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Knickers to the crunch: Agent Provocateur plays it risky with its latest, darkly erotic ad

The Independent
Knickers to the crunch: Agent Provocateur plays it risky with its latest, darkly erotic ad - Agent Provocateur - Lingerie - Underwear

The lingerie company Agent Provocateur has never played it safe – could that be why it's bucked the economic downturn, Rhiannon Harries asks founder, Joe Corre

There are few fashion labels whose advertising campaigns are as eagerly anticipated as the collections they showcase, but Agent Provocateur is one of them. In the past 15 years, the brand that began as a niche Soho boutique selling high-quality, risqué underwear has become a global phenomenon, spawning innumerable copycats and dramatically altering the lingerie landscape.

In the same way that its sexy knickers have revolutionised the women's underwear market, its high-profile campaigns – featuring an A-list cast of models and celebrities in a variety of compromising positions – have been equally influential. From viral marketing and cinema ads starring Kate Moss and Kylie to packs of racy playing cards and hotel-style "Do Not Disturb" signs, its choice of media and stylised imagery have always been one step ahead of the mainstream.

Today sees the launch of its latest campaign, the final instalment in a series of lavish tableaux vivants shot by long-time collaborator Tim Bret-Day, which has already seen Helena Christensen, Daisy Lowe, Alice Dellal, the Geldof sisters and a host of models strip to some decidedly saucy smalls. For this ad, "The Call of the Sirens", it is the turn of the flame-haired British supermodel Karen Elson to model the forthcoming summer collection, a bright concoction of flirty 1970s styles, revamped tartan, toile de Jouy prints... and some very raunchy swimwear.


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