Editor’s letter: How is fast fashion affecting lingerie?

Lingerie Insight editor Sarah Clarke.

The rise and rise of the underwear as outerwear trend has put lingerie on the fashion map over the last two years.

Directional brands like Bluebella, Bordelle, Gilda & Pearl and Something Wicked have reaped the benefits of this trend, with many stockists buying into their collections in recent months.

Retailers like Very and John Lewis have also recorded a growth in branded lingerie sales, driven by the explosion of fashionable lingerie that is worn to be seen.

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As we enter a new trading season, this trend is unlikely to fizzle out anytime soon, with many brands continuing to offer versatile garments that can be worn everyday, for any occasion.

But with many high street retailers like & Other Stories and H&M developing their own fashionable collections in double quick time, how long will it be until quality, slow fashion brands start to suffer the consequences?

The good news is that for now, fast fashion is continuing to complement investment pieces such as high quality lingerie, a retail expert told Lingerie Insight.

While fast fashion has shifted towards quick ‘must have’ purchases from the red carpet, heavily impacting the clothing sector, branded lingerie remains largely unaffected, according to Ian Tomlinson, CEO of RetailStore, a multi-channel retail system powered by Cybertill.

“Fast fashion often means lower-quality items that will be worn only a handful of times. However, lingerie can simply not be substituted, therefore the need to purchase good quality, trusted and branded lingerie remains on the large part unaffected,” explained Tomlinson.

The CEO said that being present on multiple channels plays a huge role in lingerie retailing as it allows brands to understand new trends, adapt to styles and changes in purchasing habits quickly through a unified customer experience.

“As long as brands are fully aware of the latest trends in the retail industry by securing their position through an integrated omni-channel customer experience, the shift in consumer purchasing will only continue to benefit lingerie and accessory brands,” he added.

Despite these positive remarks, many lingerie brands, including Lara Intimates, believe that fast fashion is disconnecting women away from quality intimate apparel.

Some brands, who spend 18 months crafting a quality lingerie collection, may argue that they are unable to respond to new trends as quickly as they’d like.

What do you think of these remarks? Please leave your comments below.

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