Wacoal, Japan’s No.1 lingerie brand, with a presence in 70 countries across the world started its operations in the year 1946. Known for its superior fit, quality and exceptional craftsmanship, Wacoal has over the years, metamorphosed into a global leader in the luxury lingerie market. The brand – which is holds its own among top lingerie brands in the world – says it aims at making every woman look beautiful.
The brand forayed into India in 2015 by partnering with Periwinkle Fashions, the flagship company of Tainwala Group. Periwinkle has been instrumental in promoting the group’s retailing business in India, and its portfolio includes globally renowned luggage brands such as Samsonite, Hartmann and High Sierra, accessories brand Accessorize, along with in-house premium women handbags and shoes brand, Lavie.
CEO, Periwinkle Fashions Pvt. Ltd., Sandeep Goenka, says the core strength of the brand is its functional and innovative products backed by intensive product research done by Wacoal’s Human Science Research Center.
“Every year, Wacoal’s Human Science Research Center measures the physiques of approximately 1000 women and girls between the ages of 4 and 69. Over the past 50 years, they have accumulated measurement data on more than 40,000 women and girls. This data helps understand a woman’s changing body shape with age and develop products that give a better fit and comfort for women of all age group. Before production the product undergoes 150 test and checks,” says Goenka.
Lingerie is no longer regarded as just an undergarment but is worn as a fashionable article of clothing that can be flaunted. Indian women have become selective and give a greater importance to intimate apparel.
“All women are our focus consumers. Wacoal’s mission is to contribute to the society by helping women express their beauty. At Wacoal, we want to make products for every age, need, function and occasion,” says Goenka.
The brand currently offers bras like minimizers, sports and beginners bra for teenagers, along with panties of various styles and purpose, and functional shapewear. It specializes in innovative products like mastectomy bras and shapewear for athletes too.
“Brassieres start from Rs 995 and can go up to Rs 4995, while panty prices start as low as Rs 495 and can go up to Rs 2495. We also have a kids range priced between Rs 595 and Rs 1295. Our latest innerwear collection is Fire & Lace, which is combination of lace and seamless cups. It can be worn as regular wear or even for special occasions,” says Goenka.
Innovation: The Key To Success
The most innovative product in Wacoal’s collection is shapewear.
“These are highly functional yet comfortable pieces, to be worn for the entire day. As a normal practice, other shapewear is not comfortable beyond four to five hours. The fabric technology is such that it makes movement easy and natural. In addition to this we also have sports bra range for low to high impact physical activity,” says Goenka.
Wacoal’s designs capture the spirit and epitomise effortless sophistication. The style inspirations are derived from modern femininity, contemporary luxe and uncomplicated florals.
“We introduce new products every season and within the season which are a mix of basic and occasional wear generally in line with international trends,” Goenka adds.
Wacoal’s main markets in India are top cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata.
“We have four EBOs with many more in the pipeline. Currently we are present in 3 cities, plan to reach out to other metro cities as we expand,” says Goenka.
In its second year of operations in India, Wacoal is seeing strong sales growth. Notwithstanding its high-end positioning, the brand is quite upbeat on its future prospects in India. The country’s market is one of the most promising retail markets, offering latent appeal to international brands as well, for its rapid growth potential.
Wacoal India’s focus is on the right product, presence on digital media, in-store promotions, fashion shows and other undertakings.