Agent Provocateur emerges as among the most iconic British lingerie brands, even to this day. Besides its impeccable craftsmanship and beautiful design, it aims to empower women by creating pieces that have a flattering fit. The offerings are playful as they are seductive, characteristics also evident in its famous campaigns. The brand celebrates women and femininity by using the finest of fabrics, most intricate of laces, and a variety of colors.
Still the same provocateur back in the 90s
Agent Provocateur all began in Soho, London, when it was founded by then husband and wife Joe Corre and Serena Rees. The former already had fashion in his code courtesy of his mother, iconic British designer and businesswoman Vivienne Westwood, who has put a stamp on her son’s company through the pink house coats that salespersons of the brand wore. When Corre and Rees started their lingerie business in 1994, what they had in mind was a label that will test the limits of design, cause a reaction, be an agent of provocation. The lingerie then materialized as high-end pieces that are also very daring and sexual. It was unlike anything in the market at the time.
Being overtly sexy is a reputation Agent Provocateur lives to this day, even when Corre left by 2009, private equity firm 3i bought 80% of the company two years before, and Rees set off to establish an intimates brand Les Girls Les Boys. But along the years it also focused on becoming a brand that paid attention to women’s needs. Besides having jaw-dropping designs, the brand worked on providing the perfect fit so that women can feel attractive and confident while also being comfortable in Agent Provocateur undergarments.
In 2017, Agent Provocateur entered administration, with Four Holdings, partly owned by Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, purchasing the brand. But the Agent Provocateur Creative Director, Sarah Shotton, who has been working in the company since she was a shop assistant in the 1990s, stayed. Many were concerned about the direction the brand will be taking given the restructuring, but Shotton assured fans that the creative aspect will remain untouched and uninterrupted.
Empowering yet fun undergarments
For Agent Provocateur, a garment as essential as a lingerie should be fun, playful, and most importantly, empowering. Its target customers are strong, intelligent women who know what they want, and would not settle for anything short of exquisite craftsmanship. Moreover, the beautifully made lingerie will serve its purpose more for the woman who wears them than the man who merely sees. The brand has made a claim of taking the power and giving them to women who are harnessing the very symbols that were used for their objectification by prioritizing her pleasure and comfort first and foremost.
Agent Provocateur sees lingerie as a foundation of how wearers will project themselves in the real world. Through the years, fans have seen the brand release loud and sensual pieces that are sometimes even deemed raunchy. And yet, the brand made sure that no matter how thick the apparel that covers the skimpy things will be, it will still have an empowering effect because of their impressive construction and beautiful design. If a client is confident in them, then she would feel that she can achieve anything she set her eyes on.
The releases have varied from ultra-sexy, wild, to something a little more downplayed, but what they all have in common is the use of beautiful fabrics and intricate laces. Agent Provocateur’s existing catalogue can let the different parts of one’s personality shine through, as a woman can feel kinky with the naughty styles, ready to conquer the world with love in the romantic lingeries, feel a little girly in the pink selection, and be dark and invincible with black laces. There are nudes, vintage-inspired, a little more contemporary, and even rock and roll undergarments. With the brand’s personal shopping agents and private fitting service, you can take your pick of a piece that will empower you while holding your bosom and the rest of your body perfectly.
Celebrities proud while clad in lingerie
The brand reached the fame it has today partly because of its campaigns that never failed to generate interest from the media. Actresses Maggie Gyllenhaal and Melissa George have become ambassadors for the brand, and so did models Chloe Hayward, Daisy Lowe, Hailey Clauson and Elettra Wiedemann. George, Hayward and Wiedemann were all part of the Control Yourself campaign by Agent Provocateur and directed by John Cameron Mitchell, pushing women to be in control of their destinies while clad in suggestive undergarments.
Agent Provocateur is most remembered for its sexiest campaigns that featured Kylie Minogue and Kate Moss. Minogue’s 2001 advertisement “Proof” wherein the singer rode a mechanical bull was infamous for being banned because it was deemed too wild. Meanwhile, Kate Moss starred in a Mike Figgis-directed short film. In most recent memory, Agent Provocateur garnered wide media attention with Beyoncé. The Queen of Pop announced her pregnancy in 2017 while clad in Agent Provocateur’s Lorna bra in burgundy.
More accessible lingerie
With Agent Provocateur’s restructuring, changes concerning accessibility were made. It was improved on many fronts, including the prices. Agent Provocateur’s lingerie has been among the most expensive of its kind, but it is introducing more entry price ranges to entice younger customers without alienating those it already has. This was seen as a sound move, especially now that lingerie as outerwear is becoming more appealing. It has also expanded its offerings to swimwear, nightwear, ready-to-wear and other accessories.
The company also continues to improve on its already award-winning website. With plenty of collections to check out, the website receives an average of 20,000 visitors per day. Clients can choose to shop online if they wish as Agent Provocateur offers worldwide shipping. The items come in a pretty packaging of soft pink and black. It also has boutiques around the world that give a luxurious, feminine experience, often featuring boudoir decorations. These can be found in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Russia, Scandinavia, the United States, Canada, and some parts in Asia.