EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Coco de Mer CEO Lucy Litwack

After leading the buyout of luxury lingerie and erotica fashion house Coco de Mer, CEO Lucy Litwack shares her plans for growing the business both in the UK and internationally.

Congratulations on your recent takeover of Coco de Mer. You must be thrilled?
Thank you. I am so passionate about the brand. Coco de Mer has always punched above its weight, but I still believe it is yet to realise its full potential. It has been considered a niche brand in the past but it has the potential to be so much more – a true, global luxury brand. After three years at the helm and an entire career in the lingerie industry, I knew that Coco de Mer was the brand I wanted to own and grow.

How will the MBO benefit your business going forward?
The MBO and new funds provide us with a strong platform and supports our strategy to grow the business internationally at the luxury end of the market, where Coco de Mer is already well positioned. We have also just launched a beautiful new website, which should help translate the opulence and decadence of our brand to our online customer. I am very excited by all the opportunities ahead. This year, we collaborated with Sotheby’s on its
Erotic art auction. It was a perfect partnership that led to Sotheby’s most successful private view and a sale which exceeded expectations.

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The Hollywood slip from the Pamela Loves Coco de Mer range.

The Hollywood slip from the Pamela Loves Coco de Mer range.

How has your retail business performed this year, both in store and online?
We are really happy with business this year. Our boutique continues to outperform expectations and truly is the soul of the brand. Our new website’s conversion is much improved and together with wholesale, we see online as a big area for continued growth over the next 18 months.

Apart from own-brand, which are your best-selling labels?
Bordelle always performs really well for us each season. For AW17, Loveday London and Fleur of England have also performed well.

Are you planning to take on new brands in the New Year?
We have recently added Dita Von Teese to our curated collection of brands. We are always on the lookout for new brands and will make sure we attend the trade shows to see if we can find any other brands that will add something new to our edit.

A preview of Coco de Mer's AW18 range, Elysium.

A preview of Coco de Mer’s AW18 range, Elysium.

How has your wholesale business performed this year?
Wholesale is going from strength to strength. We only launched this division in 2016 so the potential is still huge. For our mainline collection, we have launched with some key independents in the UK and globally, in addition to Selfridges, Harrods and Matchesfashion.com in the UK. Our Pamela Loves Coco de Mer collection is being sold in countries as diverse as the US, Canada, Kuwait, the UAE, the UK and China. We launched our diffusion range, Reign by Coco de Mer, for AW17 to bring our brand to a younger and more mid-market customer and this is currently being sold through ASOS and 02 bras in China. We now have a brilliant new product manager who is dedicated to developing our wholesale business and this should allow us to grow the business exponentially year on year.

What can buyers expect from your AW18 collection?
Our AW18 collection is called Elysium; a paradise where ultimate happiness comes as an escape from everyday life. A place that allows the customer to be human, natural and in love with their own body, but able to experiment with the human form, seek entertainment and engage in fantasy. The collection will include bespoke embroideries and delicate French laces combined with silk to produce a collection which is luxurious, sophisticated and sensual. Each range will be an exquisite mix of classically glamorous pieces and the more erotic bedroom wear for which we
are known.

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