La Perla is a luxury Italian women’s clothing company specializing in lingerie. La Perla was founded in 1954 in Bologna, Italy by corset-maker Ada Masotti. The company began manufacturing swimwear in 1971 and in 1993, it expanded into perfume.
As well as being stocked in department stores internationally, La Perla has over 150 boutiques globally including London Sloane Street, New York Madison and Milan Via Montenapoleone. La Perla launched their new boutique concept in London and Milan in February 2014, followed by the opening of boutiques in Macau and Hong Kong in April 2014.
In June 2014, La Perla held the first menswear catwalk show at Pitti Uomo, presenting the new concept mens loungewear and beachwear collection. In January 2015, La Perla presented the first ever La Perla Atelier couture collection during Paris Couture Fashion Week.
Founded in 1954
La Perla was founded in 1954 in a small atelier in Bologna, Italy by Ada Masotti a trained corsetiere. The first lingerie sets were transported in small velvet lined suitcases (similar to those used by jewellers) which gave the family run business the idea for the name La Perla.
In the 1960s, fashion became colourful, sexy and anti-conventional. On the wake of these innovations Ada Masotti proposed coloured underwear taking inspiration from the most fashionable patterns of the time. In 1965 La Perla started to produce beachwear.
In the 1970s, fashion lengthened the figure and uncovered the legs which led to a requirement of a sleek and very natural line of underwear.
In 1983, La Perla launched the first ever stretch lace wide-shouldered body, a forerunner of the “under-jacket” bodysuits which featured a new type of lingerie specifically designed to be shown off. The first La Perla fragrance La Perla Parfum was created in 1986.
The bottle, a winding shape that evokes the feminine figure, was created by renowned designer Pierre Dinand.
La Perla communication inaugurated a new photographic style that displayed a spectacular feminine image using fashionable locations and combining corsetry items with accessories like shoes, jewellery, jackets and hats.
The new stylistic choice showed how lingerie was bridging ever closer to the world of fashion. In 1991 the company began its retail distribution with the La Perla Boutiques situated in the pulsating heart of the capitals of international fashion and ambassadors of the La Perla dream in the world. Picking up the trend of “minimalism”, in 1994 La Perla launched Sculpture, a bra that exalted in a natural way the shape of the body.
In 2000 La Perla launched the “Brassiere-Bretelle”, a bra with an innovative shape worn by Rebecca Romijn in the film “Femme Fatale” by Brian de Palma.
La Perla interpreted the trend of “deluxe transgressions” creating La Perla Black Label in 2003, a special line of lingerie characterised by intriguing themes and stunning details. To celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2004, La Perla created a Limited Edition Collection made with a very light Valencienne lace created exclusively for La Perla on the 19th century looms of Calais.
La Perla launched the Cage Bustier in 2007 worn by Victoria Beckham in the video of “Headlines”, the Spice Girls’ reunion song. A capsule Cage collection was later launched including the Cage top which received critical acclaim when worn by Beyoncé for her 2014 Grammys performance.
In 2010, La Perla collaborated with designer Jean Paul Gaultier to design two high-end lingerie and swimwear collections for the Spring/Summer 2011 and Fall/Winter 2011 seasons. Introduced in 2011, La Perla entered the shapewear underwear world with the Shape Couture range.
2013 – present
As of June 2013 La Perla became part of the Pacific Global Management Group, (PGM) joining Elite Model Management, Gold Typhoon and Women Management in the global talent management company owned by Italian entrepreneur Silvio Scaglia.
In 2014, La Perla introduced a new design concept for the La Perla boutiques.
A result of the work of architect Roberto Baciocchi, founder of the architectural studio with its headquarters in Arezzo – Italy, the aim was to create a space sewed for a woman with a reference to the Italian tradition of architecture.
In 2014, the new concept designs were introduced to key global flagship stores including the Sloane Street, London; Via Montenapoleone, Milan; Four Seasons, Macau; Pacific Place, Hong Kong, Plaza 66, Shanghai; Old Bond Street, London; and Hong Kong stores in 2014 and is later to be rolled out to all La Perla boutiques internationally.
La Perla has launched a new concept at its flagship stores the La Perla Made to Measure line: an opportunity to personalise some of our exclusive creations by having them hand crafted to measure, available only to order. The Made to Measure service is available at the La Perla boutiques reopening with a new look created by architect Roberto Baciocchi. The three collections that can be personalised with this unique service are: the Maison Gold Edition, Filigrane Collection and the Cristallo Nero Collection.
La Perla introduced a new concept menswear collection for the Spring/Summer 2015 season and presented it with a catwalk show at Pitti Uomo on June 19, 2014. Emiliano Rinaldi, in charge of the La Perla creative direction, wanted to add a signature La Perla touch, choosing fabrics and details taken from feminine lingerie and reinterpreting them within a vision for men’s style. The inspiration for the concept was a print inspired by the artistic works of the Italian decorator Piero Fornasetti: a flying oyster where the pearl has been transformed into a mysterious eye.
In November 2014, La Perla launched the new concept menswear boutique design at its first menswear only store in Via Manzoni, Milan. The design, also created by Roberto Bachiocchi, echoes the design of the womenswear boutique yet is characterised by shades of blue and grey, Chromatic effects, wood-block flooring and Grigio Carnico Italian marble columns. New menswear concept stores will also open in Burlington Arcade, London and Shanghai at Plaza 66 before the end of 2014.
In January 2015, La Perla débuted the Atelier Collection at Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris during the Couture shows. Created by the La Perla style team, led by Emiliano Rinaldi, the show followed the concept of ‘Inside Out’ and evolved many classic La Perla lingerie designs. Top supermodels Naomi Campbell, Isabeli Fontana,Natasha Poly, and Lindsey Wixon joined S/S15 campaign stars Izabel Goulart, Sigrid Agren and Ming Xi amongst the international models in the catwalk show.
The Spring/Summer 2013 campaign, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott with art direction by Fabien Baron and styling by Ludivine Poiblanc featured models Cara Delevingne, Liu Wen and Malgosia Bela. The three supermodels were chosen to represent the many facets of a woman’s world – the guiding concept of the new La Perla advertising campaign for their spring/summer 2014 season.
Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott under the artistic direction of Fabien Baron returned for the Fall/Winter 2014 campaign, whilst supermodels Mariacarla Boscono and Daria Strokous joined SS14 protagonist Liu Wen.
Representing the many subtleties of femininity, Mariacarla Boscono expresses that quintessence of sensuality and elegance of “Italian style”, top Russian model Daria Strokous was chosen for her sharp and modern appeal whilst Liu Wen creates a seamless link with the previous La Perla Spring/Summer 2014 campaign. The campaign began with the debut of the new La Perla Made to Measure collection and the premiere of the exclusive backstage film.
The Spring/Summer 2015 campaign saw models Izabel Goulart, Sigrid Agren and Ming Xi lead as La Perla campaign stars, joined for the first time ever by a male protagonist – model Richard Biedul