Agent ProvocateurPractice of Entrepreneurship
Case Study (MMM038) – The meteoric rise and rise of Agent Provocateur
MSc Entrepreneurship and Management
The small-scale company, which I have decided to do this case study on, has become synonymous with luxury lingerie the world over. It has become the epitome of upmarket couture lingerie - Agent Provocateur. The company had very humble beginnings and set out to do something completely different than what it has become today a ‘brand’. Founded in 1994 by Joseph Corre and his ex-wife Serena Rees, Joseph Corre saw that the state of fashionable or ‘sexy’ lingerie was pretty much non-existent in the UK market and as he says that he was absolutely disappointed after a visit to an Ann Summers store and thought the state of fashionable or sexy underwear could be changed altogether. What is intriguing I would say is that Joseph Corre having come from a very illustrious background, being the son of Vivienne Westwood and music manager Malcolm Mclaren, Joseph Corre worked for Vivienne Westwood previously before deciding to identify this potential gap in the market. The initial idea of the founder was to start a store that stocked creations from other brands, things that were too erotic for mainstream and at the same time acceptable by women. Having travelled to Paris and Los Angeles Joseph realized that even if he wanted to stock the lingerie he had the vision for there was nobody that was making it during this time period. Design and manufacturing or for that matter creating their own line was never really part of the plan for the now leading player in its niche. They set up their first store on December 8th 1994 on Broadwick St, Soho in London. Joseph recognized that women were just recovering from the 90’s recession and their ‘power dressing’ therapy from the late 80’s and were getting in touch with their feminine side. After setting up the first store and an initial rent of GBP 7000 in the first year...