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How To Start a Lingerie Business in 2024 (Tips + Examples Included)

Kate Nguyen
10 minutes read

Whether you are looking to start your own lingerie empire or to expand your clothing line, this blog post will have you covered. Lingerie is an evergreen niche that will bloom, given the proper planning and execution. Thus, without further ado, let’s discover how to start a lingerie business with us.

Is Lingerie a Profitable Niche in 2024?

Something right up your alley might not be anyone’s cup of tea. If you are looking for ways to enter the lingerie market, it is important to check out the current and future trends in this niche.

As of 2024, the worldwide lingerie market is valued at $60.29 billion and this number is reported to gradually climb to $78.66 billion in 2027. Furthermore, the nature of the market is also changing as brands are becoming more size-inclusive and environmentally friendly.

In eCommerce, lingerie is considered a viable niche with popular brands that have made a name for themselves. If the question “Should I sell lingerie in 2024?” is still weighing on your mind, keep on reading to be fully convinced.

A Complete Guide on How To Start a Lingerie Business

Woman choosing underwear at a store. Source: Freepik.

A successful lingerie business stems from an astute business plan and careful execution.

1. Research the lingerie market

Market research is a crucial step when starting a lingerie business, or any business for that matter. If you are not aware of what the predecessors and competitors are doing, there is a big chance that your business will be steered in the wrong direction.

To build a solid database, make sure to utilize different collection methods like surveys, interviews, focus groups, experiments, etc. Websites like Reddit are a goldmine to receive unbiased opinions and consensus regarding different subjects. For a quick survey builder, SurveyMonkey will be your best friend.

2. Establish your online and offline presence

    In order for your business to materialize, you must establish an online and/or offline presence.

    For eCommerce owners, this process includes picking a business name, claiming a domain, designing a logo, selecting a host platform, and so on. Although the tasks seem endless, they can be done with the help of many free and paid applications all over the ever-so-famous Internet. This is why eCommerce has become a hotbed for startups with limited budgets.

    For brick-and-mortar owners, the process calls for more complicated actions, including location-hunting and offline market research. This is why many businesses started out as online stores before expanding to physical location.

    Did you know: Shopify is a reputable eCommerce platform that enables businesses of all sizes to launch and thrive. If you like to know more, head over to our blogs for all things Shopify and eCommerce!

    3. Develop a business structure and apply for permits

    Once you have got all the basics figured out, it is necessary to configure the legal aspect of starting a business.

    Lingerie is a part of the clothing sector, which makes it an extremely common business type to register. Some permits you might need to acquire are a business license and a seller’s permit. As this can vary depending on your location, it is advised to contact your local authorities to get it sorted out.

    Regarding business structure, below are some of the most common ones for your consideration:

    • Sole proprietorship
    • Partnerships
    • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
    • Corporations

    4. Find a supplier

      Your chosen supplier will be the partner who works closely with you throughout all stages of your business. Thus, selecting a suitable one is the key to remaining consistent and avoiding unnecessary changes.

      For items like lingerie, the number one concern should be the quality. Whether you choose to have your products locally manufactured or dropshipped, make sure to put quality on top of the list. A high-quality piece will help you price your products more accurately in the long run.

      Design-wise, if you have an idea in mind, opt for manufacturers who will turn it into real products. On the other hand, if you come in with a blank canvas, there are bound to be more discussions and trials and errors before a final product is secured.

      Curious about dropshipping? Read more here: Is Dropshipping Worth It? (2024 updated)

      5. Brainstorm your marketing strategies

        Marketing helps get your business out there. The more exposure you have, the more conversions you will get.

        In the developing stage of your lingerie business, it is crucial to brainstorm and map out different types of pre-launch strategies. Make sure you have had these elements secured: business name, business logo, official website, and social media accounts.

        From then on, different pre-launch tactics can be implemented. One common practice is the anticipating coming soon page to let buyers know your estimated launch date. If it is within your budget, consider getting influencers to promote your launch, or organize a giveaway to gain attraction. Whichever approach you use, remember the number one priority: Exposure with a capital E.

        6. Launch and promote your business

          When everything is set in place, it is time to officially launch your store.

          For physical stores, the launch requires a lot of manual labor and predictable chaos. For eCommerce sellers, it could be as easy as pressing a button. However, for both business models to succeed, the secret lies in a solid promotional campaign.

          To turn passersby and visitors into customers, there is gotta be an enticing marketing tactic. Try giving discounts, gifts, samples, vouchers, bundle offers, etc. to pique your customer’s interest. Since lingerie is not a perishable good, it might not be easy to convince them to make a purchase. Nevertheless, you will create a good impression and gather potential leads for future sales.

