Thursday, July 26, 2007

The science and business of bra

This is probably one of scientists' wild dreams: mathematical equation to determine new bra-sizing system.

clipped from
But now researchers in Hong Kong have come up with a different mathematical equation which they say will produce shapelier outlines and greater comfort for Chinese women. If successful, their bra-sizing system could be adopted across the globe.

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Further in the article, a report points out that as many as 70 per cent of women in Britain are wearing the wrong-sized bra as a result of inappropriate categorization of breast size for bras (in the current system - A cup (youthful); B cup (average); C cup (large); and D cup (heavy)). The bra sizes, the researchers say, should be based on a new depth/width ratio (DWR).

The new system is based on 3D geometry, with more than 100 key measurements. It follows 3D scanning of 456 Chinese women. There's a catch, though, in following measurements of Chinese women, because another article also reports that Chinese women need bigger bras due to improved nutritions.

Should we expect a 'boom' in bra business with this perfect-fit type of bra?

In China itself, it is said that underwear market is set to grow 20% a year over 10 years. A report mentions that bras accounted for 56% of the total value of the lingerie market in 2005.

Another brief writes: "28% of respondents said they choose a bra solely on cost, while another 38% said they aggressively seek out deals. Brands that consumers crossed their hearts and said they were most true to included Playtex for fit/comfort, Bestform for pricing and Victoria's Secret for style."

So how true is it?

Take Limited Brands, Inc., the parent company of Victoria Secret. It's share price today is 68% higher than it was exactly five years ago. Total return in five years is a bit lower than that of S&P 500, but not that bad.

You never know how the shareholders meeting is like... perhaps the models of Victoria Secret's will be there... hmm...