Agent Provocateur (lingerie)

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Agent Provocateur
Private
IndustryApparel
Founded1994; 24 years ago (1994)
FoundersJoseph Corré
Serena Rees
Headquarters,
Key people

Sarah Shotton (Creative director)
Productslingerie, sleepwear, hosiery, swimwear, accessories, outerwear, fragrances
Number of employees
600[1] (2017[1])
Websitehttp://www.agentprovocateur.com/gb_en

Agent Provocateur is a British lingerie retailer founded in 1994 by Joseph Corré and Serena Rees.[2] The company has stores in 13 countries.[3]

History[edit]

Agent Provocateur's first store, on Broadwick Street Store, Soho, London

1994—2007[edit]

In 1994, Agent Provocateur was founded by Joseph Corré, the son of Vivienne Westwood, and his then-wife Serena Rees. The first store opened in Soho on Broadwick Street.[4]

The company sold colourful and fashionable lingerie[5] Joseph Corré was the designer for the brand.[6]

2007—2017[edit]

In 2007, after the divorce of Corré and Rees, 3i, a private equity firm that invests in mid-size companies,[7] purchased 80% of the company for £60 million.[2][8]

Between November 2007 and March 2009 the company opened 13 shops expanding to the US, Russia, Dubai and Hong Kong[9]

By March 2008, Agent Provocateur's profits dropped 18% to £2.2 million due to the cost of expansion.[9]

Garry Hogarth stepped down as CEO in February 2016.[10]

In March 2017, the business entered administration.[1] As part of a "pre-pack" deal, it was purchased by Four Holdings, a company one-third owned by British businessman Mike Ashley who reportedly paid around "£25m after seeing off competition from private equity firm Lion Capital."[1]

Marketing[edit]

The company is known for its provocative videos. Australian actress Melissa George, English model Chloe Hayward and American model Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann appeared in a John Cameron Mitchell-directed campaign, which urged women to control their own destinies while wearing the company's lingerie.[11]

In December 2001, company produced a controversial short film featuring Kylie Minogue riding a velvet bucking bronco while wearing the company's underwear.[12][13]

In 2006, Mike Figgis directed a short film for Agent Provocateur starring model Kate Moss.[14][14]

Other models have included actress Maggie Gyllenhaal in 2007,[15] British model Daisy Lowe in 2008,[16] and model Hailey Clauson in a 2014 ad campaign photographed by Miles Aldridge.[17]

Logo and wordmark[edit]

The original Agent Provocateur logo and wordmark were set from an existing over-the-counter typeface. As Corré’s venture grew, graphic design company House Industries redrew and expanded on the logo. They penned a flowing Spencerian wordmark as well as a racy leg logo for products including tissue paper and fabric monograms.[18]

Criticism[edit]

Agent Provocateur had some of its advertisements banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (United Kingdom) for "being degrading to women."[19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Mike Ashley firm buys lingerie firm Agent Provocateur" (Business). United Kingdom: BBC. BBC. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b Cooper, Leonie (11 January 2008). "G2: Style: Frilly business: We may demand cheap clothes, but we are prepared to splash out a lot more on what lies beneath. Leonie Cooper on the boom in luxury underwear". The Guardian (London).
  3. ^ Traill-Nash, Glynis. "Agent Provocateur set for big bash to mark 100th store opening in Sydney". theaustralian.com.au. The Australian. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  4. ^ Hamilton, Alan (21 June 2007). "Lingerie boss rejects MBE because Blair is morally corrupt". United Kingdom: The Times. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Joe Corré and Serena Rees: Sex and the City". United Kingdom: The Independent. 29 July 2002. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  6. ^ "M&S launches underwear boutiques" (Business). United Kingdom: BBC. BBC. 23 October 2000. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  7. ^ "3i announces restructuring to cut costs" (Business). United Kingdom: BBC. BBC. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  8. ^ Attwood, Karen (16 November 2007). "Agent Provocateur sold to private equity firm 3i for 60m Pounds" (Business News). United Kingdom: The Independent. ESI Media. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  9. ^ a b Wilson, Amy (23 March 2009). "Agent Provocateur says lingerie sales hold up" (Retail and Consumer). United Kingdom: The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Agent Provocateur lined up for possible sale as boss Garry Hogarth steps down". The Independent. 2016-02-09. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  11. ^ Newbold, Alice (2 September 2013). "Melissa George frolics on catwalk for Agent Provocateur's autumn campaign" (Fashion). United Kingdom: Telegraph. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  12. ^ Wilson, Giles (7 September 2004). "Happy hours with non-stop ads?" (AD BREAKDOWN). United Kingdom: BBC. BBC. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Top 10: Agent Provocateur Models - Number 2". Askmen.com. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  14. ^ a b Briggs, Caroline (27 October 2006). "Film-maker Figgis frames London" (Entertainment). United Kingdom: BBC. BBC. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Maggie Gyllenhaal's steamy Agent Provocateur campaign revealed". The Daily Mail. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  16. ^ "Daisy Lowe" (Switch). United Kingdom: BBC. BBC. 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  17. ^ Conti, Samantha (22 January 2014). "Agent Provocateur Takes to the Kitchen". WWD. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  18. ^ "House Industries".
  19. ^ Tony Yeshin (25 July 2005). Advertising. Cengage Learning EMEA. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-84480-160-2. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  20. ^ Jim Blythe (2006). Principles & Practice of Marketing. Cengage Learning EMEA. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-84480-120-6. Retrieved 22 October 2012.

External links[edit]

Media related to Agent Provocateur (lingerie) at Wikimedia Commons