Forget the fear of crushed organs. One of the most common complaints women all over the world have when it comes to shapewear is that it makes them feel too hot—and not in a sexy way.
So, as the $15.9 billion women’s activewear category continues to steal market share from shapewear in the U.S. (comfort, after all, is king), Invista has decided it’s time to offer the best of both worlds: On Monday, the fiber maker unveiled Lycra Beauty Cooling technology at the New York edition of Interfilière.
Designed in response to the consumer need for increased technology and comfort performance in the shapewear category, the platform promises to slim the wearer while providing her with long-lasting freshness and permanent moisture management.
The latter is a key point of differentiation: While competitors can add a wicking agent to their nylon fabrics, their features will eventually fade with laundering; Invista’s will not.
“The secret is Coolmax technology,” said Arnaud Ruffin, strategy and business development director at Invista Apparel. “It features fibers with an engineered cross-section, enabling moisture to reach the fabric’s outer surface where it evaporates quickly.”
According to consumer research conducted by Invista in 2010, 78 percent of female consumers find moisture management in shapewear to be extremely or very important. Only 40 percent, however, are satisfied with styles currently offered on the market.
“Women complain a lot about the product they have so we tried to find a way to identify gaps and try to provide a solution. We know that comfort is key so we tried to find a way beyond the elasticity of the fabric to improve the overall level of comfort, and we feel that moisture management and functionality would help women feel less hot when they were wearing this kind of garment,” Ruffin added.
Here’s how it works: Instead of sweat getting soaked up by the fabric, making the wearer feel wet and uncomfortable, Lycra Beauty Cooling rapidly wicks moisture over a larger surface area for quick drying.
Yet despite the high demand, this technology isn’t something Invista rushed into. It took close to a year to develop because the company wanted to have fabrics from international mills ready for the launch. “We didn’t want to create momentum and have a theoretical platform with nothing available,” Ruffin said, noting that more fabrics are on the way from other mills throughout Europe and Asia.
He expects first adoptions to hit shelves in Spring ’17.