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CurveNY: Innerwear Brands Bank on Basics for Spring ’16

Attendees walking the aisles at the recent edition of CurveNY might have noticed something curious: More fuller-bottomed briefs, less skimpy skivvies.

The consumer desire for comfort has extended beyond clothing and footwear, right down to what lies beneath. Research company NPD Group reported that sales of thong underwear slipped 7 percent last year, while briefs, boy shorts and so-called “granny panties” soared 17 percent—and innerwear brands took note for their Spring/Summer ’16 collections.

More than 350 intimate, swimwear and men’s underwear makers were on display at the trade show, held Aug. 2-4 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, and the influence of athleisure was plain to see across the board. First-time exhibitors included Colombian swimwear brand Caffé, Germany’s Celestine, Loér Beachwear from Brazil and British lingerie label Tallulah Love, while such regulars as Curvy Couture, Cache Coeur and Wacoal returned. Most showcased some type of full coverage panties, seamless materials and non-wire bras, not to mention marled-knit fabrications and super-soft cotton.

Los Angeles-based lingerie and loungewear label Naked Princess is pushing the “underwear as outerwear” look for spring, presenting an assortment of rompers and maxi silhouettes in juicy hues designed to be worn around the home or dressed up with a sandal and necklace for an easy day-to-night look. Plus, to coincide with shoppers’ thirst for fresh merchandise, the brand will ship a new delivery every other month.

Cache Coeur, a maternity lingerie line from France, is launching swimwear for expectant moms stateside next spring. Export manager Gohar Gabrielyan said the brand noticed a gap in the U.S. market for tankinis and one-pieces that adapt to a pregnant woman’s changing body. Styles include a polka-dot sailor number and a white halter printed with red palm trees. All swimsuits are made in Bulgaria using UV-protective fabric.

Curvy Couture, meanwhile, is releasing new takes on old favorites with its Spring ’16 collection titled “Colors Reinvented.” Bestselling styles such as the Matte & Shine T-shirt bra, a smooth-contour that goes up to a H cup, and second-skin microfiber boy shorts, double-lined for tummy control and featuring a bonded back leg opening, will be offered in new colorways like a neutral gray. Likewise, the unlined wire-free bra from the Cotton Luxe collection, currently available in black, mauve and natural, will come in blush pink in January.

Also new from Dora L International Inc., the parent company behind Curvy Couture, is Curvy Studio, a Target.com exclusive that launched late last month. Designed with full-figure Millennials in mind, the collection comprises six bra styles with matching panties (think: boy shorts and high-cut bottoms) in a palette of black, nude, fuchsia and animal print. Retailing from $26.99 to $29.99, cup sizes range from 36C to 42H. “This type of quality, comfort and value up to H cups is a huge white space in the market,” said Dora Lau, the company’s founder and CEO.

Elsewhere, the Eveden fitting workshop returned to the three-day show with several lingerie and swimwear seminars discussing the latest sizing methods, as well as trend talks from French forecasting firm Promostyl. And it wasn’t all work: For every new order placed with a new brand, buyers were offered the chance to win a roundtrip to Paris for the January 2016 edition of Salon International de la Lingerie.

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