Per­cent

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI -

of the lin­gerie brands sold on O2bra.com can­not be bought on the Chi­nese main­land

sim­ply don’t fit well.

“The most in­ter­est­ing piece came from a girl who said it was from her ex-boyfriend’s ex-girl­friend,” said Xu.

The 29-year-old Shang­hai na­tive had in 2014 en­tered the lin­gerie in­dus­try where her mother had worked as a de­signer for decades. But in­stead of launch­ing her own brand and pro­duc­tion line, Xu de­cided to be­come a mid­dle­woman in­stead, launch­ing O2bra.com to con­nect hun­dreds of al­ready suc­cess­ful or funky lin­gerie brands all over the world with mil­lions of women, many of whom are still strug­gling to fabri­cate a cleav­age by us­ing push-up bras.

“There is noth­ing wrong (with big boobs). But I think sex­i­ness can be de­fined by more than size, and I want to pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive,” said Xu, who added that she was sur­prised to find that young Chi­nese women are gen­er­ally still wear­ing bras that are heav­ily-padded.

To­day, there are more than 70 un­der­wear brands be­ing sold on O2bra.com, which has 2 mil­lion reg­is­tered users. Apart from that, Xu had also cre­ated a mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion called O2, the chem­i­cal sym­bol for oxy­gen, hop­ing that the shop­ping app would be­come as es­sen­tial as oxy­gen for its fe­male users. The app has also be­come an on­line com­mu­nity for users, most of them born af­ter the 1990s and are the only child in their fam­i­lies, to share their bed­room se­crets.

Up to 80 per­cent of the brands sold on O2, such as Heidi Klum In­ti­mates, Agent Provo­ca­teur and Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret, are in­ac­ces­si­ble on the Chi­nese main­land. How­ever, Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret has con­firmed that it will open its first retail store that sells its fa­mous lin­gerie in Shang­hai by the end of this year. The av­er­age or­der on O2 is around 300 yuan, and the site re­ceives be­tween 50 and 100 or­ders daily.

“They are in­sen­si­tive to brand names, pur­chas­ing mainly to make them­selves happy. They are defin­ing sex­i­ness in their own way,” said Xu about her clien­tele.

Con­sult­ing firm Frost and Sul­li­van es­ti­mated that China’s lin­gerie mar­ket would con­sol­i­date $24 bil­lion of sales by the end of 2016, sur­pass­ing the US lin­gerie mar­ket, and this sec­tor will con­tinue to see dou­ble-digit growth.

The art­work ti­tled Emo­tion is made of hun­dreds of used bra straps.

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