The Eveden lingerie brand name is to disappear after nearly 100 years as part of a restructure of global group Wacoal.
Wacoal bought Eveden in 2012 and formed Walcoal Eveden. From January 2015, the Wacoal Eveden name will be dropped and merged into the newly-created Wacoal Europe, which will also include Wacoal France. There will be no job losses or changes to personnel as a resul of the merger.
The restructure is aimed at introducing greater alignment across Wacoal Europe’s international territories and paves the way for it to start selling its sub-brands in every territory it operates in, meaning each territory will see an expansion to its current product offer.
For example, the US and UK largely have only Wacoal America brands - including Freya, Fantasie and b.tempt’d - which tend to be in the basic category, while continental European territories receive the luxury collections but not the basics.
UK chief executive Tracy Lewis described the dropping of the Eveden brand, which first launched in 1920, as “symbolic”.
The restructure and a renewed focus on product development is expected to drive growth across “the western hemisphere” to a point where it could compete with the Asian side of the business. Some 56% of Wacoal Holdings’ turnover comes from Asia (excluding China), compared with 20% from the US, 13% from Europe and 9% from China.
“This new collection incorporating US and European-designed product will offer the consumer a much wider choice,” Lewis said, though she was unable to give specifics beyond saying it would be “much more extensive”.
“In the past it has been quite separate,” she added. “While we recognise the needs of consumers throughout Europe and the rest of the world are a bit different, we know that they might want everyday product as well as that bit of luxury, so we should give them both options.”
Having kept the past 18 months of development under wraps, the sales team will now go out to stockists to explain the changes and new product lines.
“Now it’s all about letting people know that we are giving them a greater offer, much more product choice, but still with the same values that Wacoal product have in terms of product and fit.”
Lewis said she hoped Wacoal would extend into new stockists as a result of the bolstered collection in the UK and Europe.
“Our vision is that we should equalise sales from East and West. That has long been the objective – now we are just giving it a leg up.”