At the Curve SS24 show, swimsuits are worth gold

Industry professionals agree that the swimwear market is booming. The Curve Paris show, which presents the spring/summer 2024 swimwear, beachwear and resort wear collections, and Interfilière, which exhibits the fall/winter 2024/2025 materials (fabrics and accessories) and the spring/summer 2024 restockings, are the perfect drawing. This.

If we focus on the swimwear market represented by such shows, it is not because of their weight in the total activity. By way of comparison, in France, consumers bought 315.5 million swimsuits against 2.716 billion euros worth of lingerie (source Kantar, a figure in place since 2013 and even on the rise since Kantar stopped marketing beach and resort wear). account in 2018).

Similarly, lingerie accounts for 12% of women’s spending, while swimwear accounts for only 1.6% of purchases. No, we are focusing on this area of ​​business because the industry agrees that “everything is fine” for the swimwear market.

Swimsuit The WavesCredits: Courtesy of Curve

Curve and Interfilière July 2023 testify to this. They brought together 37% of exhibitors dedicated to swimwear, beachwear and resort wear (36% lingerie, 27% related accessories), compared to 10% in January. “With 15,000 visitors, the January show, 90% devoted to lingerie, is THE reference for the whole world”, said the director of the show Matthieu Pinet. “There are no others, apart from Curve New York, which is also owned by WSN Development.”

“In lingerie, he adds, we are not in competition, unlike swimwear, for which there are other fairs in the world (Miami Swim Week, Cabana Miami Beach) and Mare di Moda for upstream This sector is competitive because, in practice, it is not very difficult to create a swimsuit. In the past, there were specific players for each department. Today, the communicating vessels convince him that the share swimwear, among the offer of the major lingerie brands, will increase.

The swimwear, beachwear and resort wear market takes off

Credits: Curve July 2023. Photo: F Julienne

And for good reason, according to analyst, the international market would increase from 22.6 billion dollars in 2022 to 28.84 billion dollars in 2027, an annual growth rate of 6.38%. Enough to arouse the ardor of the main players in lingerie, who currently devote only 2 to 8% of their activity to swimwear, according to information gathered at trade shows.

There are several reasons for this boom. On the one hand, well-being (taking care of your body) is in fashion. According to the Outdoor Participation report, in the United States in 2018, approximately 27.58 million people opted for swimming as their fitness routine, which boosted sports swimwear sales. As for the Chinese market, it is driven by the huge population passionate about water sports, considered the best form of physical exercise in China.

Analina swimsuit Credits: Courtesy of Curve

On the other hand, after being locked up for two years (and even more for Asia), the whole population wants to travel. Baggage handlers are making record sales, planes are packed and the swimwear market is taking off with them. According to data provided by Kantar, French brands are experiencing double-digit growth, with sales of 232 million euros in women’s products sold worldwide in 2022 (+13.1% vs 2021) and 83.5 million in euros of male products (+25.4% vs. 2021). These percentages should be put into perspective, knowing that in 2021 travel was still limited.

Finally, resort wear, often called “bikini apéritivo”, which includes beachwear suitable for evenings on the beach, in the style of Miami, Ibiza, Portofino Riviera or Saint-Tropez jet-set, is gaining ground. in the sun. Popularized by luxury brands and their cruise collections, this style of clothing meets the expectations of customers who do not always know how to swim, but it also has another advantage (so to speak): prices are higher and margins are therefore higher, like that of loungewear or activewear.

Stand Lunab, Curve July 2023 Photo: F Julienne

A show with an expanded offer to attract buyers from concept stores

More comfortable margins? Enough to attract new distributors, especially since specialist lingerie stores in France have been suffering for a few years already. The evolution of consumers and the questioning of genres invite us to rethink traditional patterns and imagine new stores.

To change the situation, the organizers are surfing on the same credo as those chosen for Who’s Next, for which they are also responsible: the offer must be widened to open it up to shops that present lingerie or swimwear in an environment conceptual. Thus, related accessory brands (shoes, jewellery, hats, etc.) exhibit to open up these new perspectives: 23 Degrés, Camalya, Bagt’elle (wholesaler), Hypnochic, etc.

Hypnochic Credits: Courtesy of Curve
23 degrees Credits: Courtesy of Curve

“30% of new visitors come from the Who’s Next databases”, specifies the director. “These developments forced us to reinvent the July event and give it a new dynamic. July 2022. I went to see them and told them that we needed each other. If this show disappeared, the whole industry would be threatened.

Result: a 35% increase in the attendance rate and, from the first half-day (Sunday July 2, 2023), a figure equivalent to the first day of the show in June 2022. That is 5,000/6,000 visitors estimated for 135 exhibitors from finished products (compared to 250 in January) and 190 at Interfilière.

Spring/Summer 2024 trends: As long as it shines

Florist Credits: Courtesy of Curve

Pamela Anderson can put away her red one-piece, and women can trade in their timeless black swimsuits (bikini represent more than two-thirds of sales), because summer 2024 trends are moving towards bright prints, patterns animal or floral designs and sparkling pieces in gold or silver lurex. “We’ve always done flashy prints and sequins, but this season we’re going with the flow,” said Annalisa Cristiani at the busy Lior stand (Interfilière). “We used to make lingerie, but there are fewer and fewer prints in this sector.” With a width of 145 cm and prices of around 15/16 euros per meter (depending on quantities), Lior targets mainly to luxury brands and Russians, for whom the company offers exclusive models.

Stand Lior, Curve July 2023 Credits: Photo: F Julienne

Among the standout brands at the show was Goldbergh, with a sculptural gold one-piece swimsuit. Or Melissa Odabash, with a range of resort clothing and accessories including flip flops, slippers, hats and clutches.

Stand Goldbergh, Curve July 2023 Credits: Photo: F Julienne
Booth Melissa Odabash (United Kingdom), Curve July 2023 Credits: Photo: F Julienne

And then there is Lenny Nemeyer. Founded 30 years ago by the wife of the nephew of the late architect Oscar Nemeyer, Lenny Nemeyer is number one in Brazil. He was even responsible for designing the national team’s jerseys for the 2024 Olympic Games. With prices around 300 euros (when the average basket of a Frenchwoman is 30.12 euros, source Kantar), this brand particularly appeals to the southern European market (Greece, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Côte d’Azur), where women are used to buying their swimsuits.

Lenny Nemeyer Credits: Courtesy of Curve

We should also mention the Chantelle group, which is investing in inclusive fashion with an original proposal, unveiled at Curve, aimed at renewing the success of the best-selling SoftStrecht panty line. Chantelle Pulp is a range of polyester swimsuits that adapts to all body types, available in four colors (orange, green, blue and black).

Stand Chantelle, Courbe July 2023 Photo: F Julienne
Credits: Chantelle Pulp

Mostly made from synthetic materials, swimsuits raise the question of sustainable beachwear

Printed on stretch polyamide (Rocle by Isabella), embossed and laminated polyesters (Eurostick), can beachwear adapt to changing demand for more eco-responsible materials? This is a very topical question. We bet that the technology will be able to supply the brands present at the show, such as Peulh Fulaini, which already uses polyester recycled from marine waste for its swimsuits.

Even if, unfortunately, only 10% of all fibers are made up of these famous plastics collected at sea or on beaches, this initiative deserves to be mentioned at a time when there is still a day left to go to Hall 5 of the Versailles Exhibition Center Gate.

Stand Peulh Fulaini, Curve July 2023 Photo: F Julienne

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.FR. Translation and editing by: Rachel Douglass.

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