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Lingerie labels look to gain an edge via design

Lingerie brands are ramping up the fashion element of their collections in reaction to competition from supermarket and high street own-label ranges.

Lingerie brand house Eveden, which owns the Fantasie, Freya, Goddess, Elomi and Fauve brands, has pledged to drive the fashionability of its collections as supermarkets increase market share in the lingerie sector.

Eveden has reacted to demand from its stockists for product that has a stronger focus on design and colour for spring10, to add a point of difference between their ranges and those available at cheaper prices on the high street.

Wholesale prices across the brands will remain the same despite the improved fashionability.

Eveden has 1,000 stockists in the UK and 5,000 worldwide.

Eveden chief executive Tracy Lewis said: “On Fantasie and Freya we usually have 70% fashion and 30% basics, but for spring 10 it is practically all fashion because retailers are demanding a point of difference from the high street.”

She added that the fashion offer would continue to increase in autumn 10 with more colour and embellishment and an increased amount of seasonal product.

Courtaulds, which owns the Gossard and Berlei brands, also has plans to bring more colour and design into Gossard’s autumn 10 collection, although Berlei will remain focused on comfort.

Gossard and Berlei managing director Tony Jarvis, who joined the company in August, said: “This was the route I wanted to take Gossard down anyway, but our stockists have confirmed we’re on the right track. We will definitely up the percentage of fashion and colour for autumn 10.”

He added: “It’s about perceived value. If we’re charging more than the high street, the styling has to be worth it. We’re investing more in research and development.”

However, not all lingerie brands are reacting in the same way. Panache sales director Peter Cronin said: “Demand for fashion lines slowed in the past 12 months. We’ve no intention of altering the percentages of fashion and basics in our ranges.”

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