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What’s Hot & Cool? #21: Bra Startups Run by Women

Female founders are no boobs!

What’s happening? Unlined, natural styles are in and sexy push-up is out — for now. Bra startups with less frill and more comfort are gaining revenue in a $13B industry, while Victoria’s Secret, now owned by Les Wexner, dipped slightly in revenue from $2.89B to $2.76B this year, according to MarketWatch. Bra companies are tapping into technologies to develop algorithms and subscription models to tailor products to the customer.

Why should you care? As women, we know what we care about when it comes to a bra and as founders we can fuse personal knowledge of consumer demand with business savvy.

Who’s leading? Orit Hashay is founder and CEO of Brayola, an online platform that aggregates hundreds of bras and categorizes them based on shape, size, style and taste preferences. Its design-it-yourself model aims to use the power of big data to help customers find their perfect fit — and it does so by analyzing user feedback to match accordingly. Since its launch, Brayola sales have grown 8-fold, it has raised $6M in funding and is set to generate $30M in revenue this year, partnering with Calvin Klein and 200+ brands, according to CNBC. Hashay told CNBC that part of her success came from choosing her investors wisely. When she first sought funding, her pregnancy turned lots of sharks away. “I don’t want to take money from people that are trying to convince me that I’m not sure [about starting a business].” Eventually she found the right fit.

What can you do?  If you think entering the undergarment business is right for you, consider how emerging technologies and tools can help you to succeed. Then, craft your strategy. WGSN offers 5 tips to start a lingerie line.