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Lingerie Autumn 09

Bright colours were embraced by lingerie brands and classic staples remained popular, while indies welcomed improved marketing support from brands

For an autumn season, it was a pleasant surprise to see such bright bursts of colour across lingerie collections at the Harrogate Lingerie & Swimwear Exhibition and in brands’ UK showrooms. Cerise pink, deep purple and acid bright colours gave classic black a run for its money in autumn 09 ranges, replacing traditional café latte and chocolate brown hues.

However, fashion-led collections worked hand in hand with wardrobe staples, with buyers opting for a 50/50 product mix,according to brands. Shapewear continued to be a key trend for the season as brands embraced technology in favour of design, using breathable micro fibres to flatten body parts, from the tummy to thighs.

Following in the footsteps of womenswear brands at trade show Pure London last month, lingerie labels went back in time, embracing vintage styling via big frilly knickers and corsets. Another welcome theme found brands rallying to offer marketing support to independent stockists struggling to cope with price hikes caused by the weakness of the pound. Vincent Lecointe, northern Europe country manager at Dutch lingerie group Van de Velde, which owns the Prima Donna and Marie Jo brands, said the company had been forced to increase prices this season, but had introduced a new online marketing tool for independents to help compensate for the rise. “We’ve launched [a section called] My Marketing on our trade website to support our stockists,” he said.

“We give a seven-step guide to how indies can build a newsletter to send to customers, for example.” Such support has been appreciated by buyers, who are sympathetic to the price increases. “I understand that prices have to go up,” said Jan Firth, owner of Oo La La Boutique in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. “Brands are
trying to please retailers and are looking after them more.”

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