The Chinese women’s underwear brand NEIWAI unveiled its first store outside of China in Singapore on July 11.
Located in the Raffles City shopping centre, the new outlet showcases the brand’s offerings across women’s loungewear, casualwear, and sportswear as well as its growing range of men’s products. With its high spending power and large population of overseas Chinese, Singapore makes a strong choice for NEIWAI’s first foray into offline retail outside of China. Singaporeans are also more likely to shop in-store as the city-state’s small size makes offline shopping highly accessible.
The launch of a physical presence overseas has been in the works for several years, with the brand announcing plans for New York and San Francisco locations in 2016 and 2019 respectively. However, these plans did not come to fruition, and aside from the launch of an official global website in 2020, NEIWAI did not further its global expansion plans during the pandemic.
Established in 2012, NEIWAI became the poster child for modern Chinese marketing between 2017 and 2020 with its brazenly feminist campaigns showing models of diverse ages, skin tones, and body sizes. Making women’s comfort its guiding principle, NEIWAI became a pioneer of body positivity and set a new industry standard with top-quality materials sourced from Milan. The brand opened its first offline store in Shanghai in 2017, growing to 140 stores across 40 cities in China as of 2023.
With the rise of China’s “She Economy”, NEIWAI has sought to distinguish itself from other female empowerment brands. In this move from a major disruptor in the underwear market to a chic lifestyle clothing brand, NEIWAI has diversified its strategy to include loungewear and athleisure. Underwear now accounts for just 30% of the brand’s revenue, with loungewear and sportswear costing much more per unit on average.