OPINION: Is La Senza’s re-vamp overly vampish?

La Senza celebrated the opening of its re-vamped flagship store on Oxford Street, last weekend, with the traditional lingerie models and cupcakes.

Yet, while the gimmicks appeared to be appreciated by the passing public, the new shop fit itself received less approbation.

And, it is little surprise. On either side of the door, lit up signs of women – wearing red bras – are emblazoned with the words ‘Hello Sugar.’ This, along with the red and white lit La Senza store sign succeeds in oozing a sense of low rent bordello, as opposed to seductive luxury or sensual burlesque.

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The pink backlit interior and lit up yellow scrawl on the walls further exaggerate this sense of tawdry cheapness, which is topped off with a sign outside stating ‘ALL BRAS, BUY ONE, GET ONE 50% OFF.”

During a period when the Queen of sexy, affordable lingerie retailers – Ann Summers – is successfully classing up its image in a sensible attempt to keep up with modern tastes, it seems strange that La Senza would consider this path the correct one to take.

And, it appears I am not the only one to think so, with Twitter abounding with comment from interested observers.

The Times retail correspond Marcus Leroux today tweeted: “The new Oxford St La Senza looks like a (very kitsch) signal of intent from Limited/Alshaya.”

Laura Hakes tweeted: “Oxford st what happened? Selfridges looks like a forest, la senza resembles a club & xmas lights sponsored by marmite?!!”

If the intention was that the new La Senza shop fit would make Victoria’s Secret appear classy in comparison, then Limited Brands – the umbrella corporation of both brands – has undoubtedly succeeded. But, I, for one, won’t be shopping there any time soon.



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