Curvy Kate is a lingerie brand specialising in D – K cup Bras and Swimwear. They are currently based in Harrow, Middlesex.
Curvy Kate lingerie is designed for the fuller figure woman and specifically caters for the demand in smaller backs and larger bust bras between the 28″ – 40″ back size They officially launched in July 2009 at the Harrogate Lingerie Show.
In October 2010 the Showgirl Thrill Me was made in Raspberry/Charcoal for online retailer Bravissimo followed by the Portia design into a Raspberry/Navy colour with a band size up to a 44″ back for retailer Simply Yours in August 2011.
In February 2011 Curvy Kate reported their sales had grown 400% in their second year of trading after expansion to worldwide stockists.
In May 2011, Curvy Kate announced that they were extending their product line to Swimwear. Using the Princess lingerie range design the range would include 3 styles of Tankinis and Bikinis with matching briefs.
In December 2011, Curvy Kate announced they were to launch the world’s first J cup moulded bra for their Autumn Winter 2012 collection.
Star in a Bra
Curvy Kate do not use professional models. They instead run an annual modelling competition called Star in a Bra to look for real sized models with a D+ cup size with a one year modelling contract on offer to the winner. Starting in the UK, the competition has grown to Australia in 2011 and USA in 2012.
Laura Butler from the 2008 UK Competition and Lauren Colfer from the 2009 UK Competition did not win their respective years competition but were signed up by Curvy Kate to model and continue to do so (as of August 2012). Lizzie Haines, winner of the 2011 UK Competition received national press for her win.
Daisy Hill, a finalist from the 2009 UK competition was signed up to model Curvy Kate to be the first ethnic model for the brand. The 2012 USA Star in a Bra winner Krista Cousins will be the second ethnic model used by the brand.
Curvy Kate stance for using real sized models and ethnic models has been warmly received by the lingerie industry.
De Montfort University Project
In 2010 Curvy kate teamed up with De Montfort University Contour Fashion degree course. A project was set up for the second year students on the course to design a lingerie set. The winner’s design would then be put into production for the 2011 Autumn Winter collection.The students would have 10 weeks to create “a DD+ piece to fit the brand’s modern and fun philosophies; making sure to focus on fit, style and support.”
Sarah Greenwood won with her design Sugar Rush. Students Ella Chidgrey and Carli Pullinger came 2nd and 3rd. Sarah’s design was adapted to Curvy Kate’s existing collection by changing the original colour from green to indigo and being renamed Lottie.The Lottie design continued in Black, White and Pink for the 2013 Spring Summer collection.
In March 2011, Curvy Kate announced that they would be running the project again but with a 8 week deadline. Nabila Omar won with her plunge bra design. Students Sara Caspi and Bryony Anne Bennett came 2nd and 3rd. The design was incorporated into the 2012 Autumn Winter collection under the Wild name.
As well as the Create a Curvy Kate project, Curvy Kate has also employed students and graduates from the contour fashion course including their current designer.
UK Lingerie Awards
In 2011, Curvy Kate were nominated for three awards at the UK Lingerie Awards for Lingerie Brand of the Year, Full Bust Brand of the Year and Best Marketing Campaign for Star in a Bra. They won the Full Bust Brand of the Year beating Gorgeous by Debenhams and Miss Mandalay to the award.
In 2012, Curvy Kate were nominated for four awards. Lingerie Brand of the Year, Full Bust Brand of the Year and Best Marketing Campaign for Star in a Bra again as well as the Favourite Lingerie Brand which is voted for by the public. They won the Full Bust Brand of the Year again as well as Best Marketing Campaign for Star in a Bra.