THE EMERGENCE OF STRAPLESS BRA

March 4, 2020 written by

The arrival of new trends and styles in fashion such as off-shoulder, halterneck, backless, etc gave birth to the concept of strapless bra. Strapless bra is basically a bra without any shoulder straps. It includes design features like silicon or rubber lining to provide support and prevent slippage. This tricky innerwear that tries to defy the gravity by avoiding straps has managed to occupy a “must have” space in every women’s wardrobe. But has it managed to occupy a significant market share in India? And what does it future looks like? Let’s find out directly from the sources of the Indian lingerie market on whether the trend is here to stay or not.

Brand Offerings

Meeting the demand for strapless bra, several brands in the market have come up with their own unique series of products. Candyskin’s MTV Wildskin Strapless Collection features stylish strapless bra in various trendy and tropical prints. The antibacterial bra is made with moisture-control and sweat-absorbent technology that keeps you non-itchy, cool and dry throughout the day. This padded, underwired bra provides full coverage and complete support to the wearer and is available at INR 1,599.

                

Envie offers from its stylish collection a Style# 1027: non padded detachable strap bra and a Style# 1030: padded detachable strap bra which are available in the market at INR 429 and INR 649 respectively.

Groversons Group have a range in padded bras which can be used with or without straps depending on the outfit one chooses to wear. Most common colors in this product are white and black. It is available in their exclusive stores and even online by the style name of IC-1055 and is priced at INR 615. The brand also offers tube bra which is very commonly worn under off shoulder outfits. It comes in six different colors such as Hot Pink, Light Pink, White, Nude, Black & Coral and is priced at INR 249.

Amante’s Strapless/Multiway bra comes with fully detachable and adjustable straps that give the freedom to experiment with different styles. What makes this style different from the others is that it is silicone free and with smooth, seamless microfiber and soft brushed hook and eye. It consists of broader side wings for additional smoothness all over. The multi-way can be worn in 6-7 unique ways (halter, strapless, one-shoulder, cross-back, cross-front, regular back, transparent straps) as per the wearer’s choice. It is available in the market at INR 1,295.

              

Enamor’s strapless bra collection offers Enamor F055 Strapless T-Shirt Bra which is available in the market at INR 1,049 with detachable straps which can be worn in any style be it halter, crossback or one shoulder. This under wired strapless padded bra comes with moulded cups and silicon elastic to ensure maximum comfort and better support when wearing it without straps.

Another outstanding piece from the collection is the Enamor F074 Strapless T-Shirt Bra – Full Support which is perfect for your favourite strapless dress. This bra gives the best fit even upto DD cups. Its special elastics and soft straps prevents rubbing and digging. It is priced at INR 1,399.

Triumph offers T-shirt Bra 77 WDP with detachable straps which has moulded cups and underwire for a smooth shape, comfort and confidence. It’s seamless finish fits perfectly under any t-shirt and it is available at INR 1,299.

Another offering from Triumph is T-shirt Bra 101 WHPD which comes with a transparent back strap and is the perfect bra for party silhouettes as it gives the desired style without compromising on the support factor. The matte back strap is virtually invisible, giving you the effect of wearing nothing at all. It also has Trenslo bones at sides and a high centre bridge, for better support when worn strapless. It is priced at INR 1,599. The T-shirt Bra 147 (lace back bra) is the lacy version of Triumph’s best selling Backless Bra and is the perfect accompaniment to any outfit. This bra comes with an extra lace back band that is perfect to wear with casual occasions. It is available at INR 1,799.

Consumer Demand and Preferences:

Talking about what exactly consumers prefer and desire in this category, Ms Riya Kalra, Co-founder of Candyskin says, “There is nothing such as a specific colour in demand, it depends on the requirement specifications of the customer. But basic colours such as Black and Nude always have high demand compared to other colours.”

                            

Mr Siddharth Grover, Director, Groversons Group said, “In India, a padded bra which can be used with or without straps is more preferred by the consumers as it offers usage flexibility. Strapless bras have always been in demand as every woman needs one for all her tricky outfits. The styles in this category has evolved and many women have started using silicon bras which are strapless as well as backless and works well as padded bras too.”

