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The 5 Most Expensive Lingerie Brands in the World

With the release of the 2010 Diamond Fantasy Bra from Victoria's Secret (worth a whopping $2.5 million), everyone's mind is on expensive lingerie. And when I say "expensive," I mean the sort of lingerie where, if you have to check the price tag, you almost certainly cannot afford it.

While I maintain my position that ultra-expensive lingerie really isn't any better than the lingerie us mere mortals buy, I also know I some have readers who, for curiousity's sake or otherwise, want to know about these extravagant brands that represent the pinnacle of the underwear industry. The names I'm about to share with you today are truly the creme de la creme, the game changers, and the rainmakers.

Oh, and guess what? La Perla wasn't expensive enough to make the list.

There were a few criteria when making these selections, and I want to share them with you before starting:

1) The label had to be focused almost exclusively on lingerie. They couldn't be a design house that also happened to make lingerie or a designer who produced one or two limited collections for a lingerie brand. That's why Dolce & Gabbana isn't listed, and neither is Jean Paul Gaultier's collection for La Perla.
2) The label had to make, at minimum, both bras and knickers. Why? Because these two pieces are the fundamentals of lingerie. To illustrate, both Wolford and Strumpet & Pink make gloriously expensive lingerie, but as the former focuses on hosiery and the latter on panties, neither is eligible for inclusion here.
3) The label had to be available for purchase by the general public. For example, Mr. Pearl (the man behind Dita von Teese's corsets) is quite possibly the best and most expensive corsetiere in the world, but his corsets are not accessible to everyone, and therefore his name is not on this list.

And so, without further delay, here are the 5 Most Expensive Luxury Lingerie Brands in the World--

Bordelle--founded in 2007 by Alexandra Popa and Javier Suarez, Bordelle updates the vintage classics with a decidedly modern (some might even say "kinky" sensibility). Slinky, sexy, and utterly sensual, Bordelle isn't for the faint of heart or faint of wallet. Their trademark bandage dresses start at $500 and go as high as $1400.

Carine Gilson--The most established designer on this list, Carine Gilson has been designing couture lingerie since 1994. She uses only the softest silk, the most delicate lace, and the sheerest chiffon. Every item is a handcrafted work of a art, worth more ounce for ounce, than even some of the finest jewelry. A Carine Gilson thong (her most basic piece) starts at $240 with her full-length kimonos selling for just over $1360.

Agent Provocateur--Agent Provocateur did for luxury lingerie what Victoria's Secret did for mainstream lingerie, making its name synonymous with elegant, expensive, and erotic underthings. You may not have heard of the other four names on the list, but you've almost certainly heard of Agent Provocateur. With $800 bodysuits, $900 kimonos, and $1100 robes, AP has most certainly earned their spot.

Jean Yu--Gorgeous, feminine, and ethereal, Jean Yu's designs are striking in their simplicity. Every lightweight, airy piece is also limited edition, so once it's gone, it's gone. A basic silk triangle bra starts at $320, and a full lingerie set (bra, knickers, & garter belt) can easily cost over $1,000. Jean Yu also runs an atelier in New York if you'd like to have your lingerie made to measure.

Guia La Bruna--Guia is one of the youngest designers on this list, but her vibrant outlook on life is evident in her designs. Unlike many designers who outsource key aspects of their manufacturing to other companies, Guia La Bruna produces everything in house, from the samples to the end design. This lets her maintain the impeccable standards of quality and craftsmanship she is famous for. Guia's bra and knicker sets start at $665 and her cami and knicker sets retail for $830.

What do you think of these 5 designers? I'd love to hear your opinions, so share them in the comments! Know of anyone I should have included? Tell me that too!

Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

17 Comments on this post

  1. Lindy says:

    This column is a disappointment. I clicked on the article because I would be willing to pay $500 for a superior-quality backless pushup corset. But the items you covered are all “name”, no substance. I don’t care about how the lingerie itself works, rather I’m interested in a true foundation garment. Like I said, the companies you mentioned sell fluff.

    • Cora says:

      Hi Lindy, thanks for your comment. This particular topic is definitely due for an update. What I knew about lingerie 6 years ago and what I thought “luxury” meant is very different from what I believe now, and a newer piece reflecting that would be a good idea (although I still maintain Carine Gilson is one of the best luxury lingerie brands in the world).

      That said, if you’re looking for corsetry advice, I’d review one of the many articles about corsetry we have on TLA. There are a number of incredible corsetieres making exquisite custom work at the moment and we’ve covered many of them here.

      Best of luck with your search,

  2. Carol says:

    This lingerie is quite lovely, but seems to cater to small or thin frames. I am partial to the vintage brands like Intime, LuciAnn, Olga, and believe it or not the really vintage Sears or Charmode. I’m a sucker for yards and yards of chiffon! But I could see a lady wearing one of these numbers under a beautiful chiffon penoir to surprise her man.

