Best known for its Superbras, the lingerie brand is raising its game with a new sports bra.
Panache is a lingerie brand that prides itself on the fit of its bras for D-plus women, and its new sports bra lives up to these ideals. The bra, which went into shops last month, took three years to develop in conjunction with design consultancy Progressive Sports Technologies, based at Loughborough University. It is Panache’s first sports bra since 2000, and when tested on a 32G cup size is said to achieve an 83% reduction in bounce compared with not wearing a bra.
The bra is unusual in that it is underwired, which isn’t the norm for sports bras. Such has been the reaction to it – Panache added about 200 new stockists, including specialist sports retailers Sweatshop and Kings Road Sporting Club – that from spring 12 it will be available in more sizes, from a B to J cup.
With a wholesale price of £14.60, the bra comes in black, white or purple. For spring 12, a red, white and blue version will be introduced to coincide with the London Olympics – British javelin thrower and Olympics hopeful Goldie Sayers is the face of the bra.
Helen Spencer, senior buyer for swimwear, lingerie and nightwear at John Lewis, says the bra will help Panache secure new customers: “It’s a very good-fitting bra and has everything you’d want from a larger-cup bra, but it’s also such an innovative product. By producing it in fashion colours the brand has also recognised that consumers don’t always want a plain white sports bra.”
Meanwhile, Panache’s Superbra – the brand’s mainline – continues to focus on the shapes that have worked well for it: balconette, padded plunge and full-cup. These styles are updated each season to incorporate new styles and colours. For autumn 12, influences are taken from art deco and oriental themes as well as from Alexander McQueen’s autumn 09 Horn of Plenty collection and John Galliano’s final ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior.
The brand has invested about £300,000 in advertising and, according to sales director Peter Cronin, this will continue into next year. “We’ve got about 700 stockists across a great mix of retailers, from multiples like John Lewis, Bravissimo, and etailer Figleaves, to small indie boutiques,” he says. “So it is now about making consumers aware of the brand and what we do.”
Wholesale prices for the Superbra collection range from £10 to £13.63 for bras and £4.54 to £7.27 for briefs. “The brand has really evolved over the last few seasons in terms of the design handwriting,” says Spencer. “It works so well for us that we want to expand the range in our stores.”
Panache 0114 241 8888