According to The Telegraph, Michelle Obama purchased $50,000 worth of lingerie from Agent Provocateur. She and the Queen of Qatar, Sheikha Mozah, closed off part of Madison Avenue for a shopping spree at the luxury lingerie boutique.
Agent Provocateur is known for its handcrafted bras, panties, corsets and babydolls. With lace, rhinestones and intricate detailing, the pieces can cost as much as $1190. The store also sells some saucier items, like whips, garters and handcuffs.
The $50,000 spent on the goodies was a combined total, so Ms. Mozah might have had more to do with that than H&M-shopper Ms. Obama.
The Telegraph reported that Michelle Obama's and Sheikha Mozah's purchases boosted Agent Provocateur sales up by 12.5 percent. Gary Hogarth, Agent Provocateur's chief executive, refused to disclose the store's secret client list, but admitted that the brand had recently attracted a high number of unexpected famous names.
Agent Provocateur, which was founded in London, will launch an aggressive expansion strategy for 2012, including the opening of 20 new global shops. The company has done exceptionally well, despite the economic downturn. The lack of competition, swanky status and celebrity clientele have kept it shielded from the struggles similar retailers have faced.
This is a real luxury brand, says Mr Hogarth. But now it is also being run with a strong business discipline. That has meant a lot of changes to the finance team, merchandising and production and planning. It also means negotiating on every rental contract--which is more than possible in this market.
The glamour of the AP brand is really powerful--it has a luxurious quality, that means people have a sense of walking away with a special purchase even when they are buying a pair of knickers, says Mr Hogarth.