In the late afternoon, at a time when the rays of the setting sun caress the skin with a golden halo, the south of Corsica was a natural paradisiacal setting for the presentation of Etam’s swimwear line. In the creek of the luxury hotel resort of Murtoli, the lingerie brand organized its first fashion show dedicated to beachwear this May 12 and invited a hundred people to participate in the celebration, including FashionNetwork.com.
Walking on the surface of the water, from the rocks to the sand, thanks to a catwalk installed a few centimeters below sea level, Etam’s swimmers presented several swimwear styles thanks to their various morphologies: the line of fluorescent swimsuits (pink, green, etc.) stood out, as did certain pieces with cleverly orchestrated cut-outs and notches. Some more bohemian proposals (crochet, mother-of-pearl and paisley prints), as well as a series of black swimsuits, completed the fashion show, punctuated by lounge music. Pearl headdresses, hoop earrings and oversized sunglasses complemented the looks.
Energetic and smiling, the 40 models, including Constance Jablonski and Thylane Blondeau, closed the fashion show by splashing in the water and showing off their good humor, before taking part in the dinner offered a few steps away on the dune, warmed by hundreds of lanterns. In attendance were influencers from several European countries and celebrities such as former queens Iris Mittenaere, Laury Thilleman, Flora Coquerel and Alicia Aylies, and actresses Shirine Boutella, Nora Arnezeder and Zoé Adjani.
The vast majority of the pieces presented are or will soon be on sale in the Etam e-store and in the Etam network of stores. The goal is not to present runway shows with couture pieces that customers would not find in stores. For Laurent Milchior, co-director of the Etam group, it was important for the brand to have more prominence throughout the year, and not just during the lingerie show, which takes place in the fall.
«As we also have a leading position in France in the swimwear segment, this fashion show is a way of stating it loud and clear and giving a nice gift to our community,» the manager explained. In the spring-summer season, 30% of the sales of the chain’s 860 stores are generated by beachwear.
It was also an opportunity for Etam to showcase its efforts to produce more sustainable fashion. The spring-summer 2022 swimwear collection is 93 % composed of garments made of recycled polyamide or polyester (with a recycled fiber content of more than 50 %).
«Across Etam’s entire offer this season (lingerie, swimwear, ready-to-wear), we have reached 55 % of products with the ‘We Care’ label, therefore made from recycled, organic or more sustainable materials. This is a real acceleration, because three years ago we were only at 6%,» said Kachen Hong, the group’s director of corporate social responsibility, who was also present and said that the organization’s carbon footprint will be offset.
The «one size» stretch swimsuit (which is presented as inclusive when it comes to dressing women in sizes 34 to 44), launched this year, also had its presence in the parade. Faced with criticism posted on social networks about the size limit, the brand has decided to listen to these voices and will prepare two models for next season, in order to offer greater amplitude going up to 54.
Finally, Etam also took advantage of this event to develop its first NFTs. Through a contest, the brand invites Internet users to acquire digital ownership of a virtual and numbered design of the show, which includes benefits for the customer, such as a 30% reduction on purchases at Etam for one year. Other NFTs relate to eight swimsuits worn exclusively for the event (and not for sale). Those who purchase them, worth 500 euros, will receive, among other things, the model created for them and will get an invitation to the brand’s next fashion show.
With its various brands (Etam, Undiz, Maison 123, etc.), the Etam group, which last year had a turnover of just under 1 billion euros, had a difficult start to the year, like most of the French clothing sector. However, the latest signs are positive.
«The end of April was good and the beginning of May has been exceptional. There really is a post-election effect and a climate that also helps us,» observed Laurent Milchior, who oversees the Etam brand pending the appointment of a new head of its general management, following the departure of Patricia Tranvouëz.
For the year as a whole, the executive remains cautious, given the possible social risks of the start of the school year, inflation and, therefore, the contraction of household purchasing power.
«We are positioned at low prices, we can’t move them; therefore, that weighs on our margins. In the higher ranges, however, we have been forced to increase our prices a little to partially offset cost increases (energy, raw materials, transportation),» he said.
The beach fashion show, which required some investment, stands out for him as one of the levers to continue «attracting, increasing brand preference and developing community spirit.