Intimates manufacturer Ariela & Associates (AAi) has added US intimates brand Parade to its portfolio of plus-size, inclusive brands such as Curvy Couture, Smart&Sexy and Fruit of the Loom.
Inside the Ariel & Associates-Parade deal
As part of the acquisition agreement, Parade will uphold its distinct identity and creative vision, all the while capitalising on AAi’s sourcing, design, and forecasting abilities to broaden its reach within the US and on an international scale.
Parade launched in 2019 and claims to have set a new benchmark for inclusivity and body positivity in the intimate industry. The brand also boasts of its commitment to sustainable materials and trendsetting designs.
AAi CEO and president Ariela Esquenazi said: “Parade’s commitment to inclusive fast fashion, which doesn’t compromise on its sustainable mission, aligns seamlessly with our core principles and we believe that this union will allow us to create powerful synergies.”
AAi and Parade did not respond to Just Style’s request for a comment at the time of going to press.
Here’s why the deal matters
GlobalData analyst Louise Deglise-Favre believes the acquisition is going to strengthen its brand portfolio due to Parade’s “modern, fun and inclusive brand image.”
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Deglise-Favre adds Parade has been steadily expanding its audience reach over the last few years and building on its profile through “collaborations with exciting brands such as Ganni.”
Parade’s partnership with Danish clothing brand Ganni could be connected to Parade’s own commitment to sustainability. Parade’s interest in Ganni could have arisen after the clothing brand signed an agreement with the Finnish circular fashion technology group Fiber Company in November 2021, to incorporate its textile waste regeneration technology into its clothing production.
She adds: “Parade’s sustainability credentials will undoubtedly continue to appeal to consumers looking to make more eco-friendly choices for their undergarment purchases.”
AAi asserts that it holds the position of being the biggest women-owned intimate company in the US and emphasises its dedication to crafting intimates that are functional, aesthetic, and affordable, irrespective of a person’s age, body size, or income.
Deglise-Favre says she’s confident this acquisition will help AAi to rejuvenate its image through Parade’s modern take on the intimate product sector.
Key takeaways for the fashion industry
The company, which was founded 30 years ago by Ariela Esquenazi in the US claims to be one of the largest privately held lingerie companies in the country.
It has continued to expand through acquisitions and has focused on spotting trends in the market.
In 2019 it purchased full-figure intimate apparel brand, Curvy Couture with Curvy Couture’s founder Dora Lau staying in charge of the brand’s design vision.
Commenting on the acquisition at the time Lau said: “Curvy Couture was created for the woman that knows she deserves intimates that are beautiful, comfortable, sophisticated, and supportive. I am looking forward to a new future for Curvy Couture as AAi takes this much-loved brand to the next level.”
AAi had spotted a trend in the market for plus-size intimate brands and since then, brands and retailers have continued to integrate plus-size intimates into their businesses.
For example, back in 2017 apparel giant HanesBrands launched new lingerie lines under its Maidenform and Playtex brands “for women who love their curves.”
The company said at the time it was responding to the demands of body-positive women – in particular millennial consumers – with new bras, panties and shapewear designed to meet their needs and tastes, as well as using language they prefer.
The purchase of Parade taps into AAi’s focus on size inclusivity while also acknowledging the trend for sustainability.
Parade states on its website: “Everybody deserves to express themselves however they choose — we’re all unique. Bringing as many people to the Parade as we can is core to our mission, and we celebrate our community’s diversity. We’re also always open to feedback from you to expand our size-inclusive, gender-inclusive options.”
Earlier this year, British fashion retail group, AK Retail Holdings completed the acquisition of plus-size clothing brand, Evans Clothing for £8m ($10m)
A May 2023 GlobalData report, titled “Niche Clothing Trends in the Global Apparel Market,” highlights the importance of established companies prioritising inclusivity and expanding specialised product lines.
Despite brands often offering distinct niche collections with a restricted array of choices, the report reveals that most consumers (73.8%) would prefer niche clothing sizes to be integrated into a brand’s primary range, as it offers them a wider selection.
This is what Parade prides itself on as its product offering ranges from XS to 3XL.