It was over a year ago that I first discovered the UK brand, Curvy Kate. As a full-busted consumer, I am always on the lookout for new brands which cater to women like me. And as an intimate apparel professional, I make it my business to know what’s happening in the world of lingerie. I was immediately drawn to the youthful, playful and flirtatious styling of the brand and anxious to find out how to get my hands on a matching set. And it was great to see the product on curvy models that looked like me! But more importantly, it was their business strategy that caught my attention. Besides the fact that they had over 400% growth in the few short years since launching the brand, I was very impressed with the company’s innovative approach to marketing.
Late last year I wrote an article for The Lingerie Journal about the importance of social media in the intimate apparel industry. I identified Curvy Kate as one of several intimate apparel brands which are doing a great job utilizing social media to promote themselves. I wrote, “In the U.K., the newcomer on the scene is a full-busted brand called Curvy Kate…..they’ve come on the scene and made quite an impression. And the bulk of their marketing has been a “grassroots” social media campaign. Curvy Kate is active on the internet and appeals to the “everywoman.” Rather than hire expensive models to promote their brand, they conducted a model search called “Star in a Bra.” All of the Curvy Kate models are amateurs who submitted themselves to be the face and bust of the brand. And the best part is that we get to be the judge!”
At that time, Curvy Kate was only available in the UK and in Europe and was starting to take hold in Australia. But this relatively small, full-busted UK label has since gone global. And much of this success is due to their innovative “grassroots” marketing and PR initiatives. The brand is now being sold in specialty shops throughout the US and is available on the leading intimate apparel ecommerce site, BareNecessities.com.
To celebrate the brand’s foray into the US market, the company has recently announced that they are bringing their annual Star in a Bra competition to the US. Starting in April, the brand will scour the United States for a naturally curvy woman who will become the face and body of the brand. Going against the grain, Curvy Kate champions shapely figures by searching for D plus girls who are curvy, charismatic and confident with a fuller body and a natural full bust.
The Star in a Bra search will be run through the brand’s new USA Facebook page and they encourage fans to submit their favorite lingerie photos to win an international modeling contract and a year’s worth of Curvy Kate Lingerie. The winner will also be flown to the UK to take part in the brand’s latest marketing campaign with fellow UK and Australian winners.
The competition strives to celebrate healthy curves, a positive body image and diversity. Curvy Kate Marketing Manager, Hannah Houston, stated, “We truly believe that our customers should model our lingerie as these are the girls who will be buying it. Our model search isn’t just a one off – it’s here to stay to prove how gorgeous the shapely figure looks in lingerie – wobbles, bumps and all. If you can wear Curvy Kate lingerie – you’re in.” Showing how Curvy Kate’s lingerie looks on a fuller bust and shapely frame gives a true representation of how the product fits and supports a larger bustline.
Curvy Kate D – K cup lingerie is designed for fun, flirty girls with a fuller breast and desire for fashion. Utilizing gorgeous, fashion-conscious designs and clever engineering, the brand offers variety and flattering, colorful styles normally only seen in smaller cup sizes. Bras retail from $65 to $75 USD.
Buyers can preview Curvy Kate’s next collection at the CurveNY lingerie trade show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center through Thursday, February 23rd. Booth # 416.