How newcomers are driving innovation in the intimates & swimwear industry

With the rapid decline of once dominant intimates brands, newcomers are capitalising on market niches and changing customer desires. In the last 2 years alone, numerous female-lead brands have emerged, offering extensive size ranges, product offerings and inclusive marketing.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of (or are already obsessed with) Savage X Fenty. Rihanna’s lingerie brand has paved the way for other boutique brands by redefining the marketplace with its accessible price point and extensive assortment of products. Savage X Fenty’s first runway show included a model so pregnant that she went into labour on the runway and left for the hospital.

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Kala, a brand launched in September 2018, recently added maternity bra styles as well as postpartum underwear to its lineup. Everviolet is a beautiful lingerie and loungewear collection nurturing changes in woman’s body following treatment for breast cancer. Cuup makes bras that look and feel great in every size, from A to G (US).

At RAQ, we make swimwear for women D cup and up.  


1. The design process is as much a science as an art

“Bras are notoriously difficult to design” says Christina Binkley from Vogue Business. “Larger cup sizes can require the literal equivalent of bridge engineering — they must lift an appendage that is cantilevered off the body — with materials that won’t pull, scratch, dig or shift around.”

The same challenges apply to bra size swimwear, particularly when sizes approach the D cup + region. At RAQ, we think of ourselves as engineers for boobs. Because with 30 painstaking measurements going into every single size of every design, our design process is as much a science as an art.

We’re always innovating – trialling new kinds of underwire, fabric and convertible straps to ensure there’s a style that works for every boob mood – hormonal boobs, pregnant boobs, active boobs and posing-on-the-beach boobs.

After 3 years of development, we’ve even achieved the busty girl’s dream: a triangle bikini with serious support, with more styles on the way for Australian Summer 2019/2020.

2. Inclusive sizing and versatility

Truth bomb: most boobs are D cup or bigger. In fact, our research shows that women who wear D cup or above actually number around 60% of the population. But most intimates and swimwear are made for a C cup, max – and that’s if you’re going for a weirdly flattened look, serious side spillage and the definite risk of nip slip.

RAQ bikinis are sized like bras, with separate cup and back sizes, like waterproof, street-friendly lingerie. At our design HQ, we work side by side with super-smart pattern makers and manufacturers to create styles that are anything but standard, with over 30 measurements and up to 35 size options in every two-piece. So it’s guaranteed to flatter, even before you shimmy anything on.

In addition to expanded size ranges, brands are focusing on the versatility of their designs. At RAQ, use clever adjustable features like multi-way halters, in must-wear-now designs that don’t look like your mum’s aqua-erobics outfits (no offence to your mum).

3. Personalised customer experience

Shopping for intimates can be an extremely daunting and vulnerable experience for women. Emerging female-lead brands understand this and have structured their customer service experience to ensure that customers feel comfortable and can find the perfect fit and style for their body.  

When shopping with boutique brands, the process is more flexible than shopping with long-standing department stores and brands. More often than not, you can communicate in real time with the expert fitters that know exactly how each style fits.

At RAQ we’re all about customer service – going that little bit further so you don’t have to. You can use our Size Check to find out your correct size, or if you prefer to speak to a human, we offer quick online fittings via DM.

Size QuizRAQ Size Fit Quiz

4. Inclusive and exciting marketing

“Perhaps the most significant market is women whose bodies don’t resemble those of Victoria’s Secret angels. Lingerie brands trying to compete are doing so in an increasingly crowded field, but one that appears to have room for newcomers as the market grows.” says Christina Binkley from Vogue Business.

That’s where RAQ comes in (and below and all around.) We make bikinis that suit the silent majority of boobs. Big boobs.

That's why we showcase our products on all types of boobs. Hormonal boobs. Augmented boobs. Pregnant boobs. Any boob that’s D cup or larger, we’re all over it. Literally.  

At long last, the tide is turning when it comes to the intimates and swimwear industry, and at RAQ, we want to be a big force in this new direction.

By busty women, for busty women, RAQ isn’t really swimwear for the rest of us. 

It’s swimwear, at long last, that’s made for the most of us.

Lady lumps and all.  

Let us know in the comments below: What are your thoughts on the intimates and apparel industry? What brands have you had a great experience with? What's most important to you - size range, fit guides, direct communication with the brand? 




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