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From faux nipples to leak-proof undies, WGSN uncovers the latest women’s underwear trends

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Dec 04, 2023 By WGSN Insider

WGSN explores the finer details of the intimates and lingerie market, from seminal advertising moments to the ‘free the nipple’ movement...

woman in knickers
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The intimates category, particularly for women, has always been a controversial market that has been through astronomical change and innovation, from campaigns featuring real women’s bodies to Free The Nipple and underwear moving a category of comfort.

WGSN subscribers can head to our Fashion site to discover the most up-to-date Intimates directions and forecasts. Alternatively, request a demo to get a glimpse into the opportunities for designers and buyers.

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The rise of inclusivity

“One I really remember from that time [2004] was this woman in these three poses and they put an asterisk by bits of her body and then to the right of the asterisk it was saying ‘actual hips’, ‘actual thighs’, ‘actual bum’. And that to me is a seminal moment for the intimates and laundry industry.”

- Lorna Hall, Director of Fashion, WGSN

The post-covid comfort factor

“I remember joining my first work meeting in lockdown with no bra on. You know that shift from when you got home pre-pandemic and take your shoes off, take your bra off because it's uncomfortable. If you don’t have to wear one, you don’t wear one. Whereas now the bras in my wardrobe are heavily skewed to non-underwired bras that are a lot more comfortable.”

- Francesca Muston, VP of Fashion, WGSN

woman in knickers

Free the nipple!

“In the US, in Europe, even in Latin America, we’ve been seeing the Free The Nipple movement happening for a while and a lot of women trying to normalise nipple exposure in some way, either through the naked dress, essentially shear dresses worn over nothing, or even the shape of your breasts being visible, not being covered by a bra.”

- Sofia Martellini, Senior Strategist for Womenswear, WGSN

Head to Apple or Spotify to hear the full discussion on episode 96 of our Create Tomorrow podcast, Faux Nipples and Leak-Proof Underwear  – The Latest Underwear Trends. 

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