Hosiery Market Analysis

October 2, 2012 under News

I got these statistics online and I thought you may want to see that actually in some countries hosiery is on the rise.

Canada

In 2011 hosiery in Canada saw healthy sales growth, with an increase of 3% in volume and 6% in current value terms to reach C$1.4 billion in total by the end of the year. This represented healthy growth compared with the value drop experienced during the recession, although in terms of volume growth remained positive through the recession and slow recovery.

United Kingdom

Hosiery sales increased in both volume and value terms compared to 2010, growing by 2% and 5% respectively in 2011. The famous British Wellington Boots led to the trend of wearing "Wellies with socks", which proved very popular in 2011 with sales soaring. Over-the-knee socks had a large part to play in A/W 2012 Fashion weeks, and were featured by many popular designers. Large woollen socks worn with short skirts and a large overcoat hit the runways.

France

In 2011, hosiery volume sales remained on a declining trend while current value sales stabilised somewhat after consecutive years of marginal decline. This could be explained to a large extent by the efforts deployed by the main players to upgrade their offer through innovative and high-tech products. For instance, the leading socks player Groupe Kindy invested €1.5 million in research and development in 2011 to expand its product portfolio and offer ground-breaking products.

India

Companies making formal wear compulsory and the increasing number of students joining professional courses and colleges encouraged ongoing growth in demand for hosiery throughout 2011.

Spain

Cotton remains the main material used in the manufacture of hosiery. However, fabric is increasingly mixed with materials such as elastane, lycra and velvet, which increase the elasticity and comfort of hosiery considerably.

The Hosiery in Spain report offers a comprehensive guide to the size and shape of the market at a national level. It provides the latest retail sales data 2006-2010 and analysis by distribution format allowing you to identify the sectors driving growth. It identifies the leading companies, leading brands, and offers strategic analysis of key factors influencing the market. Forecasts to 2015 illustrate how the market is set to change.

China

Hosiery experienced 8% current value growth to reach HK$1,649 million in 2011. This represented a strong slowdown versus 2010 with the necessary nature of hosiery helping to support the continued positive performance of this category in 2011.

Germany

Volume sales saw a small decline of less than 1% in 2011. The positive development of values sales has been achieved through the increase of unit prices. An increase in costs due to higher cotton prices and costs for energy induced manufacturers to raise prices. This price increase has been transferred to other customers.

Russia

In 2010, hosiery sales registered 5% growth in volume terms and 16% growth in current value terms. The increase in demand is attributed to the growth in consumers’ disposable income, and hence, rising living standards. Consumers have greater requirements as their quality of life improves. Hosiery is no longer darned, and after the first hole appears is typically discarded. Modern businessmen in cities do care about what socks are visible under their trousers.

“Blue Stocking” – isn’t it time for a new definition?

July 18, 2012 under Vintage

I am posing in a styled outfit and blue stockings with the Science World Dome in the background.

Historical Meaning of “Blue Stocking”

In some languages this is quite a common phrase, it usually refers to a completely unattractive woman who only cares about her studies or work and nothing else.

Let’s look back in history to see where this figure of speech came from.  It seems that at least all around Europe this is usually directed at a highly intellectual woman to ridicule her a little bit for her nerdy outfit.  The meaning of this expression is quite vague, depending on the country or era.  This term in German is known as Blaustrumpf, in Dutch as blauwkous and in French as bas-bleu.

Falbala stockings are beautifully decorated with gold and silver studs and ribbons.

Even though this phrase is used to describe a woman, it originated in Europe as a nickname for Benjamin Stillingfleet in the 17th century who was a botanist, translator, and an author from England.  He was a very intellectual man and without him there was no more interesting discussions.  However, he paid no attention to fashion, wearing blue stockings instead of silk black, as it was common back then.  Other sources may say that silk was too expensive, so he wore blue worsted stockings instead.

The "lack of fashion" idea was later emphasized by a French painter Honore Victorin Daumier in the mid of 19th century who painted humorous series called Les Bas Bleus to mock the blue stockings society. These paintings had a satiric nature to them, showing women in a repelling and androgynous way, completely immersed in philosophical discussions and oblivious to the mess and dirt around them.

 

Meaning of "Blue Stocking" in different countries

Germany:  This was a way to tease those who tell on others (snitch or tattle teller), thus making a reference to street policemen who wore blue stockings.

Italy:  Probably this is the only country with a positive meaning for this expression.  InVenice in XV century blue stockings were only reserved for scientists and academics.  It was an attribute of an educated person.

France:  For French this expression would be a synonym of being a slob.  It implied that one would be so immersed in intellectual development that would not pay any attention to fashion and household chores.

Eastern Block:  In former USSR this is a way to call a woman without any charm who only focuses on her work or academics.  But this is probably all coming from the French.

Could this be the reason why navy blue hosiery is so rare these days?  Could it have the negative connotation dating to the middle ages in Europe?  It is time for an upgrade.

