As part of a wider industry review, we interviewed top lingerie buyers to discover their take on the biggest trends of 2016, the key milestones they faced over the last 12 months and their predictions for 2017.
Over the coming days, we’ll publish a Q&A with a different retailer, from Coco de Mer to House of Fraser.
Figleaves head of buying Jenni Burt was first up, and Part Two features Bravissimo product director, Laura Martino.
What were the biggest lingerie retail trends of 2016?
The athleisure trend, which was obvious on the UK high street when Selfridges opened its Body Studio on Oxford Street.
What do these trends tell us about the future retail landscape in the UK?
Customers of all shapes and sizes are being more active and taking care of their bodies, and wellness is now very much the norm and part of daily life. I think the retail environment will reflect this.
What role has the intimate apparel industry played in shifting the landscape?
I think it’s played a huge role, with sportswear bras being our biggest growth area this year, and this is not looking to slow down.
What were your proudest moments of 2016?
Opening our new Birmingham Store and Liverpool Store to showcase our new look and feel, and welcoming new Bravissimo customers to our doors.
What are your plans for the New Year?
We plan to open more stores and relaunch our website. We’ll also be introducing a sportwear clothing offering and launching new lingerie brands online and in store for the first time.
Who are the intimate apparel brands to watch in 2017?
I could list several brands that I think will make an impact next year as each one is doing something exciting, so we will have to wait and see, but we have lots planned for our own label Bravissimo, so I suppose I should say us!
What trends to you predict for AW17?
Bralettes will continue to be on trend, along with non-padded bras. We also expect more brands to launch a range of skin tones and, of course, sportswear will continue to do well.