Six seasons since it first opened its doors at the opulent Savoy Hotel, The Lingerie Edit, London’s trade event for premium intimates brands, is still creating a buzz in the industry.
In the wake of Brexit, speculation is rife over how the leave vote could hit consumer confidence.
But this didn’t seem to put off international buyers from visiting The Lingerie Edit and stocking up on quality lingerie and swimwear last month.
While shoppers nationwide are refraining from buying big-ticket items as they brace themselves for an economic slowdown, investors are aware that the recession-proof luxury lingerie industry remains resilient, with consumers still turning to underwear as their treat purchase.
Key buyers who attended The Lingerie Edit on July 14-15 included ASOS, Brown Thomas, Fenwick Bond Street, Shop Direct, Harvey Nichols, Dolci Follie, Coco de Mer and House of Fraser.
Event organisers were especially thrilled with the international footfall, with visitors travelling from the UAE, Iceland, Romania, Moscow, Italy, Japan, China and Australia especially for the show.
Annabelle Mu’azu, founder of luxury online lingerie retailer Beautifully Undressed, explains why she attends The Lingerie Edit: “I’ve attended the show since its inception and enjoyed each one.
“The brand selection is always on point, with a fantastic mix of established and up-and-coming designers, in lingerie, loungewear and swimwear, and we’ve taken on some wonderful brands as result of viewing their collections at TLE,” she continues.
“I love the boutique feel, in the opulent Savoy Hotel and the atmosphere is always so calm and warm. It’s a wonderful meeting point too, enabling people to catch up with colleagues and see the new collections first hand.”
Lucy Litwack, managing director of London-based Coco de Mer, says she was unable to attend Mode City in Lyon this year, so she chose to view the latest lingerie collections close to home.
“I always enjoy attending The Lingerie Edit in London. This season, there seemed to be a lot more brands exhibiting and there was a real buzz to the show,” she adds.
A record 45 brands exhibited at The Lingerie Edit this season. The line-up was varied, with big names like Ultimo and Item m6, alongside new independents like Rossell England and Aima Dora showcasing their SS17 collections.
Ultimo chose to exhibit at The Lingerie Edit after a two-year hiatus from trade shows, during which time it has focused on strengthening its product offering under new leadership.
The brand presented is SS17 lingerie collection, inspired by the 1980s, alongside its continuity lines and two new shapewear collections.
Standout pieces include the Estelle removable gel balcony bra in a bright shade of purple and the Paulina OMG plunge bra featuring blush lace on a white background.
Other established brands making their TLE debut included Emma Harris, Playful Promises and Fleur of England.
Emma Harris, which was founded in Derbyshire in 2008, has mainly focused on driving its ecommerce sales and now wants to expand its presence in UK boutiques.
For SS17, the label continues to explore 1920’s and 30’s elegance. Bold style lines, enthused with Art Deco-inspired design are contrasted with soft gathers and lace inserts.
Fleur of England presented its second resortwear collection at the show after a successful launch 12 months ago.
The Resort by Fleur range has already launched in luxury boutiques such as Dolci Follie and Odyssey Boutique in the UK and at Nancy Meyer in the US, and now it’s back with exciting new colourways, prints and cover-ups for SS17.
The Wanderlust collection is inspired by luxury resort getaways like St. Lucia, where designer and founder Fleur Turner recently holidayed.
Turner also showcased her luxury lingerie collection, which has been given a sexy update this season, with ouvert briefs, directional strap details, invisible tulle and fiery red embroidery.
Meanwhile, British boudoir Playful Promises showcased its new full-figure collection, featuring briefs and suspender belts in UK sizes 18-24 and bras in sizes 38 B-G and 40-42 C-G.
Anna Sampson, Brand Manager of Playful Promises comments on her first time exhibiting: “It worked well for us to show our collections to lingerie specific buyers in a central London location.
“This kept our costs low and ensured all of the buyers were there for lingerie, as opposed to other trade shows which are more clothing-based. Our stand location was great and the environment of the Savoy was appealing.”
Returning exhibitors included Pure Chemistry, Gilda & Pearl, Bluebella, Mimi Holliday and Belle et BonBon.
Pure Chemistry, one of the many made-in-Britain brands exhibiting at the show, presented its SS17 collection, A Gentleman’s Love Story, inspired by vintage streets in London.
Commenting on returning to the show, managing director Dimple Rani Lal says: “Apart from a great location, stunning venue and buzzing atmosphere, The Lingerie Edit is definitely one of the top lingerie trade shows for us to take part in. It is well organised and everyone is really friendly and helpful.”
Fellow British brand Gilda & Pearl impressed buyers with its new luxury loungewear collection, featuring an exclusive ‘Jardin and Lillies’ print designed in collaboration with Australian photographer Harriet Clare.
The range features a long kaftan, a long slip with a cross back, a short slip, shorts and a camisole made of pure silk.
International brands were also in attendance, including ITEM m6 (Germany), MinkPink (US) and Ella Moss Swim (Canada).
National account manager for ITEM m6, Ulla Lane-Rowley, comments: “From the view as exhibitor we had some really great buying enquiries and meetings, ranging from ‘key London Department Stores’, online fashion and luxury UK independents – through to far afield as; Iceland, Moscow and Melbourne. Overall, it was another great TLE event.”
Best brand winners
The Lingerie Edit has announced the winners of its Best Brand Awards, voted for by buyers and the press.
Loveday London, the self-titled hardcore romance label, claimed the Buyers’ Best Brand Award for the fourth time in the show’s history.
Founder and director, Luisa Loveday, was surprised and thrilled to have nabbed the TLE Award again, commenting: “I’m shocked! I’m so grateful for Loveday London to have won the award again, thank you to everyone who voted for us.”
Debuting brand, Inamorata, also received recognition, with visiting buyers and press selecting the boudoir label as the Best New Brand.
Both brands will be offered a free stand at the next TLE show, as part of The Lingerie Edit’s continued efforts to support the intimates industry and new labels.