Ready to reignite the fashion world the iconic Lascivious lingerie label is back bigger and better than before!
For the uninitiated, Lascivious burst onto the fashion scene in 2004 and instantly became a darling of the media and A-list celebrities. To shamelessly name-drop a couple of mega-watt stars: on her Circus tour, Britney Spears was dazzling in a bespoke cut-out black and silver showgirl bodysuit, and Rihanna set fashion week on fire by showing up in a Lascivious black harness bra and cutaway jacket! Speaking of stars, the brand was named a ‘rising star’ in 2011…but by 2017 its star has begun to fall due to financial difficulties and the brand was forced to close its doors in 2018.
Now Lascivious has been revived under new ownership and the retail world couldn’t be more thrilled to have the magic back!
Keep reading for a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look into their relaunch and intimate interview with the creative director of Lascivious.
Paris: First, it’s wonderful to connect with you and welcome you to “Unhooked Online”! I’m so excited to share with our readers an exclusive look into your iconic lingerie label, “Lascivious”.
LASCVS: It’s perfect timing – we are just around the corner from the relaunch after all of this time, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that.
Paris: No, thank you! Really, it’s an honor that we can showcase Lascivious. Let’s jump right in and and start talking about the brand. It’s quite a famous label, isn’t it?
LASCVS: Yes! Lascivious has been on the forefront of the lingerie industry since its inception. And Lascivious was a trendsetter, known for its high octane glamour, and looked at as a kind of rebellious, empowering brand that represents what women stand for.
Our whole range, our collection is going to be black on black on black – and it will remain black on black for a long time.
Paris: Can you give us a little history? Where did Lascivious come from and what has led up to this new ownership and exciting moment?
LASCVS: Lascivious was established in 2004 and was one of the very few luxury brands out of the UK at that time. Agent Provocateur was probably the only similar brand back then. And Lascivious very much ruled the roost until maybe 2014 and stood on its own – the signature range was ahead of its time. It totally nailed the game of revealing the body and covering the body – a clever duality of design. I’ve always considered lingerie as a super important factor of clothing – in fact, I don’t look at it as underwear, I consider it fashion. And when their erotic and fetishistic designs hit the market, the magazines and stylists went wild for it, and it immediately launched a craze.
Paris: So would you say that Lascivious changed the face of fashion in a big way?Can I just interject – I would just love to see Britney make her come-back in another Lascivious showstopper!
Britney Spears in a bespoke showgirl bodysuit by Lascivious!
LASCVS: Oh my god, yes! It’s just one of those historical brands that everyone knows about! I mean, the people who worked for Lascivious back in the day have gone to work for some of the bigger brands and they even gone off to open their own brand. And it has been responsible for so many other incredible brands flourishing but they all mirror, they all come from the same place – Lascivious. Back in the day there was a small community of established designers, such as Agent Provocateur and Alexander McQueen, all taking inspiration from the same era. They all look back and speak highly of Lascivious.
Paris: That is so incredibly generous of you! I know the saying goes that “imitation is the truest form of flattery” but I know a lot of designers who don’t look happily at copy-cat brands. However, like it or not, that’s the nature of fashion and art. And we must give credit where credit is due. Way back when, Madonna was responsible for women wearing lingerie as a fashion statement and not underwear, as seen through the female gaze – less submissive, more bitchy, more erotic.
Lascivious lingerie – bitchy, erotic, definitely not submissive. (photo by James Lightbrown)
LASCVS: You’re really touching on something which is dear to my heart! So many rules were associated with lingerie, and its history, and the impact, of the stage and the audience, and who you show it to, and keeping it behind closed doors. We are living in a world now where, you know, lingerie is open to absolutely everyone and when I mean everyone, I mean, everyone, you know, every single shape, size, age, gender – and that’s how that’s how it should be.
Claudia Schiffer in Lascivious Lingerie.
Paris: And regarding what has led up to this launch, I was just struck by what you’re talking about, this idea of what it means to keep a brand alive and evolve a brand. And I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit more from a business perspective, what the process has been like to take an established brand and a brand that is so popular when people have a real expectations – and acquire the trademarks, take the social media channels, take the website even and move it forward. What has that process looked like?
