Getting Agent Provocateur’s “sexy” back

Kylie Minogue in 'Proof', a 2001 advert for Agent Provocateur

Since I blogged about Agent Provocateur’s recent move towards extremely un-sexy models, I thought I’d put the URL out there a bit in the hope that someone at the company might read what I’d said and respond. I sent it to their oddly named Twitter account, which claims to be the official Twitter for the “sexiest lingerie in the world”, but heard nothing back. Not a peep. Then I searched their website for an email address in the hope of contacting someone in their head office, but eventually had to resort to using a web form and leaving the following message, with a link to my blog: “Could you tell me why AP has decided to take a ‘fashion’ rather than a ‘sexy’ direction recently? Your skinny models really don’t make me want to buy your lingerie. So much so, I blogged about it. I’d love to hear what you think. Thanks.”

Kylie Minogue in 'Proof', a 2001 advert for Agent ProvocateurTime passed and, while a few lovely people retweeted my link, I heard nothing from Agent Provocateur. I read about All Walks Beyond the Catwalk teaming up with Rankin at London Fashion Week in the hope of changing the industry’s obsession with stick-thin models; I received email updates from the Campaign for Body Confidence; and, most of all, I remembered the days when AP campaigns featured the likes of Kylie (see image from the 2001 cinema advert, “Proof”), Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kate Moss. Why did they not want to bring the ‘sexy’ back to AP? Six days later, I received this email:

Dear Lori,

Thank you for taking the time to send us your feedback.

We take all customer responses very seriously and will consider your comments when casting models ongoing.

We hope you continue to enjoy shopping at Agent Provocateur.

With thanks and kind regards,

Nicola Hunn
Personal Shopping Team Leader

I wonder just how seriously Nicola is taking my comments as, if she’d read the blog post I’d linked to, she’d have seen that I said I’m now looking to places like Kiss Me Deadly for my sexy lingerie and have stopped shopping at AP. Variety is beautiful and, equally important when you’re selling lingerie, variety is sexy. Selling lingerie that only suits – or fits! – smaller women, and only promoting it using models as thin as they are un-alluring is really not doing AP any favours at all. As Rankin said, when interviewed about All Walks Beyond the Catwalk’s project Snapped, “Interest and creativity is not about perfection but quite the opposite; beauty comes from our idiosyncrasies”.

Quite how Agent Provocateur could claim to sell the sexiest lingerie in the world these days is anyone’s guess. Take a look at the range of beautiful brands at websites like La Magia and Glamorous Amorous and see if you want to go back to AP. Browsing beautiful fabrics and shapes cut to flatter every type of figure is a far more enjoyable shopping experience than looking at skimpy over-priced lace that only suits a UK size 10 or smaller. Don’t just vote with your feet though – we all need to contact Agent Provocateur and let them know how we feel so that they have more comments to consider next time they’re casting models.

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