Daphne Duong

May 26, 2021

Podcast EP.39: Mixing comfort and sex appeal, a new look at the lingerie market

What are the cultural shifts redefining today’s lingerie trend designs?

From silhouette to fit and fabric, the complexity of designing lingerie products is an understated art. So what are the exciting technologies, innovations, and trends to know about when it comes to lingerie? 

Like many other apparel categories, the lingerie industry is making strides to be more inclusive and mindful of today’s consumer pain points. M&S is one retailer leading the charge and offering an array of lingerie products to ensure the everyday woman have the right undergarment products for their body. 

As 1 in 3 British women wears an M&S bra, they are no doubt a leader in this market. With this type of reputation, we’re excited to be joined by Soozie Jenkinson, Head of Lingerie Design at M&S, who is responsible for setting design direction and overseeing product development through the end-to-end process. With over 27 years of experience at M&S under her belt, Soozie walks us through the critical lingerie design elements and processes to consider when it comes to serving this $250 billion market

Key takeaways:

  • The M&S lingerie team puts customer focused designs at the fore and uses that feedback as an important channel to understand the demands from their users and incorporate them into their designs. For instance, their Flexifit line and post surgery bra were all created simply due to this type of feedback loop. 
  • While the runway is still an important influence, it’s more about how people are interpreting macro trends in their own unique style. Soozie notes that brands are developing their own style stating, “trends are definitely slowing down and brands are really defining what their identity is and who their customer is, but also pushing the fashion dial. It’s less about overriding statements and actually being inspired by other creatives and other designers.” 
  • Some considerations to keep in mind when designing for a sports bra include whether the fabric’s performance and stretch will actually work, or whether it provides the shape and support needed for high impact activity. M&S have partnered with Japanese scientists to understand how the body moves to map out which components and fabrics would be best placed to create a great sports bra. Soozie says, “It’s very important that we blend the science back with the style.”


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