Millennials seem to always be in the headlines recently and their strong opinions are destroying industries. For example, certain brands of soaps or cereals are being affected. Now, lingerie brands that have shaped the industry are on the risk of bankruptcy if they cannot connect with the younger generations.
These opinionated 22 to 37 years old generation, followed by the under 22 years old successors (Generation Z,) love fashion but how they perceive fashion is quite different than their latter counterparts. In the past, baby boomers and the generation X wore what the fashion industry told them to wear. They would eagerly watch runway shows then wait months for the styles to hit the stores.
However, the younger generation prefers instant gratification and a more spontaneous timeline. Instead of Haute Couture catwalks, they thrive on street wear inspired drops of limited editions on social media that is available to order immediately.
Millennials want to support a cause, feel a connection to the product they are wearing and avoid brands that represent gigantic warehouses that just want your money. They look for online marketplaces that promote inclusivity, gender neutrality, quality and overall comfort. Plus, they want to belong to a community that actually listens to their opinions and responds by giving them want they want.
For example, companies such as Victoria’s Secret are facing bankruptcy because of the lack of appeal to the younger millennial generation. They aren’t listening to their customers by taking advantage of social media and millennial influencers. Plus, they are still trying to sell sexy and it’s not working.
Other companies, such as Spanx, have been a leader in the shapewear industry for the last 20 years but because of their lack of body positivity ad campaigns, millennials are turning their nose up at the famous brand. Another reason why millennials don’t like Spanx anymore is due to their faceless enterprise that is making billions off of women’s insecurities instead of empowering them.
Shapewear is The New Lingerie
Shapewear is definitely not something we would use to describe sexy but without a doubt it is the most comfortable type of lingerie. Plus shapewear has taken great strides in the last twenty years, from when we saw Bridget Jones struggling her way into a pair of old-fashioned granny panties.
Today’s shapewear is made from much more comfortable, breathable fabrics that are easier to slip into. The Millennial generation is reshaping the shapewear market by taking it out of the special occasion market and making it part of our everyday wear.
For example, in a recent article of the New York Times, they stated that the shapewear market is valued at more than $500 million a year and is expected to triple in the next few years. One of the reasons for this incredible growth is the creation of innovative fabrics and more body-positive orientated online marketing.
Twenty years ago, shapewear was marketed to make women look like Jessica Rabbit, but today it is about liberating women by helping them to concentrate on the more important things. Instead of worrying about your back fat, cellulite, muffin top, etc. you can slip on your shapewear that smooths away your troublesome areas.
Another shift in the shapewear industry is that it is reaching out to various ethnic groups by expanding their collections into different skin tones. Plus, shapewear brands are expanding their collections for all body types, often paying close attention to create not just a larger version of their product but a product that offers a true fit.
Since millennials love to see how the item they are considering to purchase will actually look on their body, many shapewear brands are using a wide range of women with different body types on their online social media campaigns.
Shapewear Empowers Women
A recent article in the New York Times entitled “Spanx started a shapewear revolution” deals with how millennials are saying yes to shapewear but no to Spanx, the company that basically put shapewear on the map. In the article, they interviewed several online shapewear marketplaces. One of the interviews explained perfectly the essence of the shapewear movement.
Stephanie Biscomb, Shapermint’s brand manager, stated that today’s shapewear isn’t about concealing our bodies. It has vamped-up underwear that liberates women. When you wear shapewear, you can concentrate on yourself instead of worrying about how your clothes are fitting.
Shapermint has noticed that their younger shapewear customers gravitate towards lighter compression that can be worn everyday. They have created an online community of women of all body types who love their curves, but recognize that some days, they need a little extra help accepting their constantly changing body. Shapermint’s policy is that if any product they sell gets lower than a three star review they will remove it.
Ms. Biscomb said, ” We’re going to show women the way they are. Women are prepared to see themselves reflected on social media.” Maybe this is why this new shapewear marketplace is the fastest growing fashion-orientated online company today, they are connecting with the millennials.
Even women who are considered to be very pro-feminist are embracing today’s new comfortable shapewear. It makes them feel more positive about their bodies and more confident. Others say that shapewear empowers and liberates them by helping them forget about their insecurities. Some ladies compare it to wearing makeup and nobody has said makeup wasn’t body positive.
Shapewear went from being a sexist undergarment that women wore in the past for approval by men, but today, it is about making women feel beautiful and confident from the inside out. Thankfully, styles today are more comfortable and won’t constrict your internal organs.
So if you are ready to be empowered, maybe it is time you gave shapewear another try. Trust us, you will love today’s body-positive shapewear!