Agent Provocateur launches in Sydney and Melbourne
Kylie Minogue has ridden a bull for them, they’re a feature in Kate Moss’ darkest fantasies, and now kinky British lingerie purveyors Agent Provocateur are coming down under.
Australia is Agent Provocateur’s fourth largest market for online sales, and it is this healthy digital appetite that has driven the brand’s bricks and mortar entry into Australia. The brand has partnered with David Jones to launch a series of department store concessions.
The first launched in Sydney’s Elizabeth Street store on Friday the 1st of February and a Melbourne city stand will follow on the 7th of February.
Founded in 1994 by Joseph Corré (son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren) and his wife at the time Serena Rees, Agent Provocateur are known for their fetishist campaign imagery, famous fans, very high price points and elaborate boutiques. So embedded in British culture is the Agent Provocateur sales assistant, with her pink robe-like uniform, that Kate Winslet has even portrayed one, in 2005’s Romance and Cigarettes.
“We have been looking into expanding into Australia for several years and didn’t find the right stand alone property,” Agent Provocateur CEO Garry Hogarth told Fairfax Media. “Australia is a key market for Agent Provocateur and we are very excited to be opening our first boutique here. David Jones is the perfect partner for us and we look forward to a successful collaboration.”
The brand are announcing their arrival in Australia in a typically provocative fashion, with a live model installation in David Jones’ Elizabeth Street windows on Tuesday the 12th of February.
According to Tiah Eckhardt, who has modelled for both Agent Provocateur and David Jones and now runs successful lingerie blog The Daily Knicker, lingerie shopping in Australia has traditionally been lacklustre. "I've always been amazed that AP wasn't stocked in Australia,” she told us. “We have a strong dollar but that's not often passed on to retail prices - meaning it's often cheaper to buy things online from overseas, and there’s far more variety.”
“The only way bricks and mortar stores are going to lure customers from online is to offer them a shopping 'experience', to draw customers into a whole little world created by them... Agent Provocateur most definitely does this overseas and if they recreate it here, I think they'll do very well.
Eckhardt believes that Agent Provocateur’s image is a departure from Australia’s typical notion of sexy “we’re more about wearing flip-flops and a bikini rather than pom-pom mules with a riding crop in hand.” But adds “I can tell you, girls willing to drop $500 on a set of lingerie exist here.”
Agent Provocateur’s highest selling piece to Australia online is the £95 ($145) Fifi Bra.
(Images courtesy of Golightly PR)