Smiffys trade marketing manager Sharon Poulter shares her thoughts on the comedy and novelty fancy dress market.
How important are comedy and novelty costumes within the fancy-dress market?
“Comedy and novelty are large aspects of everything that comes with dress-up and party. The fancy dress market is continually growing year-on-year and novelty and comedy costumes remain an integral part of the Smiffys collection. A central aspect of hen and stag parties is novelty and comedy dress up as fundamental to the festivities, particularly in the male sector.”
Which comedy costume innovations have made the biggest difference to the market in recent years?
“Smiffys instant kits have proved an innovative solution to the time and budget conscious consumers. Instant kits retail at a lower price than standalone costumes, but allow customers to create their own look. Innovations in product material and the rise of latex masks have also aided the popularity of novelty and comedy costumes. Latex masks allow for realistic recreations of infamous characters, such as Smiffys ‘Comrade’ mask, to customise outfits.”
What type of costumes make people laugh the most?
“Designs that have captured attention have to be various lines of inflatable costumes released by Smiffys. Inflatables bring imagination to life in with their 3D appearance, in turn, bringing realistic humour. The man-eating shark costume optimises this. Fruits have also been a central part of the designs for 2019, driven by the rise of social media and the use of emojis. The novelty fruit costumes have proved popular as we progress through festival season, with their life-like appearance.”
How important are current affairs and trends for people looking to create a funny costume?
“Smiffys in-house design team are committed to staying on-trend and current. This has led to the creation of several lines in the novelty and comedy centre that are based on political trends. Costumes modelled on Donald Trump are a favourite with Smiffys customers as the American President continues to divide many and remain in the spotlight. Customers and their desire to stand-out often spurs novelty and comedy designs. Trends in the fashion industry have also impacted Smiffys female novelty and comedy lines.”
What new comedy/novelty lines have you added for 2019?
“New comedy/novelty lines for Smiffys encompass an increased fashion focus for ladieswear with extensive ranges of dresses, such as Llama and Dragon. Fruit has also been a pivotal theme of comedy dress-up, with designs including Avocado, Aubergine and Watermelon costumes. Piggyback costumes also feature in 2019 novelty/comedy lines, with popular political caricature features.”