Bikini retailers are set to have their day in court over the sale of their wais, after the market for the popular lingerie style dropped off sharply this year.
The trend has helped fuel a revival in sales of the popular bikini, which has helped boost global brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21 and Victoria’s Own, according to a recent survey from research firm Gartner.
But this fall the trend was down by as much as half compared to last year, according an industry report by consultancy Gartners.
The drop in demand from the fashion-conscious American audience is due to the increasing stigma surrounding the bikini and the growing popularity of alternative styles.
The industry is seeing the most severe downturn since the global financial crisis, according the report.
“We see this as an important time to diversify and get more mainstream consumers in the industry,” said Michael A. Johnson, head of research at the consultancy, in an interview.
The trend is also facing competition from the growing “pornification” of women’s bodies.
“The porn industry is pushing for more mainstream brands to follow suit,” Johnson said.
Bare skin-focussed products like the Koko Bikini and the BareSkin line, which are made of cotton or cotton-like material, were first popularized in the United States by fashion designer Victoria’s secret and were seen as a way for women to wear their own skin.
The Koko is marketed by Victoria’s own, while the Bare Skin line is made by the same company.
This trend has created a new generation of consumers that are more comfortable with wearing skimpy clothes.
But this is also an opportunity for retailers to make money off of the new, mainstream market, Johnson said, adding that they may need to re-brand their products if they want to maintain a healthy market share.
Koko Bikinis are being sold in stores, at online retailers and on websites like Amazon.com and Ebay, where they can be found for as little as $15.
For a $150 or more, Victoria Sucks sells a full set for $30, according a listing on Amazon.
It was also recently available in the U.S. on Amazon, eBay and other retailers.
In response to the decline in sales, Victoria sucks has launched its own line of lingerie.
While Koko and BareSkin lingerie have been popular, the company also makes the Kooleekers, which come in a range of colors and fabrics.
Victoria sucks is now offering the KoloKins in a new, more feminine line called Kolo, which features cotton and nylon fabrics.
The new line is also available at a discount for $40.