Drapers speaks to lingerie buyers and designers to find out what is selling well and predict the trends that will make an impact in the new season – and once again, comfort is king.
Lisa Annand, senior lingerie buyer, Boux Avenue
Within our fashion ranges, the Odette strappy longline bra has been hugely popular and a bestseller.
Odette is a fashion-led style with strapping detail and a really pretty lace, available in a wide size range (30 to 38, and B to G cups). The soft longline creates a smoothing effect, which flatters a lot of body shapes.
Our smooth T-shirt bra was a great solutions style – it’s now available in five different shades to suit a range of skin tones.
Initially coming in black and lilac for autumn 18, we are introducing lots of new colourways for spring 19, including red, blush and white. We expect its popularity to continue thanks to the “worn to be seen” trend of styling lingerie as outerwear.
Our customers loved black, red, emerald and grape shades for autumn 18. Lace is still the most popular fabric, across a variation of shapes and styles.
We are finding that with the rise in popularity of loungewear, our customers are looking for the same comfort elements in their lingerie – they’re after soft-touch fabrics, lounge bras and bonded knickers.
Our new Emmeline bra, which launches this spring, places a great deal of focus on everyday comfort, but with a luxe look and feel.
Julia Hayward, lingerie buying manager, Fenwick
The best-performing lingerie and loungewear brands at Fenwick for autumn 18 were Calvin Klein, Wacoal and Maison Lejaby. All three work well for the Fenwick customer for a different reason. A contemporary brand such as Calvin Klein sells well because it has appeal across all nine of our stores, and the loungewear sells particularly well.
Wacoal performs well, as it is beautifully designed, fits well and comes in great colours.
Maison Lejaby, however, is all about fine lingerie with beautiful lace and detailing. This aesthetic really resonates with the Fenwick customer.
In terms of styles we had success with underwired plunges, cropped tops and non-wired, lace triangles. Cotton and lace were popular for autumn and will continue to be for spring. Muted tones and colours proved popular, and grey, green, burgundy, khaki and navy were prevalent in the form of two-tone designs rather than print.
For spring 19, the plunge and zero-feel shapes will be big for Fenwick this season, and we will continue to see the romantic, delicate, lacy aesthetic working well for us.
Amy Fisher, lingerie buyer, John Lewis
The bestselling bra in the John Lewis assortment is the Eleanor – it has been in the range for two years. Priced at £25, it is a wired, padded, moulded-cup with a delicate lace wing that is perfect as an everyday T-shirt bra. It is available in an A to FF cup. The style is currently selling 38% more compared with this time last year.
In terms of styles and shapes that work, we are seeing a big move to comfort product: non-wired and super-soft fabrications, such as Sloggi Zero Feel and Chantelle soft stretch.
We believe seam-free and comfort products will continue to grow in popularity for spring 19, as well as the importance of offering an inclusive range to suit all shapes and sizes, as well as skin colours.
Soozie Jenkinson, head of design for lingerie and sleepwear, Marks & Spencer
The three most popular bra shapes in our ranges are the full cup, the balcony and the plunge. Strapless bras performed well at Christmas. Our skin tone lingerie was popular in bras and knickers.
The bestsellers from autumn 18 include our Flexifit range, Sumptuously Soft T-shirt bras, Rosie for Autograph lingerie and, of course, bralettes.
These styles are popular everyday essentials, combining style, quality, comfort and support. We design and develop these ranges to be inclusive to as many women as possible. They are also all developed to be machine washable, even the silk, so are easy to care for.
There are lots of new ranges for spring 19 that we’re excited about. We’ve just launched a Smoothlines Range which plays into the trend towards glossy, shiny fabrics. This lingerie is designed to create a smooth and sleek silhouette with clever bra wing styling, flat modern laces and minimal elastics.
Knickers are also in the spotlight for spring 19, and we are launching new seasonal colours and fun, playful designs. Our new knicker shape, the Miami, also launches this season. Inspired by the bikinis worn on the beaches of Miami, which I saw on a recent holiday, this flattering high-cut silhouette has a dipped-front waist, designed to create a leg-lengthening effect.
Johanna Bolhoven, founder, See-Saw Lingerie in Hale
Marie Jo, Fantasie and Hanro were our most popular brands for autumn 18. We have a loyal following for all three and the sophisticated styles and effortless fit [of the autumn 18 collections] were a winning combination.
Black, gold and red were popular colour choices, and in particular customers were drawn to lingerie with luxurious and romantic detailing such as delicate lace, embroidery trimmed with silvery touches, and small jewels, all of which were all in abundance across the collections.
The Pantone Colour Institute announced “living coral” as their colour of the year 2019 and this trend has filtered down to the lingerie industry. For spring 19 we’re seeing lots of powdery and sugary pinks, cool corals and elegant neutrals, which we think will be popular.
Pink is a calming colour associated with love, kindness and femininity. Paired with coral, a hint of vibrant neon – another key fashion trend for next season – and lashings of white, it makes for a super-chic and modern-yet-fun look we think our customers will love.
Olivia Wilson, head of design, Curvy Kate
Our best-performing styles for autumn 18 were the Dragonfly plunge bra, Victory Amore balcony bra, Victory Wine burgundy balcony bra, and the Poppy floral and lace balcony bra.
These styles enable women with a fuller bust – up to a K cup – to access supportive shapes and styles without compromising on a fashionable aesthetic.
In terms of colours, burgundy red worked well in autumn. Styles with a side-support panel that supports the breast and creates a flattering silhouette were also popular.
For spring 19 we have a new category launching up to a 46 back size, that is specifically designed for the fuller figure. The DelightFull [page lead image] and BlissFull styles offer a contoured fit with features that will enable bras to be worn more comfortably for longer.
Overall, we see a trend towards added comfort in the new season. Our focus is on making women feel fabulous about their curves and we see the body-confidence message continuing to grow.
The spring 19 collection is centred around youthful sophistication, in both everyday and occasion pieces, always with a sprinkle of fun in the bold colour, print and detailing.
Our Scantilly spring 19 collection includes with four new style groups, including a barely there “Censored” group, inspired by the black censorship strip that chastens images in the media.