Blue Stockings Lounge is a place to visit for unforgettable cabaret shows in South Wales.

Have you seen women wearing these at all lately?  This is 2012 and when I look at educated women, they are rarely in stockings to begin with!  There is even rarely a dress code in science-oriented companies and most women come in blue jeans, not in blue stockings.  Why can’t a woman in blue stockings be a smart and trendy lady who knows how to present herself well?

Let me share some responses here that I got from people about blue stockings.

Falbala:  There is also a UK online store called Falbala that offers hand made decorated stockings and a lot of them are blue, Karen, the owner admits that blue and gold is her favourite combination.  Their products are actually very unique and trendy, thus re-defining blue stockings as a modern fashion accessory.  I asked her how to wear blue stockings in a stylish way and this was her reply " I wear them with black denim shorts, patent black heels and a royal blue top with a gold necklace".

 

Bluestocking Lounge:  This is in fact quite a trendy burlesque lounge in South Wales and for sure they are not lacking any style.  To answer my questions about why they chose this name, this is what they had to say on Twitter about this:

"This exactly what we are about – going against the norm and doing the unexpected.  Our guests feel like they’re a secret society!  A name is just a name until you fill it with meaning by however you use it.  I took it (the name) from Bluestocking Society, the 1400s society founded in Venice by erudite men and women."

Tricity Vogue photographed by Gavin Mecaniques

Tricity Vogue :  Another interesting personality is a jazz and cabaret singer, Tricity.  She is also the co-founder of the Blue Stockings Society cabaret and burlesque sorority in London, UK.

I asked about what this expression means to her and this was her reply on Twitter: "To me blue stockings mean a combination of clever and sexy, with a healthy dose of rebellion thrown in."  What a perfect way to put it!  She wrote the best detailed history article of what blue stocking really means and where it came from.  You can read it here.

 

Links

Thank you to those who contributed to this post:

Falbala Stockings – a source of crafty and fashionable stockings in many fashion colours, including blue.

http://www.falbala.co.uk/ (UK online store)

Blue Stockings Lounge – a dynamic burlesque and alternative cabaret lounge offering a variety of shows, events, classes/workshops and custom parties.

http://bluestockinglounge.com/ (South Wales)

Tricity Voque – one of a kind vintage jazz and cabaret singer, ukulele player, co-founder of the Blue Stockings Society in London.

http://www.tricityvogue.com/ (London)

Blue Stockings Society –  London’s cabaret and burlesque sorority, founded by a cabaret performer Tricity Voque and an international burlesque clown Audacity Chutzpah.  They are a regular Time Out Critics Choice and their nights have been dubbed "London’s most celebrated sorority" with "the best line-up in town."

http://bluestockingssociety.wordpress.com (London)

 

*Friends, the only funding for this blog is from the shop.  Why not see if there are any fancy stockings that catch your eye?*

Photoshoot with WamInStyle in Russia

July 15, 2012 under News

I invite you to check out the story I wrote for WamInStyle.  In May I was in Eastern Europe:  Russia, Poland, Ukraine.  I managed to find time to do a photoshoot!  This group likes to jump into the water fully clothed. Marta, the 2nd model, got to try on my Wolford Neon 40 pantyhose that were sent to me earlier by my fan David from Canada.  At first she was surprised that it costs so much, but after she tried it, she said that she could feel the quality.http://www.waminstyle.com/read_story/23/en/

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Magic of Pantyhose in Eastern Europe

June 7, 2012 under Style
Malboro model in pantyhose in Ukraine

Malboro promotion in Ukranian duty free shop

I had an opportunity to spend a couple of weeks of summer in multiple Eastern European countries and observe at least one third of women proudly wearing pantyhose.

In general, in that region women put more effort to look their best even if they are going to do their daily chores.  Looking good is an expectation.  Maybe not explicit, but it’s always there.

Ukraine: beautiful Barbie is wearing nude pantyhose

Borispol airport in Ukraine seemed to be the hottest place throughout my trip, temperature wise and fashion wise.

As an example, I’ve seen a beautiful brunette model
promoting Malboro cigarettes at the duty free store.  She was very friendly and gladly posed for a photo.  Her sporty outfit looked stunning with a pair of shiny pantyhose.

Again, at the same airport, I saw a beautiful Barbie Girl who was catching a flight to Sofia, Bulgaria.  She was wearing nude pantyhose with her pink outfit despite the hot weather.

Ukraine: airport female staff were wearing skirts and pantyhose.

I remember hearing results of a survey why Arab men prefer to date Eastern European women.  One thing from the responses that shocked me was “these women look after themselves even after marriage”.  I was surprised to realize that this statement implied that some women don’t.

For the record, I noticed that the Barbie girl had a ring on her finger.  Yes, such beautiful women don’t stay single for long.

Chopin airport in Warsaw was not far behind.  There were a lot of fancy women there, both staff and tourists, wearing pantyhose.  Considering that in most airports photography is not allowed, I had to be quite careful in order to get a few sneak peeks for you.

