May 14, 2019,

Can men oversee a product adorned by women and guide it to great success?

Yes. Victoria’s Secret is one example of sexy girl items and lingerie that soared, a company initially guided by a man.

But, as women are energizing growth in various business industries and their numbers are increasing as entrepreneurs, it comes as no surprise that women are increasingly overseeing the sexy attire industry as well.

ThirdLove and other new lingerie lines like Knix and Savage X Fenty were founded by women who saw an opportunity to target a wider array of customers.

Yes the times are a changin’.

As shared by fashionista.com on Nov 20, 2018, “It looks like Victoria’s Secret is about to get the top-to-bottom overhaul it has long needed. Following a stretch of declining sales and increasing criticism around the lack of inclusivity in its marketing, culminating in a controversial interview with CMO Ed Razek on Vogue.com that faced immediate and scathing backlash, the lingerie brand is finally taking steps to turn things around.”

Other media groups are echoing that analysis.

On November 30, 2018, cbsnews.com posted, “With elaborate sets, extravagant costumes and flawless supermodels, Victoria’s Secret has built a $7 billion lingerie empire on the idea that “sex sells.” But after two decades, profits are declining and critics say the TV special is out of step with the times.”

In the third quarter of 2018, the brand’s comparable store sales declined by 6 percent with profit margins down significantly as well. Both lingerie and Pink brand were to blame for the decline.

What Victoria’s Secret and other companies are facing is a trend where many women feel that from lingerie to other fashion items, they don’t need to be ultra revealing to be sexy.

An example of that was a HBO Real Sports episode that observed, “NFL cheerleaders aren’t paid well to shake those pom-poms and flash smiling faces on game day. The compensation is even worse when considering the ogling, groping, poking and prodding required just to get on the field to do their part-time jobs.”

The thought process in some places is why do NFL games need cheerleaders anyway? They don’t contribute to the outcome of the contest in any form.

Has any player after a victory, when interviewed, said it was the extolling from the cheerleaders that inspired him and made a difference?

Another person interviewed by Real Sports reflected the only time that we see women in the NFL is when they’re cheerleaders, and they’re not being paid fairly for their work. What does that tell you about how the NFL feels about women?

On April 17, 2018 an article in Forbes Magazine went even further. “What do the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, and Pittsburgh Steelers have in common? They are the only NFL teams that play their games without the support of a cheerleading squad on the sidelines. All teams in the league and across professional sports would do well to join them.”

We noticed that those were mostly cold weather teams but we get the point.

Perhaps some of Victoria’s Secrets declining sales is due to modern trends but another aspect to their challenge is that they are running into fierce competition from size-inclusive labels like Savage X Fenty, Aerie and ThirdLove.

Let’s meet them.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, aerie ae.com photo credit via Maxim

Vogue Magazine educated on Friday June 25, 2018, “Rumours began circulating back in March that Rihanna was expanding her Fenty empire to include a lingerie line. Now, the Barbadian popstar’s social media campaign teasers have come to an end, and RiRi fans around the globe have been snapping up her Savage X Fenty underwear collection – and, now, her line of “Xccessories”.”

Apparently Rihanna spotted the gap in the market for underwear that doesn’t speak to women from all walks of life and sizes.

Her Savage x Fenty show, presented during New York Fashion Week, displayed curves, stretchmarks and love handles with flair.

Aerie, stylized as aerie, is a lingerie lifestyle retailer and intimate apparel sub-brand owned by American Eagle Outfitters.

The brand targets the American 15- to 25-year-old female demographic.

In addition to lingerie, such as a wide variety of bras and other undergarments, the aerie line also sells dorm wear, active apparel, loungewear, accessories and sleepwear.

The aerie brand is sold as a shop-in-shop in American Eagle Outfitters stores, on-line through the American Eagle web site, and in stand-alone aerie retail stores. Additionally, American Eagle Outfitters and aerie merchandise are available at 82 licensed international franchise stores in 13 countries.

Aerie’s main competition in the lingerie market for the 15- to 22-year-old demographic includes Pink by Victoria’s Secret.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, aerie ae.com photo credit via Business Insider

In their own words AEO shares, “American Eagle Outfitters® (NYSE: AEO) is a leading global specialty retailer offering high-quality, on-trend clothing, accessories and personal care products at affordable prices under its American Eagle® and Aerie® brands. We are an inclusive, optimistic and empowering company that celebrates the individuality of our customers and associates. Our purpose is to show the world that there’s REAL power in the optimism of youth.”

Sounds good to us.

Also sounded good to cnbc.com who praised, “As both American Eagle and Aerie continue to grow — the company’s stock is up 114 percent year over year — Aerie is growing at a much faster pace. The company’s same-store sales growth in the first quarter rose 38 percent, on top of a 25 percent increase in 2017.”

Aerie is happily getting used to women sending them thank you letters complete with photos, and appreciation for what the lingerie and apparel company has done for her body image.

It is time to fall in love. Again and again and again.

ThirdLove is an American company producing and selling bras, underwear, loungewear and nightwear. ThirdLove was the first bra and underwear brand to offer trademarked half cup sizing and a mobile app allowing women to measure themselves at home.

It also uses a technology referred to as Fit Finder which combines machine learning algorithms and customer feedback to select the best bra size.

In June 2018, the company added 24 new larger sizes selling out due to a 1.3 million woman wait list.

Wonderfully surprising.

Expressing terms, underwear and night wear, what does that tell you about what women want?

As of October 2018, Forbes estimated ThirdLove to be worth $750 million and was placed on the Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startup List.

We love that the competition for women’s lingerie is heating up. Competition is a good thing.

It is so exciting that the offerings in this sexy industry is broadening.

We will happily keep watching for what’s coming around the curve.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, aerie ae.com photo credit via MetDaan

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PHOTO CREDITS TO AERIE ae.com

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/victorias-secret-lbrands-stock-price-basically-gives-things-away-for-free-not-working-2019-2-1027934731

https://fashionista.com/2018/11/victorias-secret-revenue-profits-q3-2018

https://www.forbes.com/sites/leeigel/2018/04/17/why-it-may-be-time-to-retire-nfl-cheerleading-squads/#244d8b3941b6

https://www.savagex.com/

https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/fenty-savage

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerie_(American_Eagle_Outfitters)

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/22/aerie-is-a-standout-with-body-positive-ads-and-real-models.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThirdLove