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The global beachwear industry is widely talked about. With growing potential for niche manufacturers, it is likely to rise manifold. MarediModa, an Italy-based association of beachwear and underwear fabric manufacturers that organises an international trade show in Cannes (next edition 8-9-10 November 2016) and imparts industry-specific information. Marco Borioli, president of MarediModa, talks about the industry with Fibre2Fashion.com
What is the size of the global beachwear industry? What is the growth percentage recorded in this industry year-on-year?
The global swimwear industry's annual revenue was US$ 13.25 billion in 2015. The global swimwear and beachwear market is projected to reach US$ 20 billion by 2020, driven by the rising popularity of beach culture and water sports and the launch of innovative products such as UV protection swimsuits and thermal swimwear. An aging but active population in the United States of America, Japan and Europe as well as in the emerging markets of Asia and Latin America presents attractive opportunities for sales growth. Brazil represents the single largest market in terms of unit sales, but remains a closed market. Asia-Pacific, led by China, represents the fastest growing market worldwide.
What are the latest trends dominating the global beachwear market?
Print, for sure, is the most in demand. Visitors to Cannes may find the best in terms of creativity and innovation. Floral and geometric prints - of vintage and marine inspiration - as well as all-over prints or plains embellished by accessories are the most appreciated. Thanks to cooperation with the most qualified, international partners, every year MarediModa identifies four main trends for beachwear and two for bodywear. They become a never-failing reference for all visitors.
What are the notable changes you have seen in this market compared to 10 years before?
The most notable change is the offer. In the last few years, the lower-end market has dramatically grown, causing a reduction in the mid-range market. Today, we see a massive offer in the lower-end market, whilst the high-end proposal is much more concentrated. We could notice a return to high-quality, traceable products. As a matter of fact, the demand for a product with high creative content and quality origin is on the rise, owing to market saturation of very cheap products.
What fabrics are commonly used for beachwear? What are the latest innovations?
Our business is innovative in terms of creative and industrial processes. Today, fashion is showing contamination. Different sectors, which were totally unrelated, are now closer. Stretch fabrics - traditionally employed in beachwear - are now used in sports. Athleisurewear or simply ladieswear is an emerging trend. This means that our fabrics may reach other fashion industries.
Going back to your question, I can say that the most important innovation in recent years has been the digital print, which completely changed our industry. We cannot forget specialised workers operating the digital print. Training new, specialised digital print operators is absolutely essential. Digital printing is a serious matter. It is not about just pressing a button.
Who are the big players in this industry?
Talking about fabrics, the big players are Carvico, Jersey Lomellina and Eurojersey. Triumph, Wacoal, Van der Velde and other big clothing brands are the key players in high-end products. Our trade show visitors know that they will find the best creative hints and, above all, high-quality products in Cannes, unlike other trade shows which are open to any kind of exhibitors. MarediModa has always been an exclusive, niche exhibition.
How do you rate the consumption of beachwear in Asian countries?
Potentially, this is a limitless and a very complicated market. It is still immature, from many points of view, even though the demand for luxury products is constantly growing. Rising disposable income, westernised lifestyles, increase in tourism and vacationing and growing cultural acceptance of swimwear as fashion attire are driving growth. We have been monitoring it for years, without taking specific commercial action. We will brave it out as soon as we feel it is profitable.
What are the strengths and challenges facing this industry in the Asian market?
We are pressing on creativity and innovation. That is the strength of Europe.
Published on: 14/04/2016
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.
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