Agreeing with Mr Grover, Ms Smita Murarka, of Amante explains, “As per recent consumer trends, occasion-specific products like seamless bras, strapless bras, bralettes are being sought more as women are evolving and experimenting with different fashion choices. There has been a rising demand for functionality based lingerie for women desiring to make the most out of their outfits. Also, basic colors are always in demand as it can be worn under any shade of outfit without worrying about show-through.”

Ms Shweta Verma, Head of Marketing, Triumph International, India and Sri Lanka says, “We have seen that styles that give ample support along with comfort are most in demand in this category.” According to her, in Triumph the most in-demand styles is the strapless Multi-way bra (T-shirt Bra 101 WHPD) since it provides a multitude of styling options. Their basic strapless T-shirt Bra 77 is also high in demand since we frequently introduce new fashion colours in this style and it is available at a comfortable price point especially for new customers.

Ms Verma further adds, “While there the basic colours such as Skin and Black are the ones with highest demand, we also see good sales in our fashion colours in these styles. The colours Raspberry Pink, Petrol green and Royal Blue are quite loved by our customers since they are universally flattering and also go very well with traditional Indian wear.”

According to Mr Sarthak Kubadia, Director, Salient, the styles that are generally in demand are one with silicon tapes in the neck line and under-wired, as it gives good grip and support which allows a women to wear it without any straps. “The choice of colours totally depends on an individual’s choice. Although colours that are most in demand in this category are Black, Nude and Blue,” he added.

According to Mr Dipankar Dutta, Owner of Beyond Desire, Kolkata, in his retail store, brands like Triumph, Amante and Enamor have a very good response from consumers in terms of strapless bra. Another retailers from New Delhi, Mr Pankaj Jain, Quality General Store, says that Enamor F055 strapless bra style has the highest consumer demand in his store. Other brands that are favourite among the consumers in terms of strapless bra are Zivame, Kalyani, Daisy Dee, etc.

Current market scenario:

Talking about the current market situation of strapless bra in India, Ms Kalra says, “There has definitely been an increase in the strapless bra market this year as compared to the last couple of years. The fashion trends are getting bolder and now understand the aesthetic value of the brilliant creation.”

                           

Agreeing with Ms Kalra, Ms Anupama Naresh Vanik, V P of Saanvi Clothing Private Limited (Envie) said that this year has been a good year for Strapless Bras. “We have seen a growth of 10 per cent in the category compared to last year,” she adds.

According to Mr Grover, strapless bras has always been in demand as every woman needs one for all her tricky outfits. “It is now a must have in a women’s lingerie collection. The styles in this category has evolved and many women have started using silicon bras which are strapless as well as backless and works well as padded bras too.

Agreeing with Mr Grover, Ms Murarka says that the demand for strapless bras is phenomenal in India at present and customers are keen on buying these bras for their functional aspect. “This is one bra that can double up as multiple bras and hence it has become a staple in a woman’s lingerie wardrobe. Be it for Indian or western wear, a strapless works for all outfits”, she adds.

Talking about the factors driving the growth, Ms Murarka says, “Women have become more conscious of their attire and are currently looking to buy the right lingerie based on their outfit and the occasion. They are investing in their outer appearance and have begun to understand the importance of quality lingerie and its role in outerwear. This wave of change in the attitude of women has fuelled the demand for functional bras in the market such as stick ons, backless – finding a separate niched section in every woman’s wardrobe.”

She further elaborates, “The market has been growing over the years and the demand for strapless bras is certainly exponential and it continues to increase at a steady pace. Women have become more conscious and demanding more out of their bra. They no longer want to adjust to the bra but the bra to adjust to them and their body. There has been an increase in demand for bigger sizes as well as bras that give better support and comfort at the same time.”

