Agent Provocateur

Founded by Joe Corre and Serena Rees in 1994

The son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, Joe Corre and his wife Serena Rees founded Agent Provocateur to create a new line of lingerie. Trying to move away from the sleazy connotations and British prudery, the duo aimed to create high quality lingerie that enchanted and aroused both the wearer and the partner.

With their niche in the market defined, they opened their first boutique in Soho, London in 1994. In 1999 the business launched its website. The following year, the company collaborated with High Street giant, Marks & Spencer in designing an exclusive line, ‘Salon Rose’. The same year the brand launched its first fragrance, which took its name from the company.

In 2001, Agent Provocateur released a 90 second cinematic advert featuring Kylie Minogue, which was shown around London cinemas and online. An unofficial version spread virally by via email.

In 2003 the Company launching a nationwide search for unknown women to feature in their new campaign. The chosen fifteen were known as Agent Provocateur’s deadly agents. The following year the company released ‘Peep Show’, an album showcasing thirteen tracks written and produced by Corre and Luca Mainardi.

Agent Provocateur celebrated 15 years of success at the London Fashion Week in 2005 held at the Café de Paris on Valentine’s Day. The following September, the Company released their first book ‘Exhibitionist’, a collection of photographs featuring the shop’s most famous window displays. The book launched the start of Agent Provocateur venturing into erotic publishing. Following this in 2006, Agent Provocateur released their first film, ‘The four dreams of Miss X’.

In 2007, private equity group 3i bought the company for £60 million. The same year, founder Joseph Corre refused to accept his award for services to the fashion industry awarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He cited Tony Blair’s decision to invade Iraq and the erosion of the country’s civil liberties as his reason.

Since 1994, Agent Provocateur has become a global brand and now has over 47 shops and concessions in 18 countries. With the sales assistants wearing iconic pink housecoats designed by Vivienne Westwood, the boutiques are luxuriously decorated.

Known for its confident and beautiful designs, Agent Provocateur is renown for its excellent artisanship, beautiful fabrics and ground-breaking lingerie that is always “provocative”.

n 2009, the brand expanded its presence globally, opening boutiques in prestigious fashion capitals like Paris, Milan, and New York City. As 2010 dawned, Agent Provocateur unveiled their Autumn/Winter collection, a bold and empowering range that combined luxurious fabrics with striking embellishments, cementing their position as a frontrunner in the world of luxury lingerie.

In 2012, the brand collaborated with renowned photographer Steven Klein to create a provocative advertising campaign that pushed the boundaries of sensuality and art. The year 2014 marked an exciting chapter for Agent Provocateur, as they ventured into swimwear, offering their distinctive style in alluring bikinis and one-pieces that exuded confidence and allure. In 2016, the brand launched their bridal collection, showcasing delicate and captivating designs for the modern bride seeking sensuality on her special day. The brand continued to innovate in 2018 with the introduction of their first-ever fragrance, a captivating scent that embodied the brand’s seductive spirit.

In 2020, the brand unveiled their collaboration with renowned designer Charlotte Olympia, resulting in a collection that seamlessly merged lingerie and footwear, pushing the boundaries of traditional fashion. As the world navigated the challenges of 2021, Agent Provocateur stayed true to its commitment to empowering women, unveiling collections that celebrated individuality and self-expression, embracing diverse body types and promoting inclusivity.

With each passing year, Agent Provocateur has proven to be an emblem of exquisite craftsmanship, bold designs, and unwavering sensuality, captivating the hearts of fashion enthusiasts around the globe.

Agent Provocateur Biography

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Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.

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