Dear Sarah Shotton,
First of all, I must say that I have long been a fan of Agent Provocateur’s lingerie and marketing. Years ago, whilst hunting in vain for a suspender belt in department stores on Oxford Street, I took my boyfriend to your concession in Selfridges. I was unsure about your prices but, being so thrilled that we’d actually found something that meant I could wear real stockings, he kindly purchased a lovely Nikita set for me. I picked up one of your beautifully photographed and illustrated brochures with a wonderfully saucy tale of sapphic French lust inside and, pretty soon afterwards, signed up for your mailing list.
Today, via that mailing list, I received an email inviting me to come to Selfridges on the evening of 23rd September and meet you. Although I cannot attend on that evening, I felt sufficiently moved my the image attached to that email (see right), that I felt I must write this blog post. Much as I enjoy seeing the new styles that your designers have come up with – plus rummaging through the sale in the hope that I can find the style I want at a more affordable price! – recently I have decided that Agent Provocateur really isn’t for women like me. Even if I could afford to buy all my underwear from you, I wouldn’t. While it still thrills me to see your wonderful tableaux photography, I am struggling to find it at all sexy these days and surely that’s what AP has always been about? To put it quite simply, I am wondering why on earth your models are so thin.
I was invited, via another email, to ‘sculpt’ my curves in your Zelma dress last month, but the model wearing it appears to not have enough curves of her own to make me believe that the dress has any sculpting properties whatsoever. The new Katherine range is stunning, but any woman with even an ounce of fat on her will be bulging out of it in some very unfortunate places. Is your lingerie designed for the vacant dead-eyed lethargic models in your videos? If so, perhaps you shouldn’t be marketing it as sexy any more. This seems far more like more ‘fashion’ than ‘sex’ to me.
Let’s go back to Kylie and that raunchy cinema advert. Now that was sexy. I miss that foxy fun-loving version of AP. OK, so I can’t afford to spend out on a lot of your products but, when I do get my hands on some cash, I will now be looking elsewhere to spend it. Unless you want to vary the size/shape of your choice of models and maybe do a little customer research into what turns us and our partners on, of course – then you might be able to tempt me back. If you need me, you can find me over at Kiss Me Deadly.
Excellent post. I'm not a Kylie fan myself, but I do think they are going too fashionista and waaaay away from sensual and sexy. Like you say most of us regular gals will look like a badly stuffed sausage in some of their lingerie…
Ap always seems a little fashion over sex to me. I agree with the thin model point, although suspect that's just a regular advertising thing. What sways me more is your point about larger women bursting out – that's never a good design.
first thing I thought was “wow that girl's skinny”…not the best model or picture for the occasion. I prefer to see a girl with curves wearing underwear, there are so many nice curvy models out there what the heck is wrong with AP?…and I'm quite skinn but I don't feel inspired by this picture. Seriously this girl doesn't look sexy or good in the photo.
Hear! Hear! used to love their old flamboyant ways, but the models look emaciated, which makes me think of junkies, which makes me think of miserable girls on street corner which, does not make me feel sexy. I like WKD these days.