Boss Ladies: La Perla has been working hard to raise the profile of its corset jacket, which the company touts “can go from the boardroom to evening.”
Gwyneth Paltrow was recently spotted wearing one and Kendall Jenner is featured in the ad campaign. The corset jacket, which sounds like an oxymoron, bows today in stores worldwide and online. It’s a cornerstone of creative director Julia Haart’s reinvention of the Italian innerwear brand, which includes ready-to-wear, sleepwear, beachwear and accessories.
Haart in August joined La Perla with two stated goals: expand La Perla’s scope and design pieces that hide trouble spots without making women feel like they’re trapped in Victorian corsets.
The ad campaign, photographed by Steven Klein, features Jenner, Isabeli Fontana and Liu Wen. Jenner’s image is streaked in light to emphasize the curve and precise cut of the corset jacket, which sounds like an oxymoron. An X-rayed image La Perla borrowed from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is the backdrop for Jenner’s ad and shows the distorting effect corsets had on women’s bones.
Haart wanted to juxtapose the tortured lengths women endured in the name of vanity with the comfort and structural support of La Perla’s jacket. Made from bi-stretch wool, the jacket can be worn as a single layer due to internal cups. It’s sized according to bra size. “It’s the concept of making clothes work for you, as opposed to stuffing yourself into them,” Haart said.
La Perla in 2013 was acquired by Pacific Global Management, which is owned by Silvio Scaglia’s family holding company, which was active in the fashion industry at the time through the model management network operating under the brands Elite, Women and The Society. Jenner is under contract to The Society and Elite.
“We have an incredible opportunity,” Haart said. “La Perla is a company that was founded by a woman and built on the understanding of women’s bodies.”