The reawakening of shapewear

For most women, shapewear has become a wardrobe stable, but in the past, it was often saved for those special occasions. Also. it was notoriously known for being breath-defyingly tight, constricting and uncomfortable.

But within the last year, new shapewear brands have submerged with the goal to revolutionize shapewear, as we know it. Shapewear in the past has been criticized for promoting body shaming by marketing its ability to create solutions for body flaws or for plus-size women.

But new companies, such as Honeylove, Empetua, Heist and Skims, aren’t getting ready to tackle shapewear brands such as Spanx, but they want to recreate body shaping wear for every woman and comfortable enough to be worn every day.

One of the fastest growing industries at the moment is the lingerie and underwear market, and shapewear brands are jumping in to infiltrate this market. The underwear market includes items such as camisoles, slips, hosiery, tights, panties, and bras and of course body shapers. The entire market has almost doubled in the last five years from $46.8 million to $83.2 million since 2013 to 2018.

shapewear before and after

A similar growth has been observed in the beauty industry. After Rihanna launched her cosmetic line, Fenty Beauty, creating the first inclusive line of skin tone foundations. Soon after, Makiage followed suit and launched a foundation collection with more than 50 different skin tones. Suddenly, consumers started demanding more products that offered ethnic diversity options and inclusive products for everybody.

This surge caused other cosmetic leaders, such as Estee Lauder and Morphe, to expand their foundation lines. Kim Kardashian, in 2018, launched her beauty line, KKW Beauty, which brought in over $100 million in revenue in 2018.

But, the queen of shapewear didn’t stop there. In 2019 she launched her very own collection called SKIMS Solutionwear. Within the first day, she nearly sold all of her inventory, selling more than $2 million, of products in less than one day.

Kim Kardashian marketed her product by reaching out to her huge fan base though social media. Plus, she recognized an issue that women have been complaining about for the last few years, that shapewear flattens your entire body instead of accentuating it. She created a new type of body shapers that was designed to enhance your body instead squishing it by compression.

Heist Studios has been around since 2015 but mostly focused on their superior quality tights but in 2018 they introduced with a new type of shapewear. Their line was designed and engineered by Fiona Fairhust, the renowned creator of the Olympic-approved Speedo Fastskin swimming suit. Her goal along with Heist Studios was to create a line that women would actually want to wear.

Their goal was to create a shapewear line that imitated what our body already did- just better. They believe that shapewear isn’t just for those who dislike their lumps and bumps, but it is for everybody.

Sara Blakely for example, founder of Spanx, was creating by marketing women’s flaws or imperfections and their products were the solution to mask these problem areas. But nowadays, young women are opting for body shapers brands that promote body positivity and empower them to feel confident. They shy away from body shaping wear that feels constrictive or tight. Instead they look for brands that are seamless with a lightweight, comfortable feel such as SKIMS.

Plus, SKIMS won over the millions of ethnic minority groups by creating shapewear brand that comes in 14 different skin tones and sizes ranging from XXS to 5XL. But Spanx is still in the ice age with only three-color options and limited sizes.

It will be interesting to see the future of Spanx in the world of shapewear.

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