La Perla (clothing)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

La Perla
TypePrivate company
FounderAda Masotti
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Silvio Scaglia (Chairman)
Nicole Rendone (Creative Director)
ProductsLingerie, beachwear, sleepwear, ready-to-wear, accessories
OwnerTennor Holding BV

La Perla is a London-headquartered [1] Italian lingerie and swimwear maker owned by German entrepreneur Lars Windhorst through Tennor Holding B.V.[2] The brand was founded by couturière Ada Masotti in Bologna in 1954.[3]


La Perla under Ada Masotti (1954-1981)[edit]

La Perla was founded in 1954 by couturière Ada Masotti in Bologna, Italy.[4] As she developed her products, Masotti, who was trained as a corset-maker,[5] would drape fabric directly on the female body to achieve awareness of line and movement.[4][3]

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.[6]

In the 1970s, the company introduced a silk jersey triangle bra, which allowed for more movement and reflected fashion's preference for a smaller bust.

Under Alberto Masotti (1981-2007)[edit]

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.[7] In 1983 La Perla introduced the under-jacket, a lingerie item designed to be visible under the suiting of the era.[8]

In 1985, the company extended its production to men's underwear and beachwear.[9]

Ada Masotti also created La Perla Maison, a collection featuring a range of handmade garments with embroidered inserts.[10] In 1994, La Perla launched the Sculpture bra, signaling a shift in the brand's styling.[11]

In 2000, Steinunn Sigurdardóttir became the Creative Director of La Perla's Ready-to-Wear. She introduced new fabrics and swimsuits.[12] In 2006, actor Daniel Craig wore a pair of Grigioperla swimming trunks in 007 Casino Royale film.[13] 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.[13]

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.[14][15] In 2011, La Perla collaborated with French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier.[16] That same year, La Perla entered the shapewear sector with ShapeCouture, featuring distinctive tailored cuts, tulle inserts and openwork finishes.[17]

Changes in ownership (2008-2018)[edit]

In October 2008, La Perla was sold to JH Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm focused on investments in services companies and luxury brands.[18]

In June 2013, Italian entrepreneur Silvio Scaglia and Pacific Global Management purchased La Perla at an auction for €69 million ($90 million).[18] 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.[19] In June 2014, La Perla held the first menswear catwalk show at Pitti Uomo in Florence, presenting a loungewear and Beachwear collection.[9]

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.[2] In the same year, La Perla launched a made-to-measure collection at its flagship stores, incorporating made-to-order lingerie.[20][4][21]

In 2015, La Perla's first Atelier collection was shown during Couture Fashion Week in Paris; with this being the brand's first runway show there.[22][23]

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.[9] The brand's creative director and Chief Design Officer is Italian-American designer Nicole Rendone, who joined La Perla in 2021.[24]


In 1997, collaborations with Italian photographer Marino Parisotto resulted in the publication of a photographic volume, Senso, portraying new La Perla styles.[25] Senso was dedicated to the world of corsetry seen through the female gaze.[25]

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.[26]


  1. ^ "About us". La Perla Fashion Holding. 16 February 2023. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  2. ^ a b Segreti, Giulia (26 February 2018). "Sapinda buys lingerie firm La Perla after Fosun talks stumble". Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b Valerie Steele (11 March 2003). Fashion, Italian Style. Yale University Press. p. 89. ISBN 9780300100143.
  4. ^ a b c Gonsalves, Rebecca (19 October 2014). "What lies beneath La Perla's 60 years of luxury lingerie?". The Independent. United Kingdom. ESI Media. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  5. ^ Cardinali, Isabella (2012). La Perla. Lingerie & Desire. New York City: Rizzoli. p. 28. ISBN 978-0847839162.
  6. ^ Hills, Megan C. (25 October 2019). "In pictures: 65 years of La Perla lingerie". Evening Standard. Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  7. ^ Alexandra Amico (20 February 2022). "La Perla: the history of luxury lingerie Made in Italy". Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  8. ^ Hills, Megan C. (25 October 2019). "In pictures: 65 years of La Perla lingerie". Evening Standard. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  9. ^ a b c Yotka, Steff (24 August 2016). "La Perla Has a New Creative Director and a Surprising New Approach to Ready-to-Wear". Vogue. Condé Nast. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  10. ^ "La Perla Maison Collection". YouTube. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  11. ^ "La Perla Sculpture with Lycra Black fiber". Lycra. 28 September 2007. Archived from the original on 5 April 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  12. ^ Sigurðardóttir, Steinunn. "Steinunn Sigurðardóttir." Interview by Sigríður Sigurðardóttir, Gunnar Hilmarsson, and Páll Hjaltason. Sjónþing Gerðubergs 18 March 2006: n. pag. Print.
  13. ^ a b Bell, Chris (19 October 2015). "We've been collecting you, Mr Bond…". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  14. ^ Tortora, Laura (17 February 2014). "La Perla reopening". Vogue Italia. Condé Nast. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Beyonce Knowles in La Perla – 2014 Grammy Awards Performance". Red Carpet Fashion Awards. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  16. ^ "La Perla's Jean Paul Gaultier Collection Createur Presentation". The Fashion Spot. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  17. ^ Oxberry, Eve (11 August 2010). "La Perla to launch shapewear". Drapers. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  18. ^ a b Binnie, Isla (4 June 2013). "Italian entrepreneur Scaglia bags La Perla at auction". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Lingerie label La Perla removes skinny mannequin display". BBC News. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  20. ^ "La Perla Launches Bras Made with 24K Gold Thread". InStyle. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  21. ^ Shaw, Catherine (29 October 2015). "La Perla's latest Roberto Baciocchi-designed emporium opens in Hong Kong". Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  22. ^ Kilcooley-O'Halloran, Scarlett (20 February 2015). "La Perla: Luxury in the Making". Vogue. Condé Nast. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  23. ^ Orlova-Alvarez, Tamara (18 October 2018). "La Perla Second Skin Launch Party – London". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  24. ^ Shaw, Catherine (29 October 2015). "La Perla's latest Roberto Baciocchi-designed emporium opens in Hong Kong". Wallpaper. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Parisotto busca el arte de la lencería". El Pais (in Spanish). 10 April 1998. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  26. ^ "La Perla: Lingerie and Desire". Rizzoli. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2016.