Poland: blond flight attendant is wearing chocolate colour pantyhose

In Poland I was pleased to see a beautiful blond woman checking boarding passes while wearing chocolate pantyhose.  What a rare sight!  I think it’s only possible in Eastern Europe.   Brown is a very rare colour these days and somehow it doesn’t get recommended for fair skinned people.  I remember how in our Vancouver Wolford boutique staff were just adamant about me expressing an interest in a tan shade darker then my own skin tone.

In LED airport in Russia I also saw a lot of pantyhose, but with their tough security I decided not to play with the rules.  Of course, that vast country is full of women of all ages and sizes in pantyhose.  Teens, grandmothers, young moms… they all wear it.  Fashion stores have great hosiery selection, including brands like Falke.

Some curious bullet points here about Eastern Europe:

Russia: even young moms go out in sexy outfits!

  • reinforced toes are frequently worn even with sandals
  • plain pantyhose greatly outnumber patterns
  • nude seems to be the most popular colour for plain hosiery
  • black is the most popular colour for patterns
  • pantyhose commercials on TV and banners for brands like Conte
  • layering is OK, i.e. wearing beige fishnets over sheer nude pantyhose
  • even plus size ladies wear it (I saw a mature woman in bright orange tights)

Russia: size and age are no obstacle to wear hosiery!

So friends, if you would like to make this summer full of nylon legs, book a flight to Eastern Europe for an unforgettable pantyhose experience!

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Race on High Heels in Russia – Pantyhose Not Ripped in Vain

April 19, 2012 under Weird

Run on High Heels

Maria Gridina, on the photo above, dressed in the spirit of the high heel competition, so she wore beige pantyhose and funny striped socks.  She really tried hard, but she fell and ripped her pantyhose, scraping her knees.  No worries, doctors right away took care of her injury at the finish line.

She still however found the courage and strength to pose for photos and smile and her efforts were not in vain.  She got a prize for her “Determination to Win” for her strong will.  The prize was a gift certificate for a beauty salon.

Not all contestants were young, there was even a woman who wan the prize “Most Gracious” at the age of 55.  It’s never too late to be fun, sporty, and feminine!  The race on high heels brought out all ages.

Barnaul Race on High Heels

In Barnaul city though there were some restriction – only blondies (or brunettes in blond wigs) could compete and they had to wear pink clothing.  The distance was 100 meters.

race on high heels

Karina Barbie is came to run on high heels.

The heel length requirement all over Russia seemed to be consistently at 9 cm.  The winner was a 27 year old accountant who admitted to practice for the whole year to run on heels.  She went to run at the stadium on high heels for practice and also researched information on how to walk properly on such tall shoes online. 

Moscow Race on High Heels

This run was organized by Glamour Magazine.  For this run more then a hundred women were required to go 50 cm on high heels.  Many of them even taped their shoes to their legs to prevent losing them.

Karina Barbie was one of the contestants.  She is a fun character, full of confidence and desire to be known as the “living doll”.  She wears almost everything pink.

Along with Karina Barbie, there were other local celebrities present at that event, like Russia’s Eurovision contestant from 2011, mostly probably for promotional purposes.

The winner of the race was a professional runner.  She was wearing black leggings, maybe about 60 den, but overall her outfit for some reason was more sporty then sexy even though she had beautiful heels on.

So, when is such competition coming to North America?  I am sure that I’ll take the prize for Best Pantyhose, but for sure not speed.  One of my teachers used to say that it’s not the winning that matters, but participation.

Гђ·Р“С’°Р“С’±Р“С’µР“С’Р’С– ГђВЅГђ° Г‘Л†ГђВїГђВёГђ»Р“‘Е’ГђВєГђ°Р“‘… - Гђ·Р“С’°Р“ђВјГђµР“‘€ ГђВєГђ°Р“С’±Р“С’»Р“‘Ж’ГђВєГђ°

Race on High Heels

 

*Friends, the only funding for this blog is from the shop section.  Please indulge your pantyhose obsession and show some support for my work!  Your purchases make this blog possible.*

High Heel Sport – Fast and Sexy

July 17, 2011 under Weird

Let’s talk about something to warm up the winter.  How about some exotic exercise, like a jog on high heels? Would you like to sign up your wife for this high heel contest?  She may need a pair of shoes to flaunt!

There is also such thing as lingerie football, but those women wear garter belts and even garters, but no stockings.  I suppose that they need to wrap their knees and feet for protection, so they can’t really have sheer clothing over it.

I think we need to get more lingerie sports, it would be very entertaining. Any other ideas?  Wrestling?  Let’s say for sure not fencing!

I guess that nothing really compares to running on high heels because this is something that women have to do from time to time.  It’s a good skill to have!  I’ve done lots of it in my school years, running to the bus stop to catch the bus on time.

*Friends, the only funding for this blog is from the shop section.  Please indulge your pantyhose obsession and show some support for my work!  Your purchases make this blog possible.*