          For more marketing tips and guides, give our GemPages blog posts a read:

          eCommerce Blog & Marketing Tips

          Tips and Tricks to Build a Successful Lingerie Business

          The advised guideline to build a lingerie line from scratch is a good starting point. However, you need to utilize tips and tricks to set yourself apart from other competitors. Let’s see what will give your business an edge in such a saturated market.

          Create a unique value proposition

          Lingerie is an umbrella term, thus, it is up to you to establish a unique value proposition that seems appealing to potential customers. To do this, you have to target customer’s pain points. What can you bring to the table that other merchants haven’t?

          For instance, plus-sized lingerie lines exist, but few carry items with different cup-band ratios. Each body is unique, thus, some might require a bra with larger cups and smaller band sizes and vice versa. By offering various options, you will be able to attract a niche group of buyers who have had no luck finding their sizes at other stores.

          Screenshot of Parfait’s website.

          Parfait is an intimate brand that caters to full figures with fashionable lingerie pieces.

          Pick a relevant and memorable business name

          Decades ago, Apple was born as a technology company with a unique, memorable name. The reason for this simple name was due to Steve Jobs’ fondness of the fruit, as well as the tactic for the company to appear before Atari in the (now forgotten) phone book. These days, the name Apple is universally known and remembered.

          This goes to show a good business name will take you further than you think. If it is not directly suggestive of the products you carry, it has to be memorable. That said, a safe bet would be to include relevant keywords that are recognized in the market you are in. Gooseberry Intimates and Lounge Underwear are brilliant examples of relevant names in the lingerie industry.

          Want even more work off your shoulders? Why not try a Business Name Generator? This handy tool from Shopify allows you to pick and choose the name that speaks to you the most. If you have established a domain name and have second thoughts, it is also easy to change your store name with a few clicks.

          Invest in website design

          Whether you are an online-exclusive merchant or a business owner with a brick-and-mortar store, website design is not to be overlooked.

          An eCommerce website should be functional, and user-friendly, while still remaining stunning and staying close to the brand. For products like bras and lingerie, compelling photographs and descriptions are must-haves to showcase your goods in their full glory.

          Screenshot of Savage X Fenty’s website.

          Savage X Fenty has cemented its position as one of the most well-known lingerie brands in the market.

          Savage X Fenty is Rihanna’s growing lingerie line, so it is no surprise that you would find pictures of her modeling her own work on the brand’s eCommerce store. Apart from the enticing visuals, sales-driven elements like hard-to-miss CTA buttons and product quizzes are clever details that showcase what your business is all about.

          Utilize different marketing strategies

          There is no one-size-fits-all marketing tactic that guarantees instant success, but there are tried-and-true strategies that almost all eCommerce businesses are implementing.

          Referral programs, social proof, user-generated content (UGC), seasonal campaigns, email marketing, and so on, are all wonderful marketing tactics that boost your store’s conversion, drive sales, and increase customer retention. For a versatile, year-round item like lingerie, it is vital to have a marketing plan at all times to keep your brand trendy and memorable.

          Get Inspiration From Our Lingerie Brand Top Picks

          Apart from household names like Victoria's Secret and Spanx, the lingerie industry is not short of other independent brands that are changing the game. 

          Fun fact: all these brands use Shopify to build their digital storefronts.


          Screenshot of Brastop’s website.

          Brastop is a one-stop shop for people with fuller busts to shop for the items that fit them the best.

          The first one on the list is none other than Brastop - a digital retailer for plus-sized lingerie. Understanding the obstacles in finding the perfect large cup bras that are both affordable and stylish, the business aims to provide women with a wide array of options from different brands. 

          Whether it is bras that range from D-K cups to swimwear that perfectly hugs your figure, Brastop will have you covered.

          Let’s have a look at its Shopify-based online store. Since this is a digital retailer, the website was built to uphold a large number of products. Drop-down menus, a site map, clear CTA buttons, a product quiz, and a countdown timer are just some of the most prominent features that create an intuitive customer journey. If you come to Brastop’s website with no particular style in mind, you are bound to get the guide you need to find your best match. This is a prime example of a lingerie business done right where both product quality and website functions are prioritized.


          Screenshot of Cosabella’s website.

          Cosabella’s lingerie is made for those who want to embrace their femininity and comfort.

          Translated to “beautiful thing” in Italian, this 41-year-old lingerie brand has a history of bringing women only the crème de la crème lingerie pieces. The fusion of traditional artisanship and modern design grants Cosabella a distinctive brand identity.

