In Saint-Tropez, Etam promotes glamorous and sexy swimsuits for all
By Mitia Bernetel
The accessible lingerie brand presented its swimwear collection during a parade organized in the Var seaside resort. The opportunity to reaffirm its democratic vision of lingerie.
Saint-Tropez, May 11, 2023. The French lingerie brand is counting on the village of Var, one of the cradles of the myth of the French woman embodied by Brigitte Bardot, to stage its spring-summer 2023 swimwear collection. Strong the success of its annual lingerie show, which has lasted fifteen years, Etam launched a new event dedicated to swimwear last year: a “Cruise” show. For this second edition on the Riviera, the show is naturally bathed in the French Riviera spirit, with the emblematic Café Sénéquier as a backdrop. For the event, the place that has served as a haunt of jet-set vacationers since the 1950s was recreated on a nearby pier, with the Mediterranean as a backdrop. On the catwalk, this season’s models that give pride of place to sexiness are embellished with blown glass pieces made in collaboration with the Home In Heven brand, which specializes in craftsmanship.
Etam Cruise 2023 parade
2019, erotic year
In addition to this immersion in the charm and lightness of the legendary Saint-Tropez, the parade is a way for Etam to advocate diversity and self-acceptance. In 2019, at the heart of the “body positive” movement, the northern brand offered a first Live Show show featuring a range of different morphologies. A turn taken in time: one year after the last Victoria’s Secret lingerie show, then denigrated on all sides for its discriminating vision of beauty. Also a year after the launch of the Fenty brand by singer Rihanna, which marked a break in lingerie campaigns with muses – and an offer – displaying sizes XS to 5 XL. Five years later, this impulse has not run out of steam: Etam persists and signs by betting on heterogeneous castings.
“What matters is to make all women want»
But the approach has evolved since the advent of positive body, which imposed a requirement of representativeness on lingerie brands. “We had to go to extremes, so that we simply agreed to live together”, analyzes Laurent Milchior, co-manager of Etam. The extreme in question? A sudden and radical change in the highlighting of the bodies by the brands, going from 34 to 46, without half measures. What to be taxed with woke bashing, understanding, the action of showing a form of tolerance, with the sole aim of selling. For the brand, representation must speak to its customers: “What matters is to inspire all women,” adds Laurent Milchior. When you take too radical a turn, the majority is not necessarily found. For example, we do not want to show measurements that we are not able to cover in our ranges. At Etam, size M dominates sales.
All in the same bath
And nothing like the field of swimsuits to perpetuate this democratic vision. The star clothing of the beaches is an image tool for a brand that sells 70% of lingerie, intimate pieces that cannot promote themselves, being invisible in the public sphere. On the catwalk of the Cruise fashion show, the muse Constance Jablonski rubs shoulders with Nami Isackson, model labeled “curvy“. The cabin is diverse and showcases the latest hit of the brand: the One Size swimsuit, a single stretch size. Launched last year, this piece which claims to be suitable for bodies from 34 to 46 is a commercial success. So much so that the offer welcomes a new size this summer to satisfy silhouettes up to 52. A way to keep its promises, even those made during the season of sunshine and songs.