The Indian lingerie market is seeing unparalleled growth and has undergone a transformational change in the past few years due to various factors. The segment stood at around US $ 3 billion in 2017 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 14 per cent to reach US $ 6.5 billion by 2023 on the back of factors like women losing inhibitions and trying trendy lingerie products, growing demand, increasing number of independent women, technical advancements in lingerie manufacturing, manufacturers using luxurious and delicate fabrics and designs such as mesh and lace apart from the growing e-commerce industry. While this category is growing with each passing day, there is a new addition to the overall lingerie market, and that is of size inclusivity or plus-size innerwear. Most of the full-busted women usually do not get the right size bra and this number stands at a disappointing 90 per cent in India. Taking strides in the right direction, Parfait, a US-based size inclusive brand, has entered the Indian market right in time to fill the gap with its expansive range of sizes.
The neglected category
Even as the country is witnessing need and demand in this domain, a lot of brands have a very narrow view of their consumers. The notion says that plus-sized customers do not want to spend as much as the common sized ones. But that’s untrue and the only truth in this is that plus-sized customers have less clothing options to choose from, which gives them fewer opportunities to spend their money. A major percentage of women in India wear plus-sized garments and the buying power of the plus-sized market is also growing at a faster pace than the rest of the apparel industry, which makes them the bigger group of spenders or contributors to the retail sector growth.
However, the unwillingness of retailers to embrace the plus-size category and their fickleness which makes only a few to introduce the segment and then reduce or eliminate them has driven the plus-size consumers to opt for e-commerce, which has turned out to be a haven for them.
The segment and the need for a holistic brand
Plus-size fashion apparel has become a thing of the past and now it is the time for plus-size lingerie. Plus-sized women across the country are demanding lingerie that would suit their body type and would also fulfill the latest fashion trends. “I can foresee Parfait making history in India’s lingerie market as an exclusive plus-size lingerie storefront retailer that caters to the underserved plus-size market with stylish and supportive pieces. We see a huge gap in this segment in terms of size and comfort and Parfait aims to bridge this gap with its unique offering. We hope to bring comfort, style and confidence to plus-sized women living throughout India. We will be the first exclusive premium plus-size lingerie brand that will bring Indian women fashionable plus-size lingerie with good quality, fit and comfort,” informs Akhil Srivastava, Managing Director, Parfait India.
From petite to plus-size, Parfait understands that one’s size doesn’t fit all. The brand offers sizes ranging from 28 to 52 band sizes, A to K cup sizes and XS-4XL bottoms. Being an exclusive plus size brand for India , it offers sizes from D to K cup sizes, making it a natural fit for the country’s growing plus-size market. As Akhil states, “We offer all sizes available in silhouettes from bras to sports bras, boyshorts to high waist briefs, babydolls to bustiers. It is a complete 360-degree change as women now can learn the right technique of choosing the right size (band and cup). There is extreme ignorance that prevails among women when it comes to buying lingerie. Most women don’t know their correct sizes and usually buy uncomfortable and unappealing innerwear.” Besides, having an online presence for a brand like Parfait helps the consumers to shop freely and without inhibitions. The consumption in the category has grown multi-fold with the privacy being offered with the use of technology.
The brand caters to top actresses and performers around the world including Sofia Vergara, Sharon Stone, Nicki Minaj, Nicole Scherzinger, Gabrielle Union and Alicia Silverstone.
Behind the scenes
Parfait has plans to launch 50 collections this year which would be in line with the Indian weather conditions for plus-size women. “Considering the Indian weather, we are planning to source around 30 per cent of the merchandise from India next season onwards. For now, we manufacture our products at our in-house manufacturing unit in China, whereas designing and innovation happens in Los Angeles, US. Our average lead time varies between 60-90 days,” asserts the Managing Director of Parfait India. Besides, Parfait gives extra attention to maintaining the brand authenticity wherein it works to comply with the international standards, and all of its collections – whether manufactured in China or anywhere else – are in line with the brand aesthetics.
With presence in 20+ countries around the globe through 700 stores and online presence worldwide in countries like USA; Canada; Australia; New Zealand; UK; Ireland; France; Spain; Poland; Greece; Czech Republic; Germany; Turkey; Russia; South Africa; Portugal; Latvia; Ukraine; Belarus; Malta; Gozo; Finland; Sweden; Belgium; Austria; Switzerland; Slovakia; Eire; the Middle East and now India, Parfait is planning to open shop-in-shop models in association with leading retailers across the country along with partnerships with leading online websites and company website. “We are present on Myntra, Nykaa, Lifestyle, Last Inch, Xmex Clothing among other retail formats. For the current financial year, we are planning to have 150 shop-in-shops across Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities of India,” concludes Akhil on a positive note.