing the pleasures of lingerie.
QualiQuanti led a study of 200 women, aged 13 to 30, about their experiences with thongs. There are many different types of attitudes when it comes to thongs: some wear them all the time, some never, and some change depending on the outift.
From being an unassuming completion to an outfit, or in a sexier version, there are an infinite amount of designs and colors to choose from.
A lot of women wear them to feel sexier when going out, and many expressed liking the femininity it brought them. However, there are other women for which thongs are vulgar, so opinions vary wildly depending on a person’s demographics.
For years, the Japanese have been crazy about Wacoal, a maker of fine and colourful lingerie. Through its new, surprising advertising campaign, launched in February 2011 and named Wacoal Lalan (short, innovative choreographies performed by models in underwear), the brand has created a lot of buzz on the Internet and is finally showing its face to European consumers.
Featuring dancers who are Japanese models, these short video clips aren’t bursting with sensuality like Aubade’s adverts, neither are they filled with unbridled eroticism or ample chests. There’s no sense of perfection either, as is found with the models at Wonderbra or Victoria’s Secret. What then has made these unlikely dances such a success?
Yes, the underwear on show is beautiful but more than that, Wacoal has based its campaign on the creation of a childlike universe: its site is an array of shades of pink, and its original, fanciful choreographies appeal to the little girl that exists in all lingerie consumers, the one who wants to dress up in tutus… reminiscence works, visibly.
Almost 80% of women wear stockings or tights regularly, but less than half think that there’s something erotic about them; apparently for men, there is: 77% think that the sex appeal of tights is underused by women.
There is, still an element of desireability for women: women who wear stockings primarily wear them to attract mens’ gaze, and less often just because they look good or make them feel sexy.
In terms of colors, though, both sexes agree: the sexiest are black tights, with colored stockings falling largely out of favor with both men and women.
To read more in detail about the survey, head on over to the French version of the article.