OPINION: Lucie Farrell on lingerie and society

Lucie Farrell, marketing manager at Simone Perele UK, talks about the importance of being aware of social issues when designing lingerie.

“Being French and a woman myself, I am passionate about my job with Simone Pérèle and the customer-centred values it stands for.

"I have worked for the brand for four years, spending two years at the head office in France. In this economic climate, it is more important than ever to really understand what consumers are looking for and respond to their needs.

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"Simone Pérèle has a long tradition of speaking and listening to women through lingerie design and innovation; evolving its products in line with what women want. The history of the brand reveals some fascinating developments as the company continues to grow – much of my passion comes from this incredible ethos represented by Simone Pérèle lingerie.

"The label was started in 1948 by the corsetière Madam Pérèle and her husband, who forged a uniquely successful partnership from a workshop in Paris. The founding philosophy of the business was the idea that: ‘in order to reveal women’s beauty, we must liberate their bodies’. With quality always at the forefront, ‘a hand-crafted product in an industrial world’ remains its core value.

"Designs from our archives show just how in touch the brand was with the times. New innovations reflected great social events that were taking place in the world: changes such as the golden age of lingerie in the 1950s where the post-war era bore a new femininity (see the Soleil bra and its pointed cup); the natural look of the 1960s and 1970s with the stretch revolution seen in the first lace and Lycra® Sole Mio bra; the 1980s high-glamour and 1990s cleavage; culminating in the ‘be yourself’ second skin of the new millennium.

"Last month, we exhibited in the Lingerie Française: The Exhibition this November at the London Film Museum, celebrating over 100 years of French lingerie history, which was just fantastic to be involved in.

"Half cups, push-ups and support bras; suddenly the world is our oyster as far as lingerie design goes, and ‘choice’ is the industry buzzword. There has never been a more exciting time to work for a brand such as this: new designs include our Révélation range launched in September, especially for the fuller bust, while our 3D spacer range which gives a rounded shape without the extra volume, expanded last year with Caressence and five different shapes of bra – again, a response to the fact that many of today’s women have larger busts and a need for choice.

"The family-run company continues to grow under the ‘hands on’ commitment of Simone Pérèle’s children and grand-children – we are all dedicated to keeping her memory and spirit alive. In the UK alone, the brand has grown by 49% in the last two years, while examples of expansion internationally include the growth of the Laure Sokol retail chain and of the Implicite brand through dedicated boutiques, with subsidiaries in China, Dubai and Canada.

"More sizes accommodate the international market, with DD+ cup sizes and back sizes from 30. Our aim is now to increase the success of the Implicite label in the UK – we will be able to confirm major customers in the coming weeks, so watch this space!”

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