LASCVS: Yeah, that’s such a good question. And my answer to that is, it was a really risky thing taking such a well-known brand and bringing it back. We could have done it in many ways and on many different occasions – but I think we’re doing it at the right time. And we could come back like nothing had happened. We could have taken over the reins and continued like absolutely nothing that happened, saying. “We’re back, nothing happened, no problem. We just had a little break.” But it just didn’t feel like the right approach, you know. It was worn by Claudia Schiffer, Rihanna, and Britney, to name just a few celebrities. We put so much money and time and effort into acquiring the brand and the trademark and all the rights, that it just didn’t feel right in my gut to do that low key approach – but it just didn’t feel special enough – we owe it to Lascivious to do something special.
Paris: I think you mentioned that one idea was to recreate Lascivious into more of a lifestyle brand. Are you still thinking of expanding Lascivious into a full fashion brand?
LASCVS: We are branching out in new areas while maintaining the strong brand identity and launching the new category of “active wear”. We love the Lascivious lingerie, and we love all the designs that we’ve acquired, we absolutely adore them.
Paris: Can you elaborate a little more?
LASCVS: What we’ve done with the Lascivious relaunch, and you’re absolutely the first to know, is that we’ve kept the DNA of lingerie. But the pieces are designed to be visible – I want to see a glimpse of lace through a woman’s blouse, I want to see a strap through a shirt, or I want to see a bra or bodysuit mixed with a beautiful blazer or a leather jacket or a bomber jacket. I want women to be wearing it with sneakers, with leggings. I want the lingerie to shine through as a signature component of an outfit, like a beautiful piece of jewelry.
Paris: We’re definitely in a world where we can be more expressive with how we dress.
LASCVS: Yes, and lingerie should be a big part of that. You should always show your lingerie! So, what we’ve done is we’ve taken into consideration how women move from like six o’clock in the morning to 10 o’clock at night. We’ve readapted sizing, we readapted materials, we’ve readapted the pieces to conform to the body. We’ve kept a real dominance of, you know, bonding straps and beautiful accessories and sliders. Really important in this part of the design is using a lot of see-through materials, and power meshes. If you can imagine, the new range of Lascivious will be 75% lingerie, and 25% active luxe. So, you’ve got this seriously beautiful piece of lingerie, but it’s not lingerie, you can wear it throughout the day, you can wear it with any jacket with any blazer and you can wear it to work. And our whole range, our whole collection, it’s all going to be black on black on black and it will remain black on black for a long time.
Black on black on black (photo by Tom Fraud)
Paris: In the post-COVID world, the line between inside and outside, what you wear at home versus what you wear out to dinner, or to work, or to a social event has been totally blurred. And I think your vision really taps into that.
LASCVS: The way I see lingerie is based on this new way of post-pandemic living. You know, everyone’s working at home. Everyone’s got kids. Everyone’s an entrepreneur, everyone’s doing their own business, and we need to embrace that powerhouse, that powerful woman, she’s a mother, she might be a nurse, she might be a teacher. She might be an entrepreneur, in her own business. I mean, so many incredibly powerful women now are emerging through staying at home and working on their passion and on their dreams. So, it’s looking at this new way of living.
Paris: Did your incentive for acquiring Lascivious really come from a passion for the brand itself?
LASCVS: Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, there is no other reason! Ah, look, and this is really crazy to say, but I think it really is because I’ve got history with this brand. And it’s just crazy to even think that now I actually own the brand. When I got the chance to acquire Lascivious, I jumped. This is a massive passion project for me. I live and breathe this brand. I have done for 10 years. It’s embedded in my bones!
Paris: Can you tell us a little more about your history with the brand?
