Golden Lady Takes Italy to the Vanguard of the EU Pantyhose Trade

Knitted and Crocheted Apparel August 11, 2015
Author: Olga Minchina
Account Manager

The tights market today abounds in numerous types of this accessory: textured, footless, printed, opaque, leggings, and even those for men. The EU, in particular, is one of the biggest markets for tights, and is characterized by stable growth. Although predominantly worn by women, men's tights exist for a variety of sporting activities, ranging from camping, football to horseback riding.

The focal point of the tights market, however, is women, with the current fashion trend revolving around shape and structure perfection. As in other industries, technology plays an essential role in the tights business. Mechanical knitting machinery has been replaced by more compact and sophisticated electronic machines capable of producing greater volumes in a shorter period of time. Changing lifestyles have also greatly influenced the tights industry, as tights manufacturers are making their entrance on the rapidly expanding teen and young adult market, coming up with brand-new looks in a wide array of colors every season. The latest fashion products include body shaping tights as well as anti-cellulite and moisturizing tights.

In order to win their market share, tights manufacturers are placing their bet on competitive pricing policies, striving to provide unrivalled offers and bigger discounts to the end customer, including multipack promotions for throwaway prices. New collections never seem to fully sate a customers' yearning for variety, ranging from natural and classic styles to more bold glitzy and animal print looks.

High-fashion trends give manufacturers the freedom to experiment with designs and fabrics, fomented by customers that are willing to try out new unconventional patterns and quirky designs. In order to succeed, companies must place their fingers on the pulse of trends to keep up with volatile tastes and rapid shifts.

At present, leggings are all the rage, especially opaque colorful ones. Leggings are generally longer-lasting than tights, and are now considered more convenient and practical.

Italy dominates in EU pantyhose and tights production and trade. In 2014, Italy exported 68.4% of its total output. Of this amount, 14.5% was supplied to Croatia, where Italian pantyhose and tights held the lion's share of total Croatia's consumption.

The Golden Lady Co. is a famous Italian brand that has always been a household name in the global hosiery business. Golden Lady has a 35% share on the domestic market, and its exports and turnover have also continued to grow. With this, the Golden Lady Co. is the undisputed leader on the EU tights market, being a key player in France, Germany, Spain, the UK, and countries of Eastern Europe.

The company focuses on promoting Italian elegance and style, constantly improving the variety of its product lines and, in the process, acquiring the most lucrative national and international hosiery brands, such as Philippe Matignon, Filodoro, SiSi and Omsa, and the U.S. brands No-Nonsense and Hue. Golden Lady, with its 12 domestic production sites, as well as facilities in the U.S. and Serbia, manufacture 400 million tights annually, shipped to 70 countries worldwide.

In 2014, the share of Italy's total exports stood at 46%. However, the fastest growing supplier was Croatia (+24% per year), followed by Germany (+5% per year) in total EU exports from 2007 to 2014. Croatia significantly strengthened its position in the European export structure, from 2% in 2007 to 8% in 2014.

In 2014, the main destinations of pantyhose and tights in the EU were the UK (18%), Germany (18%) and Italy (11 %). The share exported to the UK increased (+7 percentage points), while the share sent to Italy illustrated negative dynamics (-3 percentage points). The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

Source: EU: Pantyhose And Tights - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2020