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.