American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. owns the brand “aerie”. The American Eagle brand targets the 15 to 25 year old female. The aerie brand offers Dormwear® and intimates collections with 114 standalone stores in the U.S. and Canada and online at www.aerie.com. To date, I haven’t found anything terribly distinctive at aerie. It often looks like some vague cross between Victoria Secret’s Pink collection and Gap Body. This winter, the Fairisle line caught my eye. I can imagine a fabulous lodge vacation, being snowed in, and whipping out this cute set.
This bra offers different padding and lift depending on your cup size. As the cup size increases, the padding decreases. The bra is offered in A-DD cups. Besides the variable padding, the Biofit bra resembles most modern t-shirt bras with sleek moulded cups and minimal stitching. As of this writing, there are generic knickers you can add to your order, but no other matching pieces. The release of the Biofit bra features VS Models Karolina Kurkova and Adriana Lima.
Other than the sexy spokespeople, the Biofit bra comes shortly after hearing that VS will be toning down their super sexy line. “Victoria’s Secret owner Limited Brands, Inc., announced in late February that its profits for fourth quarter 2007 were down 12 percent, and expected them to go lower. In addition, store chain CEO Sharon Turney was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying the franchise had ‘gotten off’ its heritage and that the clothing brand had become ‘too sexy.’ She said it would return to more sophisticated and less overtly seductive styles.” (Ed Thomas)
Has Victoria’s Secret risked becoming a mall equivalent of Frederick’s of Hollywood? FoH is a venerable U.S. institution, but for at least the last fifteen years, their catalog has focused on special occasion garments, costumes, and sexy outfits. In that same time period, Victoria’s Secret has grown to be the dominant retail lingerie purveyor in the U.S. Following the inevitable rules of business and markets, competitors have entered Victoria’s Secret market space. These new competitors have found specialized niches that Victoria’s Secret has not been able to address. Lane Bryant’s parent company, Charming Shoppes, has been spinning up their plus size line, Cacique. Cacique sells bras from 36C-48H. Victoria’s Secret has inconsistently offered products above cup size D, so Cacique can certainly capture this market. Chico’s has also built out their Soma Lingerie line. Soma caters to the same demographic as Chicos which is a sophisticated, slightly older woman. As Victoria’s Secret emphasizes youth, Soma can build on their Chicos success within the same demographic. The Gap has pushed into the basics market with their Gap Body stores which provide everyday intimates. American Eagle Outfitters has offered Aerie for younger girls to compete with Victoria’s Secret teen line Pink. Abercombie and Fitch are set to release their own intimates line to further compete with Pink and Aerie.
All of this competition is good for consumers as prices become more reasonable and more demographic sectors are covered.