SOURCE: Elila

Elila

October 15, 2015 16:00 ET

Up a Cup

The Evolution of the Lingerie Industry

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - October 15, 2015) - Elila, the specialty lingerie brand for full figure women, is riding way ahead of the plus-size wave.

Created in 2004, Elila designs each piece in its intimate apparel line with top shelf, top quality avant-garde materials, while maintaining a distinct focus on detail to create items that scream support. Ensuring the wearer feels more confident from the first snap, Elila strives to empower women by producing garments with unparalleled support, making a difference where it matters.

Past, present, future: Plus size reinvented

"Over the last few years, the plus size fashion industry has grown dramatically. More options, sizes, and styles are available now than ever before. Plus sized lingerie is no exception to this phenomenon," states Cora Harrington, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Lingerie Addict, one of the most influential lingerie blogs in the market.

The average American woman is about 25 pounds heavier than she was in 1960 (source AP). So, who is this woman today? What are her needs and what are her wants?

"When I first came into the biz, I knew that I was a busty woman who knew I wasn't wearing the correct size. I didn't even know a G cup existed!" states plus-size model Asia Mone't. "Ten years ago, everything we found on the racks was black, nude, or white, and none of us were even being correctly fitted. So, I started scavenging the industry to find a solution," continues Asia.

Enter Elila, where Asia has been their 40G fit model for over 3 years.

"I started creating garments where there was a void: well-made basic supportive bras," states Ellen Jacobson owner of Elila. The 10-year-old brand, known for their classically-designed foundation pieces, is fast-becoming one of the go-to collections for the full-figured woman.

Basic pieces, however, began evolving and today the Elila collection is comprised of 35 different styles for casual and specialty wear, including shapewear, nursing and sports bras. Each garment has been handcrafted to provide the wearer with optimum levels of comfort, support, and enough "pretty" to make full-figured women feel sexy and comfortable all day (and all night).

Retail partner, herroom.com, is clearly on the same page.

"The plus size category has gone for very little to lots of product. Every brand we carry has been consistently adding larger sizes to their offering. When we carry a bra (or other item) we make the commitment to carry its entire size range. This is not typical of store retailers that tend to carry the bell curve of sizes and lop off the tails. Additionally, the plus size customer loves color. We make every effort to have as many color options available on our site in their size range," states Tomima Edmark, President & Founder, Andra Group.

At the last Curve Expo show in August, where model Asia Mone't modeled the collection, Elila began shipping the much-anticipated Glamour -- the brand's first three-piece set that heralds superb construction and unique support paired with intricate French-inspired lace and old-school boudoir details like pin tucks. Buyers loved it and the timing was perfect.

According to Women's Wear Daily, "Buyers were on the hunt for special, plus-size items."

Ellen confirms, "they were picking up specialty items that they wouldn't have touched three years ago."

Asia Mone't was definitely interested in touching Glamour.

A plus-size model for almost 10 years, Asia has been a recognized player in the industry and a unique element to brands, like Elila, in their product development. A staunch defender of her own plus-size body image and a voice for young women everywhere, Asia is feeling good about the future. "Women are finally being authentic to themselves. Take it or leave it!" she smiles. "Retailers are responding by offering a wider range of supportive, comfortable and sexy garments, brands are responding by actually including full-figure models in their marketing strategies, and the blogging community is getting the message out big time, helping curvy women feel good from the inside out," continues Asia.

So, what's next for the plus size lingerie business? Support, fit... and sexy.

"A number of new brands have entered the marketplace with exciting products in a wide variety of colors, silhouettes, and fabrics. Through my blog, The Lingerie Addict, I regularly talk with women who are looking for plus size options that take both their aesthetic tastes and their desire for support and fit into account," states Cora.

At Elila, Ellen is excited that the market is allowing her to explore. "It's great to finally have more creative freedom in the development of our line. We will continue producing supportive classically-designed garments but our consumer is clearly telling us to spread our wings."

"What's most important today, however, is to help educate women about how to feel great in their own body, including how to find the best fit for their clothing…and their lingerie. We can't lose sight that at the end of the day, women need to feel comfortable. Finding a balance between that and designing sexy pieces will be the biggest challenge for the future," concludes Ellen.

Elila intimate apparel is available in select specialty retailers across the country and online including kohls.com, herroom.com, liviraelingerie.com, lindasonline, and ladygrace.com offering the full figure woman with I-definitely-want-to-wear-that color in sizes 34-54, B-N cups.

Follow Elila across all social platforms for the latest news.

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