Michelle Obama gives Agent Provocateur a lift
LUXURY designer lingerie Agent Provocateur saw sales jump by more than 12pc, after US First Lady Michelle Obama spent $50,000 (€38,000) in one shopping spree.
The First Lady – better known for shopping at more modestly-priced High Street stores – along with the Queen of Qatar, Sheikha Mozah, closed off part of Madison Avenue to spend time in the luxury lingerie shop. Their purchases contributed to a market-spanking 12.5pc lift in sales.
Agent Provocateur, which is styled on vintage Hollywood glamour, sells handmade Calais lace corsets that sell for up to €1000, which could ruffle the feathers of more than just President Barack Obama in an election year.
Gary Hogarth, Agent Provocateur's chief executive, refused to be drawn on the store's closely kept "secret client list". But he admitted the brand had attracted a high number of "unexpected famous names" – especially in the US, where sales have overtaken the UK. The store pulled out of Brown Thomas in Dublin over a year ago.
On the back of this growth, Agent Provocateur, which is owned by listed private equity firm 3i, is launching an aggressive expansion strategy with more than 20 new shops opening globally in 2012.