Watch out, Victoria's Secret: women are abandoning sexy underwear

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesGranny panties are the new trend.

A new trend in underwear could spell trouble for Victoria’s Secret.

Women are increasingly abandoning thong underwear, choosing instead to buy briefs, or “granny panties,” according to The New York Times.

In the past year, sales of skimpy thongs fell 7%, while sales of briefs, boy shorts and high-waist briefs grew 17%, according to NPD Group.

“Perhaps motivated by the same kind of contrarianism that helped elevate Birkenstocks and fanny packs, young women are embracing ‘granny panties’ — and not just for laundry day,” the New York Times writes, citing practical up-and-coming panty brands like Ten Undies.

Victoria’s Secret has built a business around skimpy thong underwear and push-up bras.

But this approach might need to change soon.

“Most women just want something basic for every day that will make them look and feel good,” lingerie designer Greer Simpkins told The New York Times.

Ten undiesTen UndiesTen Undies sells briefs with a more covered look than Victoria’s Secret.

Victoria’s Secret’s image is under pressure.

The brand currently controls 35% of the lingerie market and has posted quarter after quarter of same-store sales growth.

Several key Angels, including Karlie Kloss and Doutzen Kroes, have left the brand. Start-ups like AdoreMe are poaching top designers and offering similar products at cheaper prices.

Plus-size customers are petitioning executives to offer larger sizes. And Lane Bryant took aim at Victoria’s Secret’s models in a recent ad campaign.

“Like Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret is in real danger of losing its relevance amongst women as the brand is labelled sexist and stodgy,” branding expert and University of Southern California professor Jeetendr Sehdev told Business Insider.

Abercrombie & Fitch ruled the teen sector for years but lost its footing when it failed to adapt to fast-fashion competitors like H&M and Forever 21. Abercrombie was also criticised for excluding plus-size customers and minorities in its stores.

“Victoria’s Secret needs to stop hiding behind dazzle and dated ’70s concepts such as ‘Angels” and the ‘Fantasy Bra,’ and start having a real conversation with women,” Sehdev said.

The brand famously hires 10 famous models to represent its brand as “Angels.” It also spends millions of dollars on a televised fashion show, complete with diamond-encrusted bras and performances by Taylor Swift.

“The dazzling and over the top fantasy positioning is simply alienating to the modern day sophisticated and complex young woman,” Sehdev said.

As consumers’ opinions of beauty change, Victoria’s Secret seems outdated.

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