According to Ms Verma, there has been a moderate demand in this category with single digit growth every year. “Strapless bras are a fashion item and are needed as per the occasion, hence most consumers will not want to have more than 2 options in their wardrobe. Most of the strapless bras available in the market today don’t provide good support and a comfortable wearing experience which has not helped the demand,” she adds.

Sharing his thoughts on the current market situation, Mr Datta says, “We all know that this year the market has been down compared to last two years, however a strapless bra is generally purchased keeping in mind the requirement of the outfit. Currently, due to the variation in fashion trend and many upcoming style in western and Indian outfits, the customers have become more conscious. Hence there has been a marginal growth in this sector.”

                             

Seeing eye to eye with Mr Datta, Mr Jain said that this year the strapless bra category has seen a whooping growth of 50 per cent as compared to last year. He attributes this growth to the change in trends and customer preferences. “Nowadays, women have become more fashion conscious and are now opting for more daring choice of outfits,” he added.

What the future holds…

Anticipating the road ahead of strapless bra category, Ms Kalra believes that this category will see a 70 per cent growth in the upcoming five years as the lingerie industry is ever expanding with changing fashion trends and ergonomic body fit comfort levels.

According to Mr Kubadia, there has been a decent growth in the strapless bra category. “There has been more demand especially from the younger audience and it will definitely grow in the coming years as more than 70 per cent of Indian population belongs to the age group of 18-35 years, as per Indian demographics,” he adds.

Attributing the growth of the segment to the current trend going towards off-shoulder tops and dresses, Ms Vanik believes that the market of strapless bra is sure to grow further.

Sharing her thoughts, Ms Murarka says, “Women are more open to spending money on their lingerie and coordinating innerwear with their outerwear than they were a few years ago.

                         

They have started getting more aware about lingerie not only as an essential product but also as a fashion element. This has fueled the demand for strapless and variations of the same creating a boost in the lingerie market. There will be a continued requirement for strapless bras as women experiment with their style and looks.”

Agreeing with Ms Murarka, Ms Verma says, “We are quite positive on the growth of this segment in the next few years. Consumers are getting more and more educated about the right kind of lingerie to be worn with different outfits and they are willing to invest in key lingerie pieces that will complement their outfits. Added to this, the influx of western brands in the market offering varied apparel styles. Indian wear is also going through a style revival with Indian designers incorporating more daring cuts and styles in their outfits. This will also lead to an increase in demand for Strapless bras over the next few years.”

Spokesperson from Enamor also agrees with the above statement and further adds that with so many options of outerwear fashion garments available in today’s world, strapless and multiway bras segment has high demand and growth potential.

“We see a good scope in this category as strapless bra has become a necessity and a must have essential for every woman,” says Mr Grover while Mr Datta anticipates a growth of around 25 to 30 per cent in the coming five years looking at the present market trend.

Mr Harshvardhan, Vanity Garments, Jodhpur who stocks brands like Jockey, Kalyani, Daisy Dee, etc in his store recorded a 15 per cent growth in the strapless bra category this year and according to him the category is all set to see further growth of minimum of 25 per cent in the coming years.

Another retailer from Bangalore, Mehboob Pasha, Owner of Fab Fashion, who stocks brands like Zivame, Bodycare, Lovable etc, in his store says that the current growth has been recorded up to 30 per cent with an expected future growth rate of 50 per cent.

To conclude, we can say that due to change in fashion trends and consumer preferences, the market of strapless bra is currently flourishing in India. Although, in India, women prefer bra with detachable straps over the regular strapless bra so that they can use it in multiple ways depending on the outfit. But we cannot deny the fact that with the increase in number of young, fashion-conscious population and increased exposure of international brands in India, the strapless bra market holds ample scope in the near future.

The World View of the Strapless Bra

According to TechSci Research, Global lingerie market size was estimated at around USD 96 Billion in 2018, in which bra contributed the maximum market share of around 45% i.e. about USD 43 Billion. Further, the bra market is projected to surpass USD 50 Billion by 2024. The strapless bra constitutes of 9% of this market at USD 3.87 billion and is growing steadily at 6% worldwide whereas in Asia this market is developing rapidly at 13% currently.

