The idea of ‘sexy’ is realness. That’s the code the lingerie brands of the next generation are working with. And this means that intolerance is not tolerated. Body policing and fat shaming are prohibited. Stretch marks, scars, cellulite, body hair and all manner of beauty marks are appreciated. There are no rules or age limits, and respect for everyone is mandatory.
To these new players, real women rule and any body type, or boob type, should be seen and celebrated. Many have charts that help you figure out your own shape (are you athletic, a bell shape, an east-west?) and tell you how to shop for your own personal curves.
The brands are digital- and data-savvy, harnessing the power of social media to generate conversations about empowerment, self-love and inclusivity. Oh, and they make damn comfy intimates, too.
All this is causing disruption for traditional mass-market lingerie brands such as Victoria’s Secret, La Senza and more. They’ve been one-note for years, appealing to a very specific (read: narrow) idea of beauty. And women aren’t buying that ideal any longer. Faced with the new start-up rivals, their market share is plummeting, forcing store closures. L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, has seen the company’s shares plunge 13 per cent this year, according to Forbes, and the company is expecting earnings to drop further.
But enough of all that. Read on, as we tell you who to shop.
Text: Jill Alphonso