Just before the recession, the lingerie industry got a little crazy. Every week it felt like there was a new luxury brand on the scene, each with even more outrageous prices than the last. I was still very new to the lingerie at the time, but I remember feeling a bit confused. Were there really enough connoisseurs to keep so many high-end labels alive? The answer is…apparently not.
The state of the ecomony destroyed a lot of new lingerie brands, but especially decimated the luxury ones. And, for several years, it seemed like the only names in higher priced lingerie were the ones that’d already been around for years. Though the lingerie industry in general has since recovered (there are more lingerie brands now, in every category, than ever before), I still miss a few of the ones that disappeared. Here are 5 lingerie brands (in no particular order) that I wish had survived the recession.
Though Madame V’s website and webstore are still online, the brand hasn’t come out with a new collection in years…which leads me to believe they’re basically basically defunct. I really liked their vintage-inspired creations (I’m seeing shades of the 1920’s in the images above) with silk and lace. And while I did manage to pick up the camisole on the far right before it sold out, I still wish I’d gotten a pair of those fan lace knickers.
Miss La La Presents
Founded by Fine Rees in 2007, I remember when Miss La La Presents was a name on everyone’s lips. People predicted big things for the brand and their fun, flirty, ultra-femme styles (which managed to look cute without being costumey). Unfortunately, after only a few collections, they went out of business. And to this day, I can’t look at the Chocolate Box set (far left) without feeling a pang of grief.
Founded in 1995 by Chris and Connie, Cameo Intimates was world famous for being a fairly big brand that still made everything by hand. Their lingerie was of an amazing quality, and since all items were were both designed and sewn in-house, plus size clients had a place to get some exquisite bras, knickers, girdles, and other items in their size. I still own a basic black bullet bra (the only bullet bra that’s ever fit me actually), a pair of cotton knickers, and a pair of ouvert knickers from them. Cameo Intimates abruptly closed shop in 2010, and I can’t tell you how many times I wish I’d placed just one more order from them. The lingerie industry is a less interesting place without Cameo.
Spoylt was an incredibly popular lingerie brand when it first debuted, and was even sold by Victoria’s Secret for awhile (back when they collaborated with independent designers). I own more from Spoylt than any other name on this list, and I think I’d appreciate this brand even more now if it was still around as my aesthetic has definitely changed. Spoylt attempted to diversify briefly, and even had several major media mentions, but a string of 50% off sales signaled their end and the brand went under. However, if you like Spoylt’s style, some of their pieces are still available on ebay (and for a song!) if you search for ‘Spoylt.’
With a name like “Vagina Power,” people expected Vagin Pouvoir to do great things. Even then, I appreciated their somewhat edgy, sparse aesthetic and I purchased two of their sets (the center and the far right) when they went on sale. This is some of the most exquisite lace I’ve ever owned, but so delicate that my nipple piercings pretty much ripped it to shreds. Vagin Pouvoir was part of my luxury lingerie awakening, and I’m sorry they vanished as I think there’s definitely a space for their aesthetic now.
Honorable Mention: Swan Original
Swan Original, a classic vintage brand, was bought out by Ritratti around 2009 but that wasn’t enough to save it. After a few wildly dissimilar collections, Ritratti quietly retired the brand, and I’ve heard nothing about them since. I still have dreams about the bodysuit shown above.