Lingerie can trace its roots to approximately 3000 B.C. in ancient Sumeria. An example of this lingerie can be seen at the Louvre in Paris where you can see two Sumerian terra cotta and a bas-relief women, one wearing a loincloth and the other wearing what today's world would call briefs. Fast forward to the Victorian era, which represented innovations in undergarments as well as the rise of women's sexuality despite the perception of Victorians being prudish. It was during this era that the re-introduction and popularity of the boned corset, prevalent in Ancient Minoan culture, regained popularity and became known as the Elizabethan Corset. The 1900's brought about softer brassieres that allowed women the flexibility and freedom to be able to move around and dance without restrictions. In the 1950's bras began to become more playful thanks to Hollywood. Lana Turner was named the "Sweater Girl" due to her cone-shaped bras. Sexuality exploded when in the late 70's the push-up bra became highly sought after by women of all ages. Designers are taking lingerie to the next level creating lingerie that not only makes women feel beautiful, but provides them with a sense of empowerment. Here is a list of ten luxury lingerie designers creating the most beautiful intimate pieces.
10 Cotton Club
Cotton Club is one of Italy's finest lingerie brands, known for its exclusive use of delicate fabrics creating elite collections in women's lingerie. Cotton Club's owner, Roberto Crescentini started the brand back in 1981 aiming to present luxury lingerie to a high-end clientele. Cotton Club has always tried to remain ahead of the curve. It was the first lingerie fashion brand to use elastic lace in its underwear collection while other lingerie brands were still using woven laces. Being an Italian brand, Cotton Club takes pride in being able to say that its products are 100% made in Italy. This means all of the fabric used and the labor that creates it is all from Italy. Cotton Club's romantic line of lingerie offers a wide variety, from panties that start at $100 to its Chantilly lace thong for $220, to the Pleasure Collection line that offers a sheer tulle chemise for $675.
Hanro is a company based in Switzerland that has been around since 1884, adapting to the changing needs of the environment while still providing the highest quality in lingerie. Hanro can be described as "pure luxury on skin" as it is the world's leader in producing the finest mercerized cotton. Hanro's lingerie collection is simplicity at its finest with extra details to ensure a quality fit. While Hanro's designs are more romantic, less seductive when compared to other lingerie brands, the Swiss brand is able to add luxury to a woman's everyday lingerie needs. Bras range in price from a modest $54 to $163 for the desire bra with French levers lace and a tanga panty has been designed to accompany the desire bra that is offered at $115.
ERES is a luxury lingerie brand that started out creating women's swimwear, acknowledging the fact that women needed a type of "second skin." In 1998, ERES was able to take its expertise in swimwear and create well-fitting luxurious lingerie for women. ERES' lingerie has followed in its signature swim line footsteps as following its own beat by creating modern lingerie that fits a woman's curves precisely with refined fabrics. ERES stepped out the box with its lingerie line by using nude and muted colors that had rarely been seen in lingerie before. The luxury lingerie line offers floor length, silk gowns for $965 and lace bras that range between the $300 and $400.
British luxury lingerie brand, Myla was founded in 1999 in the contemporary district of Notting Hill, London. Myla was created to provide women the ability to live luxuriously in every aspect of their lives including what they put on underneath their clothes. The brand has been able to capture a pure form of feminine seduction with its elegant usage of hand-trimmed lace and pastel colors mixed with black for a striking look. Throughout the years, Myla has been able to perfect its elite product offerings that bring out the confidence of a woman in the bedroom. Myla's prices cater to the wealthy woman, with prices ranging from $775 for a lace-trimmed babydoll to $260 for a garter belt.
6 Chantal Thomass
Chantal Thomass is most famously known for transforming the lingerie world. Back in 1976 Thomass was the first designer to feature basques with garter belts and stockings on the runway. Thomass was able to take the simple designs of women's lingerie and create pieces of art out of them. She broke the mould by adding decadent appliqués and lace to women's undergarments including the invention of lace tights, by believing that undergarments should be treated and designed as outer garments. Thomass' designs have since been able to make women feel that they can be seductive and beautiful by treating themselves to little luxuries such as lingerie. Her luxury lingerie offerings include corsets that go for $685 to waist cinchers for $295.
5 La Perla
The luxurious lingerie brand, La Perla has become a recognized household name in the lingerie market. La Perla has been around since the early 1940's when designer, Ada Masotti saw that women wanted their intimates to be as well made as the clothes. Masotti's ability to create quality lingerie by utilizing her corsetry skills with silk and other fine materials soon gained attention from the elite. La Perla today is an international brand that strives to embody the modern, female spirit by providing elegant lingerie created out of the finest of materials while still maintaining the high quality standards set by Masotti. La Perla provides a wide variety of luxury lingerie at various price points, from its Extreme Metal Cage bra that goes for $658 to its Traviata push up bra for $118.
4 Agent Provocateur
Agent Provocateur has been labeled as an iconic lingerie brand that has revitalized the lingerie industry with its playful designs and beautiful usage of fabrics. The British lingerie company was founded by Joseph Corre, whose mom is Vivienne Westwood and his wife at the time, Serena Rees in 1994. Agent Provocateur has set the marketing stage when it comes to luxury lingerie with racy ads featuring celebs such as Kylie Minogue, Kate Moss and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The lingerie brand has provided a means for women to be able to fulfill their fantasies in dress up lingerie with the added luxury of feeling powerful and looking beautiful. Agent Provocateur has its regular line of lingerie and then it has its Soiree line that takes it luxury lingerie up a notch. The brand's regular collection offers panties in price ranges of $100 to $200 while the Soiree collection offers panties at $590.
3 Kiki De Montparnasse
The global brand, Kiki De Montparnasse is widely known for its provocative high-end lingerie. The name itself represents outspokenness and liberation as Kiki de Montparnasse was the mistress and model for the famous American artist, Man Ray. The luxury lingerie brand offers women a seductive line of corsets, bras and panties that tastefully leave little to the imagination. Kiki's flagship boutiques are featured in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles that provide the ultimate lingerie shopping experience where shoppers can shop not only the vast supply of lingerie, but also elite masks and blindfolds as well as what Kiki calls "instruments of pleasure." Kiki's lingerie items vary in price, from its Voyeur Welcome Home bra for $425 to its black leather bustier for $750.
2 Carine Gilson
Carine Gilson's couture lingerie line is seamless perfection that has been handcrafted in silk making each piece unique. Gilson started her couture lingerie line back in 1994 when at the young age of 23 she bought her own sewing workshop. It is from there that Gilson took to designing lingerie by selecting only the finest materials, putting thought into the cuts and attracting the elite from all around. Gilson's luxurious lingerie is an international sensation with boutiques in Paris, Beverly Hills, New York, London and Tokyo. Gilson does not believe in mass producing products, as each piece of Gilson's lingerie line is handmade and seeing the small irregular details of each piece proves its authenticity. Gilson's beautifully crafted kimono robes range from $1,500 to $2,000 and her elegant silk charmeuse chemise is offered at $940.
Bordelle holds the title of providing the elite "luxury S&M" pieces that are themed around seduction and domination. Bordelle was created in 2007 by Alexandra Popa after she noticed that the women's high-end lingerie market needed to be re-vamped. Popa went to work creating eclectic pieces of lingerie that skipped over the traditional lacy intimates and went for more of a seduction look with bondage inspired lines, liberating and inspiring women to feel beautiful and powerful in their pieces of lingerie. Bordelle's risqué style has caught the eye of celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Madonna. Bordelle offers a wide variety of girdle dresses that are priced between $1,000 to $1,880 as well as luxurious bras that are offered in the $300 to $200 range.