This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (January 2018)
Number of locations
|Silvio Scaglia (Chairman) |
Nicole Rendone (Creative Director)
|Products||Lingerie, beachwear, sleepwear, ready-to-wear, accessories|
|Owner||Tennor Holding BV|
La Perla is a London-headquartered  Italian lingerie and swimwear maker owned by German entrepreneur Lars Windhorst through Tennor Holding B.V. The brand was founded by couturière Ada Masotti in Bologna in 1954.
La Perla under Ada Masotti (1954-1981)
La Perla was founded in 1954 by couturière Ada Masotti in Bologna, Italy. As she developed her products, Masotti, who was trained as a corset-maker, would drape fabric directly on the female body to achieve awareness of line and movement.
In the 1960s, La Perla launched a lingerie line based on colorful, floral and checked patterns alongside the more traditional white, black and nude in line with the fashion of the time. At the same time, it also launched its first collections of bikinis and swimsuits.
Under Alberto Masotti (1981-2007)
During the underwear boom that characterized the 1980s fashion scene, the company started its international expansion under the guidance of Alberto Masotti, the founder's son. Alberto Masotti took charge of the company in 1981 after he had earned his degree in Medicine from the University of Bologna. Meanwhile his wife, Olga Masotti, became creative director for the brand. Olga was hired by Ada Masotti as a designer in 1972. In 1983 La Perla introduced the under-jacket, a lingerie item designed to be visible under the suiting of the era.
Ada Masotti also created La Perla Maison, a collection featuring a range of handmade garments with embroidered inserts. In 1994, La Perla launched the Sculpture bra, signaling a shift in the brand's styling.
In 2000, Steinunn Sigurdardóttir became the Creative Director of La Perla's Ready-to-Wear. She introduced new fabrics and swimsuits. In 2006, actor Daniel Craig wore a pair of Grigioperla swimming trunks in 007 Casino Royale film. Later, Christie's organized a special auction celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Bond film, and the La Perla trunks were sold for £44,450 in 2012.
In 2007, La Perla launched the Cage Bustier worn by Victoria Beckham in the video of "Headlines", the Spice Girls' reunion song. A capsule Cage collection was later launched, including the Cage top, which was worn by Beyoncé for her 2014 Grammy Awards performance. In 2011, La Perla collaborated with French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier. That same year, La Perla entered the shapewear sector with ShapeCouture, featuring distinctive tailored cuts, tulle inserts and openwork finishes.
Changes in ownership (2008-2018)
In June 2013, Italian entrepreneur Silvio Scaglia and Pacific Global Management purchased La Perla at an auction for €69 million ($90 million). Following the acquisition, the company was relaunched with a development strategy aimed at consolidating the identity of the brand.
In May 2014, the brand faced complaints following the use of mannequins depicting visible ribs and concave stomachs in its New York store. The mannequins were later removed. In June 2014, La Perla held the first menswear catwalk show at Pitti Uomo in Florence, presenting a loungewear and Beachwear collection.
In December 2017, the Chinese conglomerate Fosun International entered talks to acquire the company. In January 2018, the talks fell through following Fosun's intentions to move production to China. In February 2018, the Sapinda Group of Lars Windhorst acquired the company. Following the acquisition, Windhorst announced Sapinda's pledge to maintain production at the company's existing plants in Italy and Portugal. Following the acquisition, the company was again relaunched with a new development strategy. In the same year, La Perla launched a made-to-measure collection at its flagship stores, incorporating made-to-order lingerie.
Julia Haart was appointed creative director of La Perla in 2016 and held the role for a year, after working with the brand on accessories collaborations for two seasons. The brand's creative director and Chief Design Officer is Italian-American designer Nicole Rendone, who joined La Perla in 2021.
In 1997, collaborations with Italian photographer Marino Parisotto resulted in the publication of a photographic volume, Senso, portraying new La Perla styles. Senso was dedicated to the world of corsetry seen through the female gaze.
In 2012, Rizzoli New York City published La Perla. Lingerie & Desire, the first monographic book dedicated to the brand and its evolution over almost sixty years. Some chapters are dedicated to the history of the La Perla products, marketing (the origins, the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s) and advertorial images, while others are linked to "symbolic aesthetic concepts" such as Black, White, Body, Inspirations, Precious and Eros.
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