Launched in 2015, C9 Airwear brings to the table a range of progressive seamless wear that promises to maximise flexibility, mobility and performance, while enhancing comfort and confi dence. IMAGES Business of Fashion talks to Pranal Modani, Director C9 Airwear, about the brand’s range of shapewear and the dynamics of the category in general.
EXCERPTS FROM AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW…
How has the popularity of shapewear grown over the years in India? What will be the average market size of the shapewear segment and at what rate is it growing?
Shapewear and corsets enjoy huge popularity in the West and are rapidly gaining appeal among women in India. They are perfect for wearing under almost any outfit, ranging from trousers and tops, to shorts and tanks, to dresses and skirts. The shapewear segment has shown good growth in India driven by rise in disposable income of consumers, latest fabric technology and change in lifestyles of people. I would say that the segment is growing at around a CAGR of 9-10 percent in India.
What are the consumers insights in as far as accepting shapewear goes and how is the category performing at the retail shelf?
Honestly, the most obvious and common feedback is that it gives a slimmer experience. And slim, as you know, is always in. At the same time, it also provides shape to the body and it also has a few health benefits to offer.
How has the shapewear segment grown globally vs. in India?
In the West, shapewear is more popular, as most apparel is body defining. In India, not many years have elapsed since women have started wearing dresses and skirts. Hence, it’s only the younger generation, especially in the metros, which has started wearing shapewear. Older Indians are yet to get comfortable with the trend.
Is shapewear only popular among women in India or it does enjoy popularity among men too?
Men’s shapewear is also increasingly becoming popular as even men feel the social pressures of having fit look for wearing trendy slim-fit shirts and trousers.
Share insights into your brand’s product category and what are your expansion plans for the shapewear category?
As of now, we have 9 styles in shapewear in total—Full Body Shaper, Thigh Shapex, Brief Shapewear, High & Low Waist Brief Shaper, Open Bust Shapewear, Waist Belt Shaper, Thigh Shapewear and Petticoat Shapewear. What we are focusing on now is smooth contouring on targeted power zones.
What are the top sellers in this category?
Compression wear is segmented into targeted zones for more a comfortable and slimmer look. Among product type segments, the waist shapers segment is most sought after and accounts for the highest value share. The market is also segmented on the basis of control types like firm control, light control, medium control and tummy control. The medium control segment is expected to account for the largest share in terms of value.
What are the challenges in the growth of the shapewear segment what are the opportunities of growth?
The biggest problem is that the industry faces an acceptance challenge. There have been reports that assert that continuous wearing of shapewear can cause blood clots, acid reflux, breathing problems, etc. The truth is that experts claim if worn the right way, there would be no health implications at all.
Also, factors like technological advancement in garment design, lightweight fabrics, fashion that emphasises body shape, re-branding of panty girdles and celebrities wearing shapewear are contributing to the increased demand of shapewear.
Shed some light on the new technology, styles and fabrics used in shapewear.
Companies are constantly innovating and providing new mix of fabrics to provide better comfort and performance to address the needs of rapidly evolving shapewear market. For example, a lycra and elastane mix shapewear offers versatility ranging from firm control to featherweight smoothing and from understated elegance to high fashion style.