In previous eras, underwear was merely a support garment. They were pieces to wear under one’s clothes to protect the most sensitive parts of the body. Some even helped shape and structure the body for them to appear distinguished and refined. Rather than a piece of decoration, underwear was a necessary garment, as it still is to this day. However, through the years, underwear had also changed, much like fashion itself. As the clothes became simpler and bodies became less-covered, underwear became more beautiful. They were suddenly made out of high-quality fabrics, and their price points grew increasingly near to an actual garment. Thanks to a few brands, underwear became coveted pieces, and one such brand is Aubade.
Aubade is lingerie brand that helped change people’s views on underwear. The created, and continue to do so today, luxurious pieces that are more seductive than functional. They produce some of the most beautiful items known to women and are in demand by most men for their partners. Their designs dressed up a woman, even though when they wear them, women are usually dressed down. Such is the power of their lingerie, a sexy and sensual force that have women buying more and more.
A corset specialist by the name of Doctor Bernard entered the lingerie market in 1875, opening a corsetry shop. During that time, the underwear business was booming, with over 11 million corsets sold annually. Bernard introduced new innovations to corsetry, revolutionizing how to sew them together, displacing hooks and fasteners for better navigation, and incorporating pleating into lingerie. The company became a hit during that time, as women began seeing underwear as luxury pieces and worth to spend loads of money on. But as haute couture became prevalent at the turn of the 20th century, lingerie companies such as Bernard’s quieted down.
In 1958, the underwear label was sold to Pasquier family, and they renamed it “Aubade.” From mere underwear, they began redesigning the brand’s classics to a more haute couture aesthetic and sensibility, giving more emphasis to the look rather than just its functions. Just like the store’s first incarnation, the brand eventually became a hit, becoming one of the premier lingerie brands in Paris. Add to that their provocative styles, which featured women clad in Aubade lingerie in seductive poses. Their marketing put them further into the map, and they soon equaled the prestige of their haute couture counterparts.
Aubade during CurveExpo at Tribeca Skyline Studios. Photo: lev radin
Unlike other lingerie brands, Aubade actually has a menswear line. They’re one of the very few and extremely rare cases wherein a lingerie brand decided to cater to male consumers as well. Ordinarily, an underwear brand would start out as a unisex label, not focusing on one sex and then expand to another. In the underwear business, that was simply unheard of, especially since men don’t necessarily have their own version of lingerie.
However, Aubade still decided to create a line for them, and Aubade Man was introduced. Although a simple collection of boxer-briefs in various prints, this line has the potential to start a full-blown revolution in the underwear business, one that will further blur the lines between men and women categories.
The brand also has their own line of swimwear, which is as luxurious and glamorous as their lingerie pieces. A signature design of theirs is drapery, where the fabric hugs the body in a sophisticated yet sensual way as if it was a luxurious piece of lingerie. The brand has also incorporated their signature cuts for their swimwear, giving the same amount of attention to how their pieces flatter the female form. Whether it’s a one-piece suit or a two-piece bikini set, Aubade swimwear encapsulates the women’s body in the same sexy yet refined way that their lingerie does.
Photo: AUBADE Boutique in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Martin Good
With a substantial number of years under their belt, Aubade has expanded their retail presence tenfold. They’re now available in multiple cities, such as London, Taiwan, Moscow, and Copenhagen, among many others. They’re also carried by a number of prominent retailers, the likes of Galeries Lafayette, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, and Printemps. Online, world-famous e-commerce sites like Nancy Meyer, Orange Bag, Just Moi, Bare Necessities, and Lingerie Francaise all have the brand’s items on their roster. With instant access all over the world, the Aubade customer audience has increased exponentially in the last few years. They now rival other lingerie brands who may be more well-known today but do not have the foundation and heritage like Aubade.
No matter how exuberant outer fashion can be, lingerie is still as luxurious, at times even more so. Aubade and brands like it have established the underwear market as a lucrative venture for other brands to potentially explore. They built a strong foundation of making pieces that are covetable, desirable, and stylish. Aubade lingerie is one of those brands that others may use as a point of reference to see how one can succeed in such a niche yet highly successful industry.
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