So, 2014 is off with a bang — Cora at The Lingerie Addict was kind enough to give this blog a strong recommendation today. WOW. (It’s galvanized me into posting, at any rate. I’ve been in a bit of a guilt/silence vicious cycle: this blog depends on the scant downtime from a spectacularly busy day job, and sometimes there just isn’t enough energy to go round. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Cora.) Readers, I give you a choice little bit of unfinished business from 2013 to snack on whilst I dust down the blog and burnish up the posting pipeline.
Let’s briefly review the issue that triggered this blog, which is the cage-and-bondage style vacuum in full-bust. The bondage trend hit mainstream fashion like a Mack truck in 2013. And not just in lingerie. It was awesome. And the full-bust market … was frozen out. No product. Nada.* When Miss Underpinnings asked her readers in September what should be done with the Freya Deco and how Freya could better serve the full-bust market, the responses were dominated by plaintive wails for something in a cage style already for the love of God. Yet the market remained sublimely indifferent to the need. My mid-October overview of Freya’s situation therefore culminated in one clear and actionable recommendation for the brand: Following the road carved out, paved, and mapped (for smaller cup sizes) by Marlies Dekkers, Freya should create a full-cup cage bra based on its much lionized cult creation and spinoff factory, the Deco.
Well. After I made that recommendation, a delightful piece of new evidence in its favor came to light.
Customers aren’t just lying down meekly under the slings and arrows of industry denial any more, my friends. Customers are doing it for themselves.
I present to you the indomitable Kate Blank. Denied her heart’s desire by a cruel and unfeeling industry, Kate did not repine, she did not despair. She went proactive. She went rogue. She went to work on her own Freya Deco, and she turned it into — well, essentially, the bra I’d just been entreating Freya to give her.
The demand for the bra I charged Freya to produce is so real, so acute, so strongly felt, that it will not be denied! Any questions, Freya?
Here’s the thing about evolving market landscapes. They evolve. With or without you.
I’m not exhorting Freya to go make something new and radical happen completely from scratch in an inert, complacent marketplace. I’m suggesting a way for Freya to navigate a marketplace that’s already swelling with change and ready to burst. Thanks to the Deco, they’re ideally positioned to get out in front of that change, make itself a catalyst, help shape this paradigm shift, be the market leader they are, and profit like crazy. The alternative is to be prudent and cautious and stand on the sidelines, to let some other company lead. Panache, though not quite as ideally situated as Freya for this project, has outstanding relevant capabilities. Freya could decide to hang back and let them drive, then amble along in their wake collecting crumbs at low risk. It just seems so … weak. Of course, I don’t know what pressures Freya’s brand leaders are under or what their internal risk calculus looks like; I’m just standing over here on the sidelines, waving at them, brandishing a qualitative situation analysis and a choice.
excuse me I must poem at Freya now
Regard Kate’s work. Now tell me, if you will,
Whether this full-bust cage has not a base
All ready to raven upon a real offering?
An unmet need that will not be denied,
Desire that aches and goads its prey along,
Lies smoldering in this desert. Will you slake it?
Does not your honor rise to claim this prize?
Go! Still the idiot prate of dull convention,
And liberate demand from where it lies
In chains of prejudice and false assumptions.
Release the glory of your long-bound goddess
From her dull durance in the wilderness
To cut a streak of beauty through the world:
For she will grant such treasure as your mede
That you will wax fair rich, and be promoted.
The hour is here: I charge you, rise and seize it!
(I’m so sorry)
*Obligatory footnote to concede that at least two attempts to offer a full-bust cage bra did surface late in 2013, the Figleaves Boudoir Carmen and the Pour Moi? Addicted. Neither, to my mind, succeeded in achieving landmark status as the first full-bust cage bra: they stopped at G cup, and were reported to run very small and very shallow, respectively. Those in the lowest reaches of the full-bust market, at cup sizes DD-F, might certainly experiment with these new styles, but this segment had had access to existing cage bra offerings, from Marlies Dekkers and Myla and the like. Customers in the FF-GG and H-K segments — customers whose need was greatest — were left high and dry, wandering the same old full-bust desert. In short, the Carmen and the Addicted were good signs that the market was ready to move, but they weren’t themselves market movers. This said, I may have missed a new entrant or two in the last few weeks, so hit me up in the comments.
**And a MORNING-AFTER CODA for Freya that I’m editing in even though the post went up twelve hours ago, because this just hit me really hard in the shower, no joke. There is a fatality in names. Your brand is making big bank under the banner of a deity. Freya’s not just a goddess of love and beauty, she’s also a goddess of war, and I wouldn’t take the risk of pissing her off. Go ahead and offer your customers what they want: a bra that’s overtly sexy. And don’t be afraid to fight for their right to party.