LASCVS: Way back in 2011 I came across Lascivious through a pr company named HPR and they loaned me some pieces of lingerie from the brand, and I photographed the pieces for my editorials. It took me in a new creative direction – very dark and erotic! In 2014 I was given the opportunity to shoot their international campaign. And now, in the humblest way possible of saying this, I can’t believe I own Lascivious. And it’s such an exciting thought prospect, you know, for what is coming, because it’s an amazing brand. And it’s seen and respected by some of the biggest and the best people in the industry – we understand the responsibility that we’ve taken on and we’re going to exceed everyone’s expectations, I think and believe.
Paris: A lot of our ‘Unhooked’ readers are up and coming in the lingerie industry so would be remiss if I didn’t ask you what it was like to structure a new business from a business that already existed. Did you seek consultation from the previous founder, or from people who had worked with Lascivious before or did you totally start at ground zero in hiring in terms of designers and business people, accountants, etc.LASCVS: it was super important when we took on the business to do justice to its DNA – we had to go back in time. And it was up to us to figure out you know, design and production, grading, pattern making, material sourcing, you know, finding the best the people that I’m working with. But, you know, I’m quick to learn, and I’m quick to explore, and I don’t leave any stone unturned. So, it was one of those things. It took me a good year to find the team that I was working with. They’ve helped me in so many different ways. Laurie, my production manager is just incredible. She does everything from mockup sampling to material sourcing, to pattern making. Now we have a person who looks after grading. And we have the most amazing factory in England – everything’s made in the UK. We went back to one of the original factories that began making Lascivious back in 2005, all the way through to 2014. They were responsible for Lascivious for a long time. So, you know, we’re now working with a lot of the original crew when it comes to production. The quality is extremely high end.
Nazanin Mandi wearing Lascivious lingerie (photo by Tom Fraud)
Paris: Production is the biggest headache of a designer. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. And costing is key.
LASCVS: Yeah, with regard to accounting, for every single garment, you’ve got to work out costs of every strap length, cotton length, material usage on every single factor, and everything has to fit, like a glove, from size extra small to extra-large, because we’re not doing traditional sizes anymore. My spreadsheet ability has gone from kind of like a 6 to a 10 right now. There are so many things to look at and deal with on a daily basis, down to social media and graphic design and tech packs and AutoCAD. It’s mental, absolutely mental. You live in you learn, and you have to be on your toes every single step of the way, every corner.
Paris: You say that you are only doing extra small to extra-large sizing – what is your reasoning behind this?
LASCVS: We’re not following the old rules because we feel we can do better – I am always trying to find a way to improve. Stepping more into active lingerie, we felt that traditional sizing didn’t fit our new vision. When I started to look at traditional sizing, it seemed ridiculous to make 16 different bra sizes. I problem solved by creating adjustable straps in the back.
Paris: It’s all a learning process towards streamlining in the future – you have to climb the mountain in order to ski down it!
LASCVS: Absolutely, which is an exciting prospect – for 2022 we’ve got so much lined up, and it’s more of what we’re doing, more classics, more lingerie designs, more activewear, and we’re veering towards the LA lifestyle right now. But still keeping the essence of Lascivious, that strong DNA of lingerie. We still need that. The best way to describe Lascivious in 2022 as ACTIVE LINGERIE.
Paris: Would you say that there is one underlying characteristic of everyone who’s working on Lascivious?
LASCVS: Everyone is highly experienced and we’re not working with anyone who is new to the game. We are back in contact with the original creatives across the globe – for example, we are working with the stylist Karl Plewka – we’re reigniting the energy from the past. And it’s not just about money, it’s about passion! It’s almost as if people are coming out of the woodwork to jump onboard with this brand. People love a revival, love nostalgia. Because it is so amazing. It’s all down to passion. I just can’t comprehend the power of what this brand is going to be soon, and that’s not going to be in the future. It’s going to be soon. You know what I mean? This is going to explode!
Paris: can you give us any hints of what’s coming in 2022
LASCVS: We are working on some exciting collections including some of the most iconic designs for Lascivious and we have an announcement coming for Christmas. A lot more variations through our collections. and an exciting campaign we shot in Mexico in the jungle for release in January. I super excited to release it!
Interview by Paris at Unhooked Online