Lingerie brands walk a fine line between having their merchandise regarded as fashion or as just another bra and panties from a sex store. Agent Provocateur is a popular British lingerie retailer that seeks to push the boundaries in the lingerie industry. Founded by Joseph Corré and his now ex-wife Serena Rees in 1994, the pair created a brand that sets trends in eroticism with its fun, colorful, and edgy lingerie.
An Agent Provocateur retail store oozes glamour, luxury, and of course, sex. However, the beautiful and luxurious lingerie, hosiery, nightwear, swimwear, and sleepwear comes with a sticker price to match. Prices range from $300 for panties to a playsuit sold exclusively at Harrod’s for $24,000. With prices that hefty, it’s easy for customers to spend thousands of dollars on a few undergarments. The store entices the customer through its provocative and elegant arrangement of the merchandise. Even the attendants match the brands theme by wearing risqué uniforms of short, tight, pink dresses. After all, no one goes in to Agent Provocateur to buy prudish things.
In 2007, after the divorce of Joseph Corré and Serena Rees, the company was sold to the private equity firm 3i. Garry Hogarth became the new CEO and quickly began to expand the brand. From what originated as one boutique in London’s Soho, grew to become a global brand with 30 stores across 13 countries. As the company becomes increasingly popular, it must adjust to its overwhelming amount of customers. In a world of mass produced goods, Agent Provocateur aims to maintain its small business customer service and raunchy, upscale style.