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LONDON — Agent Provocateur has a new muse for fall.
The lingerie label has picked actress Paz de la Huerta, known for her role as Lucy Danziger in HBO’s Twenties drama “Boardwalk Empire,” to appear in a series of short films directed by Johan Renck. The films will be shown on Agent Provocateur’s Web site, and Renck has also shot the accompanying stills campaign. In the images, De la Huerta plays on her risqué “It” girl persona, cheekily flashing her Agent Provocateur lingerie as she’s pursued by the paparazzi.
“We always try and choose girls that are true Agent Provocateurs, and she definitely is AP through and through,” said Sarah Shotton, the brand’s creative director. “She’s got an amazing body and she’s naturally very, very sexy.”
Shotton said the campaign reflects the opulent, intricate and colorful nature of the fall collection. “We wanted [the campaign] to be a little more riskier in a way,” said Shotton. “I thought, Why don’t we do a campaign that celebrates that you’re wearing Agent Provocateur…a guide to how to strategically flash your lingerie?”
The campaign will make its debut in the September issue of V and fall-winter issue of AnOther magazine. Besides agentprovocateur.com, the films also will be shown via the label’s YouTube channel.
This fall also sees the launch of Agent Provocateur’s first homeware collection, a license with Christy, a British company. The bed linen and accessories range reflects the label’s lingerie designs and is done in materials such as 550-thread-count Genuisa cotton and 100 percent silk, with accessories including cashmere throws and suede cushions. “It just seems to really fit what we’re about,” said Shotton. “It’s very AP, and it’s very luxurious and very sexy.”
In addition, more retail expansion is afoot for the brand. Agent Provocateur plans to open stores in Amsterdam — with a concession in department store de Bijenkorf — as well as Madrid and Miami over the next few months, and over the next year will open boutiques in Belgium. The label is also planning units in Japan, Singapore, Toronto and Montreal, with up to 12 stores due to open over the next year.
“We’ve got a plan over the next four to five years to really double the number of stores we have now, so to be certainly over 100,” said Garry Hogarth, chief executive officer of Agent Provocateur. The brand, which is owned by private equity group 3i, currently has 55 stores. Hogarth noted that with 11 stores in the U.S., the country is currently Agent Provocateur’s number-one market. While the brand will release sales and profits figures in the next few weeks, Hogarth said the label is trading 20 percent up on the previous year. “I’m pretty happy with the way things are going,” said Hogarth. He said the U.K. is the label’s “toughest market,” but that the U.S. is “flying.” Hogarth noted that the brand’s profits for the year to March 2011 are “significantly up” on the previous year, when they were 1.2 million pounds, or $1.9 million at current exchange.