Serena Rees

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Serena Rees
Born (1968-03-14) 14 March 1968 (age 49)
Nationality British
Occupation Businesswoman
Spouse(s) Joseph Corré (????-2007) divorced
Partner(s) Paul Simonon (2007-present)
Children 1

Serena Rees (born 14 March 1968)[1] is a British businesswoman best known for cofounding Agent Provocateur with her then husband Joseph Corré.

Early life[edit]

An adopted daughter of Indian parents, Rees was working as a model in Chelsea,[2] when in a nightclub in 1992 she met Joseph Corré, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren's son.

Agent Provocateur[edit]

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

Rees - tired of seeing women dressed in drab undergarments - came up with an idea to start a lingerie store that was filled with colourful and fashion-forward lingerie. In partnership with Corre, a former employee of his mother's business, in 1994 the two partners opened Agent Provocateur on Broadwick Street, Soho. This was a pure retail shop which bought-in stock, and neither business partner initially had any intentions of designing lingerie. However, after having difficulties finding attire they liked, they started their own line.[3]

Since 1994, Agent Provocateur grew into a brand spanning into 13 different countries with over 30 stores. Rees made sure to cater to a celebrity clientele by enforcing a strict confidentiality policy.[3] Consequently, all employees sign confidentiality agreements not to talk about clients. Due to their popularity among celebrities, the brand often features celebrity models such as Kate Moss.[4]

After Rees left Corre for ex-Clash bassist Paul Simonon in 2007, the to-be divorced couple agreed in the same year to sell Agent Provocateur to private equity house 3i for £60m.[5]

Other business ventures[edit]

Rees then started Cocomaya, a bakery and chocolatier with several branches in London, where she resides with her daughter and partner Simonon.[6]


  1. ^ " - UK Company and Company Director Reports". Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b [1] Archived May 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Wilson, Amy (2009-03-23). "Agent Provocateur says lingerie sales hold up". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  5. ^ Attwood, Karen (2007-11-16). "Agent Provocateur sold to private equity firm 3i for £60m - Business News - Business". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  6. ^ Interviews by Rhiannon Harries (2009-11-22). "How We Met: Joel Bernstein & Serena Rees - Profiles - People". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2012-02-23.