  3. Colette says:

    To be honest, I’m not really a fan of Jean Yu’s lingerie. I find it kind of boring and wouldn’t pay anywhere near that much for it. But at the same time, other people obviously love it (otherwise she wouldn’t still be in business).
    Maybe some day I’ll have enough money to buy from some of the more expensive brands. I sometimes daydream about having a lingerie store with a photography studio for my lingerie fashion/boudoir photography in a room behind the counter… ;)

  4. Hank Hill says:

    Ooh la la. The challenge for every man is getting a woman to undress to this stage.

  5. Isabella says:

    The only brand I know on this list is Agent Provocateur, but I certainly have to disagree that they’re more expensive than La Perla. Bras at La Perla seem to start at like £125 (I’m British), while Agent Provocateur starts at around £70. Maybe their most expensive stuff is right up there with the most expensive stuff in the business, but I think you should also take into account where prices start

  6. Kitty Okura says:

    In the world of luxury lingerie how can you not include I.D. Sarrieri? It’s sexy, luxury and sophisticate.

    • Treacle says:

      Because this article isn’t about beautiful lingerie. It’s about the most expensive lingerie. And at the time I wrote this article, I.D. Sarrieri was not one of the 5 most expensive brands in the world. :-)

  7. Karolina says:

    I'm surprised to see Bordelle on this list; I've never considered them spectacularly expensive in comparison to certain brands that aren't even on this list. Their Angela dresses may not exactly be kind to the wallet but their more 'standard' lingerie sets – and by that I mean the likes of bras and knickers – are similarly priced to most luxury lingerie brands. The attention to detail and construction by Bordelle is most definitely worth the money though – I'm lucky to own quite a few pieces by them myself and never cease to be amazed by them. On the other hand, whilst Agent Provocateur may be on a par with cost, my experience with them is that despite the associations of luxury that they have attached to their brand, their garments aren't… well, to be blunt, all that well made. Which I was incredibly disappointed by the first time I purchased a piece. And having spoken to others I know that I'm not alone in this opinion. Price tags don't account for an awful lot.

    • Kitty Okura says:

      Dear Karolina! I totally agree with you on Agent Provocateur. I am a lingerie retailer and I love lingerie! I was so disappointed with their quality when I bought it the first time. I think part of the reason to their success is the founder’s connections in the fashion industry of being Vivienne Westwood’s son so that they can place the brand in the Luxury Lingerie category.

  8. Yolande S. says:

    I'm lucky enough to own quite a bit of bordelle, and it's worth the money – the attention to detail and craftsmanship is truly impressive, plus no-one else makes lingerie remotely like it.

    Surprised to see AP there, I love their stuff but most of it isn't crazily expensive. Just quite expensive.

    But for sheer audacity, what about Maxine Wattam? A bra and knickers set from her kinbaku collection can cost more than £1000 (pounds not dollars!) And it looks really painful to wear!


  9. Treacle says:

    @Miss Kitty Plum–I can definitely see how visiting the factory and seeing how lingerie is made can make a difference. I'm sure your customers like hearing that you sell only the best too!

    @Petra Bellejambes–I agree…what I love about all five of these designers is that they push the envelope, and that's good for the entire industry…makes everyone rise to another level. And when that happens consumers at every price point benefit.

    @Mademoiselle Frou-Frou–I knew you would be! After all, Faire Frou Frou sells the finest lingerie in the world. ;)

    @Miss Neira–Same here, lovely! Thanks for commenting.

  10. MissNeira says:

    And of course bordelle is one of my favorites!

    Miss Neira

  11. Mademoiselle Frou-Frou says:

    What an interesting post! It's funny because some people can come into my shop and like to drop the name La Perla, like I'm going to be super impressed, when the reality is that La Perla is just the starting point of luxury.
    I'm a fan of each of the brands you listed. ;-)

  12. Petra Bellejambes says:

    Beautiful picks, all around m'dear. Like you, the price points are beyond my limits, but I do take delight from knowing that there are people who have enough dough to support the efforts of these artists, and the old-fashioned care and skill exhibited in their work.

    It would be a sad day for us all when person with an imagination, a dream, a needle, thread and a bolt of gorgeous fabric could not earn a living making beautiful things.

    Thanks for sharing.

    xxoo – Petra

  13. Miss Kitty Plum says:

    I love the Bordelle bandage dress! I agree to some extent with what you said about price not always being an indicator of quality but I have to say the Prima Donna and Marie Jo lingerie really is the best!

    I went to the factory and saw how they made them. The work and detail that goes in to the s remarkable and really puts them a class above other designers.

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