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Barely there biz

Lace, silky fabrics and a lot of skin were the stars of the runway during the second Lingerie Fashion Week in New York, an event showcasing the latest in intimate apparel.

Several designers, including one who makes items constructed with 24-karat gold and another aiming to bring a shot of style to drab maternity and nursing lingerie, sought to shake up the under-there business.

The only fashion week devoted to lingerie, the event marks a departure from the trade-show model many brands are used to, in which new lines are unveiled at twice-yearly gatherings in February and August.

The intimates category is showing steady growth. It rose 2.3 percent, to $10.81 billion, in the year ended in May, according to data from market research firm the NPD Group. But retailers are still dealing with reluctant consumers who are shopping their closet before venturing out to buy something new.

In this environment, stores are looking to set themselves apart, said Marshal Cohen, NPD's chief retail industry analyst, and that is welcome news for some of the emerging designers showing at Lingerie Fashion Week.

"This is a very good time to introduce new brands and products in the market, because retail's hungry for product differentiation," he said.

Click ahead for scenes from Lingerie Fashion Week.

By Katie Little
Posted 5 Aug. 2013

Adam Jeffery | CNBC