Definition of the product:

The strapless bra does not have the usual narrow bands of the shoulders. The strapless bra fits on the skin without sliding down without having the band marks and unnecessary hurt to the body. The strapless bra is mainly worn over the off-the-shoulder tops, strapless dresses, wide-neck tops, square or scoop necks, spaghetti straps, tank tops, racerbacks, crossover style tops and keyhole shirts.

Types of strapless bras available in the market are Push Up, Underwire, Silicone lined, Seamless and Stick on (Gel on the bands). Also, it is available in various fabrics such as jersey fabric, flexible nylon-coated nickel-free underwires, designer laces, etc.

Top companies in strapless bra market include L Brands Inc., Triumph International Spiesshofer & Braun KG, Hanesbrands Inc., PVH Corp., Calzedonia Group, Jockey International, Inc., American Eagle Outfitters Inc., MAS Holdings, Wacoal Holdings Corp., Wolf Lingerie S.A., Marks and Spencer plc.

L Brands, Inc. is one of the leading brands selling the bra under the categories like Demi, Balconette, full coverage, wireless, strapless, sport & lounge bras. A trendy product in the strapless segment is Sexy

Illusions by Victoria’s Secret. Triumph International Spiesshofer & Braun KG offers products like wired, non-wired, push up bras and the trendy products in the strapless segment are Body Make-Up Strapless Multiway Bra and Women’s Body Make-Up Essentials Strapless Bra. Another leading brand is Hanesbrands Inc., which is offering wire-free, underwire, front hook, back hook, etc. The trendy product by this brand is Maidenform Love the Lift Push Up and In Strapless Bra.

Why women across the world are choosing strapless bras:

• It is useful with different kinds of designer dresses. Also, some women are allergic to the effects of tight bra bands such as skin irritation, etc. So, they prefer to choose strapless bras. It enhances the cleavage, gives a smooth look, is easier to put down, and can be used both regularly as well as occasionally.

Factors women consider while buying the strapless bra:

• Fit the body perfectly so that it doesn’t slip, no need to pull up again and again.

• Size of the waistband has to be right so that it does not hurt.

• Fabric or material of the bra (Like nylon, cotton or mixed, etc.) Looking for the detachable strip option with the strapless bras.

• Since strapless must fit on the body, a perfect cup size is the most important.

• More hooks to the larger size of the strapless bras, instead of the basic three hooks (Light, Medium and loose).

• Comfortable boning on the sides, so it can be more comfortable also a good rubber lining.

Drivers associated with the product:

Major drivers associated with the strapless bra market are increasing working women population, rising per capita income level, increasing urbanization, growing internet penetration and rising sophistication among younger women. Also, choosing a bra is dependent upon the attire and occasion.

Rising demand for comfort among women and easy accessibility of the major brands through the online channel with good discount is among the major factor boosting demand for multiple varieties of bras including a strapless bra. Fashion blogging at the social networking sites is also contributing to increasing knowledge about strapless bras among consumers. Another added segment of strapless bra:

A strapless backless bra is an adhesive bra with stick-on silicon pads, used as a supplement to the strapless bra. The pads are washable and provide the look of no bra.

Innovation:

Few companies are using Artificial Intelligence algorithm to provide the best bra fit for all body types. Where the website asks the questions like body type, favorite current brand, band size, cup size,

Breast fit into the cup, questions related to the padding, color, hook type, age, side fits and comfort, and then suggest the perfect bra based on the result produced through the artificial intelligence algorithm.

Bra types gaining market traction:

• 3D wires are preferred over the steel underwires as it gives a natural curve to the body. • Soft and skin-friendly cups chosen over the fancy cups would be equally lovable and give rich look. • Straight lines and geometric designs are equally chosen with nude shades. • Lingerie set is chosen with the strapless bra due to decent and unique look. • Underdress should be invisible so that it gives a seamless look even if a lightweight material is chosen. • More designs and implementation for the plus size bras is in demand. • Laces are in trend, due to their pretty looks.

(Inputs TechSci Research)

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