Vanina Handjiyska is founder of Styleinspiratrice.com, fashion digital content creator and luxury industry observer. We met her to find out more about the latest evolution of luxury lingerie and swimwear brands. Photo:Tihomira Krumova
Anyone who loves fashion will tell you that the garments you wear under your clothing are just as important as the clothing itself!
My Lingerie: What are your observations in the field of luxury and premium lingerie segments?
Vanina Handjiyska: Over the past years lingerie gained a status of garment worth to be seen. The European market is leading the world in luxury lingerie, followed by Asia-Pacific. Asia is becoming more and more active participant on the market. There is an interesting local specific: customer there gets in store and buys a total look of a brand / product line, differing from the European which often purchases one single piece.
My Lingerie: What changed the attitude towards underwear?
VH: The attitude has changed when some of the major luxury brands dabbled in the sector in order to defy the popular belief that underwear is the most unnoticeable and boring part of the styling. They were communicating so well, there was a shift in public opinion in the course of some couple of years. Agent Provocateur, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, etc. targeted precisely their marketing efforts, focusing on lingerie, together with the added value of style, comfort and effortlessness that only the luxury brands can promise. They have expanded product lines beyond conventional underwear, adding also bodysuits, kimonos, etc.
My Lingerie: Are there any trends when we speak about luxury lingerie?
VH: Lingerie is the first thing you put on and the last thing you take off. High-quality fabrics, perfect cuts, precise tailoring, body emphasizing while providing the ultimate comfort are characteristics that never go out of fashion and remain constant. Underwear that might look luxurious but is made to be worn every day. There is an increasing emphasis on innovation and a sustainable approach to materials and craftmanship. Along with social media, the language and messages are also changing focusing on body positivity.
In premium segments, the emphasis is on personalization and even – the transformation of the client into a co-designer, a participant in the creation process. These trends can also be found in swimwear.
My Lingerie: Speaking about swimwear – what happens there?
VH: Globally, USA are the leader in swimwear consumption. It’s always summer somewhere and a new swimsuit is not superfluous! Truth is that in recent years, swimsuits have become increasingly hybrid clothing, whose function has long gone beyond beaches and swimming pools. They are wearable in an urban environment, combined with other clothes from the wardrobe. This is understandable because of the increasing demand for functionality in clothing, as well as due to the fact that big part of the premium swimwear come from long-year notorious fashion brands – such as Moschino, Stella McCartney, Dsquared and others.
My Lingerie: What is your style advice?
VH: Do like Parisians: wear a black bra under your white shirt!