FEATURE: Behind Fantasie's luxury makeover

Award-winning fuller bust brand Fantasie has undergone a luxury makeover for AW16 to reflect the growing demand for premium larger-cup styles. In a special feature, the label’s design and marketing heads explain what retailers and consumers can expect from the rebrand.

Since launching in 1978, Fantasie has become one of the most successful larger-cup brands in the lingerie market, blazing the trail for fashionable fuller bust bras that fit.

The brand is a pioneer in its field, crafting plunge, longline, moulded, non-padded balcony and padded half-cup bras that support breasts from a D to a K cup.

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With everyday shapes and styles covered, Fantasie has recently developed premium collections that can be worn day to night, meeting a growing demand for more luxury styles.

To reflect this move, Fantasie has undergone a stylish makeover for AW16, adopting a more contemporary look, including a new logo and French navy colour palette.

Fantasie head of marketing Ann-Marie Manley explains: “Fantasie’s rebrand for AW16 really reflects the Fantasie brand as it is now, providing it with a stronger direction; it’s clear, contemporary and stylish.

“The new logo and colour palette have been applied to the entire Fantasie identity across the board, so for AW16 this will appear on all of our material we produce, including our in-store promotional kits, swing tags, hangers, look books and websites.”

Fantasie began to notice the demand for luxury styles following the introduction of Allegra, an indulgent Swiss embroidered style in AW14, and Mae, an intricate collection made with floral flocking and satin bows in SS15.

“We’ve continued to develop these styles for the brand alongside our other Fantasie collections in order to grow this new market sector,” says design and development director Jo West.

For AW16, the brand has pushed the boundaries even further, with luxurious trims and premium finishes.

“We’re also offering a greater variety of product shapes, giving the consumer more choice in co-ordinating and special pieces, from luxury Italian style briefs to stunning chemises,” adds West.

“We’ve also introduced a more premium colour palette, using jewel tones and luxurious colours, such as gold on black and gold on ivory for a more luxurious feel.

“A key new collection for AW16 is Sofia, adorned with Swiss designed, baroque-inspired embroidery in tones of luscious gold and black. This range features a stunning waspie that is fully lined and boned for a smooth silhouette. Another key collection is Marianna, which launches in emerald green with delicate lace and diamante bow trims.”

Explaining the sudden appeal for premium fuller bust lingerie, Manley says: “Consumers still want that everyday bra that gives them a great fit and support all day, which Fantasie continues to provide, but they want more flexibility from their lingerie.

“Consumers are price aware and they don’t always just want to wear the cheapest product, so they will also spend their money on something that can be worn during the evening or for a special occasion and that makes them feel extra special.”

Fantasie introduced the rebrand to retailers during international trade shows in January and February.

“The initial feedback has been fantastic, with many stating the new colour and contemporary look really suits the brand and is a perfect match for the existing direction and style of the Fantasie collections,” says Manley.

“Many of our key customers, such as our large national retailers, independent stores and online stockists, gave a great reaction to seeing the rebrand.”

Fantasie has gained a loyal consumer following over the years and is excited to find out what they make of the rebrand when it rolls into stores towards the end of 2016.

“Based upon the fantastic feedback we’ve had so far from our key accounts and stores, we’re sure this will be well received,” enthuses West.

But will these loyal customers still recognise Fantasie with its new look? “Absolutely they will,” she insists. “We’ve kept everything consumers know and love about the brand, as we did not want to alienate our customers. We’ve just gone further now by offering them more options and more special pieces.”

Some of the Fantasie collections for AW16, which use luxury lace, exclusive European fabrics, subtle embellishments and finishing touches, will retail at slightly higher price point, but the brand will continue to provide an offering of everyday stylish collections each season, as well as various basic ranges with a lower price point.

Fantasie was named the 2015 UK Lingerie Awards’ Fuller Bust Brand of the Year in January.

Retailers react to Fantasie rebrand

Claudia Walker, lingerie and hosiery buyer, House of Fraser: “Fantasie continues to be a strong-selling fuller bust lingerie brand in our stores and online. We constantly strive to provide our customers with the very best variety of product, and we believe the new direction Fantasie is taking will be well received.”

Marjorie Thomson, owner of Chantilly: “The rebrand and new luxury collections will help Fantasie to clearly stand out from the competition. I also think it will attract new customers that may have not bought the brand before. I am really impressed with the new, more luxurious looking collections, in particular the Sofia range.”



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