Myla is ready to compete with Agent Provocateur, La Perla and provide newness in the luxury lingerie market.
Hogarth, who left Agent Provocateur in 2016, a year before it was put into bankruptcy protection under former owners 3i and later sold to its current owner Four Holdings, said he’s aiming to add a point of difference to the luxury lingerie category with a brand message that speaks to today’s woman.
“There are two big companies globally: Agent Provocateur, which is known for its overtly sexual aesthetic, and La Perla, known for its classic designs. I wanted to create something that was much more wearable and just based on beautiful fabrics,” said Hogarth.
The reformatted brand will launch on July 23 with a range of pieces including T-shirt bras, bralettes, camisoles and kimonos. The bras will retail at 65 pounds to 190 pounds.
It will be stocked on the Myla web site, which will launch in August; at Net-a-porter, via a concession at Selfridges, and at Bergdorf Goodman as of July 30. At the end of August, Myla’s first flagship will open on Brook Street in London.
“Since we’ll only have three outlets, it’s as much about getting people engaged in our stores and concessions as well as on social media,” Hogarth said.
To create engagement, the Brook Street flagship is looking to cultivate a comfortable and approachable atmosphere. “At Agent Provocateur, people were intimidated not just with the styling, but also about stepping into the shop,” said Hogarth.
Creative director Gregor Pirouzi has designed the Myla flagship to mimic an art gallery, with products displayed more prominently to encourage customers to interact with them. The store will span two levels and to open up the space, Pirouzi will incorporate metal grating along the floors so that light can travel throughout the store.
“Lingerie stores all kind of look the same with a very typical boudoir feel. With Myla I’m working with concrete and a lot of metallic qualities, so really approaching it from a completely different angle to a normal lingerie shop, but at the same time, making it luxury,” Pirouzi said.
The redesigned Myla logo, which was inspired by Sixties London, will appear throughout the store — on wall and floor fixtures — and on carrier bags. “Everybody knows London from a certain time period, and for me that was the Sixties, so I transported that era into something for today,” Pirouzi said.
“It’s the idea of this new liberated girl in the Sixties who is out having fun, who lived for being a woman,” he said. The Sixties has influenced Pirouzi’s creative vision for the brand, from product design through to campaign imagery.
The launch will be supported by a video campaign that channels the Sixties, and the film will be broken into short videos to be revealed on social media. Myla will be active across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to align with its digital strategy and e-commerce channel.
“Every page of the web site will be like a homepage, and there will be campaign images of women in different poses rather than having products lined up,” said Hogarth. “We’re trying to make it a really different shopping experience.”
As the sole investor in the company, Hogarth said he expects first-year sales to reach 3 million pounds, with two-thirds coming from online digital sales. “I don’t want any investors, I want to do it myself, fund it and hope for the best that it works,” he said.
The plan is to expand the physical retail presence in the U.S. and the U.K. and to break into the French and Italian markets through stockists and stand-alone boutiques. “I don’t want to wholesale, because it is a tough business,” Hogarth said, adding that digital will always be a key channel.
“We’re looking at Miami, Los Angeles and possibly San Francisco, and internationally we’re thinking Vancouver, Canada and Russia. And if it all works according to plan, I’m looking at having about 25 shops in the next five years,” he said.
For Hogarth, finding the right neighbor is vital to retail success, as the right adjacencies can increase foot traffic and attract new customers. “Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, those sorts of people are good neighbors because typically our customers would wear Jimmy Choo and Louboutin shoes, and they’re not competitors,” Hogarth said.