(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Curvy Kate is poised to offer the American bra market something the company believes it has been lacking: stylish bras in big cup sizes and small bandwidths. The lingerie brand—which launched in the United Kingdom last July carrying bras in sizes 28 to 40, DD through J—will attend this August’s CurvExpo shows in Las Vegas and New York City, and plans to exhibit at the show’s February 2011 editions.
The company’s goal is to find “an experienced and established [U.S.] distributor and/or agent who understands the potential of our product,” said Hannah Houston, marketing manager of the company. Retail prices range from approximately £12 to £15 for panties and £26 to £30 for bras, which is equivalent to approximately $18 to $22, and $38 to $44, respectively, at the current exchange rate.
Entering the U.S. market seems like the natural progression for the young company, which Steve Hudson, managing director of Curvy Kate, launched after many years as a retailer specializing in bras for full-busted women. The brand can be found in 200 retail stores throughout the United Kingdom, Australia, Poland, Germany and New Zealand, and recently signed with Canadian distributor Clara Isopo at Paragon International. Major UK retailers carrying the brand include Bravissimo and JD Williams.
Houston added that the fitting revolution is starting to hit the U.S., making it the perfect time for Curvy Kate to make its entrance. “Over the last year we have been researching the U.S. lingerie industry and have found [that] there is a gap in the DD-plus market. Curvy Kate offers incredible fit, fashionable styles and great support, and few brands are currently catering [to] this customer,” she remarked.
“Over the last five years the fitting revolution in the UK has encouraged more women to find their true bra size, with 70 percent finding that they are actually wearing the wrong bra. Most women tend to wear a back size that is far too big, and to support the heavier bust it is crucial that the back band is a firm fit. The 30/32 back bands out-sell [our] larger back band sizes in the UK […] When fitted correctly women [also] tend to find that they are, in fact, a bigger cup size [than they had thought]. [Although this bra revolution] hasn’t completely saturated the U.S. market, change does seem to be taking place and women are looking for brands [that] cater to smaller back sizes and larger cups. Also, there is a growing interest in brands [that] encourage women to find the perfect fit.”
Due to “[our] variety of styles, which cross several market areas,” Houston said Curvy Kate’s customers range from the 16-year-old girl to the woman in her 50’s. “Generally, though, we look at our target customer as a woman of 18 to 34, who enjoys fashion but ultimately is looking for pretty, everyday lingerie that supports her fuller bust while remaining comfortable and attractive.”
In product news, over the next year the company plans to add a K cup. The company is also adding seamless cups, plunge bras and swimwear collection with tankini and bikini options.
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