          By putting functions and beauty on the same scale, the company’s products embrace fashion-forward designs that are paired with the highest quality garments. Feel free to explore the extensive collection of bras, panties, swimwear, sleepwear, and the like on Cosabella’s gorgeous online store. You can shop by size and body type, or opt for a one-on-one consultation with a fit expert.

          Do you prefer to shop in person? Use the store locator feature to quickly find Cosabella products in an outlet near you. With a solid digital and physical presence, this brand is our top choice as one of the best lingerie businesses in the market.


          Screenshot of Felina’s website.

          Explore the most comfortable loungewear and sleepwear from Felina’s lingerie store.

          Another Shopify native lingerie brand goes to Felina - an inclusive business whose products are made for everybody.

          Not only is the website lovely to look at but it is also equipped with the most intuitive features to streamline the customer journey. The use of a carousel effectively introduces the latest collection to visitors, while the sticky top menu follows them as they explore the page. The homepage contains all the top-notch elements: a Z-shaped reading pattern, a “quick view” option for featured products, social proof, and a “shop the look” segment. The store might look simple and unassuming but it was cleverly designed to guide customers to the end of their sales funnel.

          Product-wise, Felina offers a variety of lingerie, bras, sleepwear, and even everyday clothing that complement every shape and size. Whether you are an active person or a homebody, you will likely find something that suits you from Felina’s catalog.


          Screenshot of SKIMS’ website.

          SKIMS is a familiar name in the lingerie and shapewear sector due to its diverse product collections and distinct style.

          For many online shoppers, SKIMS needs no introduction. Standing firmly as one of the top brands for underwear, shapewear, and swimwear - this brand is a huge source of inspiration for aspiring lingerie business owners.

          SKIMS’ product designs do not rely on flashy colors and patterns. By going the minimalist route, the brand managed to create a distinct brand identity with comfort and simplicity at its core. You are bound to find a lot of neutral, skin-tight items on SKIMS’ website, which are brilliantly presented through professional and striking photographs. With such a large-scale product catalog, the brand has managed to incorporate useful features to make shopping easier. If you come on the site looking for a new bra, either utilize the smart filter, use the handy bra calculator, or check out the bra guide to learn about all bra types and their typical support. Each product category is well-sorted to eliminate confusion and create a seamless shopping experience.


          Screenshot of Araks’ website.

          Stunning lifestyle photographs make Araks’ sustainable lingerie appeal more to its clients.

          From a glance, you can tell how chic and contemporary Araks is. Their models are of all shapes and sizes, and each product image looks like a candid shot in someone’s cozy bedroom. If this vibe matches yours, Araks might be your next favorite lingerie brand.

          Apart from the ethereal photograph, the brand also chooses a smaller and thinner font, with minimal text throughout the page. This way, the products get to be the star of the show.

          With sustainability in mind, Araks’ products are locally made in New York. The transparent lists of materials used and mill and factory partners goes to prove how committed this brand is to protecting the planet. If you are on the same page, Araks will be a match made in heaven for you to take inspiration from.


          And there you have it. A lingerie business requires much dedication to start and upkeep, but it is a versatile niche that never runs out of style. If you are seeking a place to lay the first stone, Shopify is a trusted host platform that has empowered numerous successful businesses. With the assistance of a handy page builder, your lingerie storefront will receive the preparation needed to take off in no time.

          FAQ About Starting a Lingerie Business

          Should I sell lingerie in 2024?
          Yes. The lingerie sector is predicted to be valued at $78.66 billion by 2027. Though it might seem like a saturated market, there are still opportunities for new brands to grow in the industry. The boom of eCommerce also contributes to a more simplistic starting process for many lingerie businesses. If you want to cut down on inventory and shipping costs, it is a good idea to learn how to start a lingerie dropshipping online business.
          How to start a lingerie business?
          Similar to other niches, there are specific steps to take when starting a lingerie business from scratch. Below is a recommended guideline:
          1. Research the lingerie market
          2. Establish your online and offline presence
          3. Develop a business plan and apply for permits
          4. Find a supplier and manage inventory
          5. Brainstorm your marketing strategies
          6. Launch and promote your business
          Get an in-depth guide here: A Complete Guide on How To Start a Lingerie Business
          How much would it cost to start a lingerie business?
          The cost to start a lingerie business varies, depending on your business model. The average cost is anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 as the upfront investment. For a lower budget, you can consider dropshipping as it reduces manufacturing, inventory, and shipping costs.

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