Bridgerton, Pandemic-Fatigue and Slip Dresses, Power Fleur Du Mal’s New Los Angeles Store
While everyone donned pajamas and an existence at WFH in 2020, retailers have naturally seen an increase in sales of loungewear. But for Jennifer Zuccarini of Fleur du Mal, lockdown orders associated with coronavirus have resulted in a boom in sexier and more provocative lingerie styles. Despite his online success during the pandemic, Zuccarini is asserting his confidence in brick and mortar by opening the second location in the United States for the intimate clothing brand founded in 2012. Los Angeles. Welcome to the news surely from celebrity fans (and their stylists) like Kaia Gerber, Margot Robbie, Gigi Hadid, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez.
The new store is in a cool little corner of West Hollywood, a place the founder fell in love with after testing out a few pop-up spots in Los Angeles. “We have Barbara Strum next door, ByRedo, Acne, Ganni, as well as many great restaurants like Olivetta, Craig’s and Gracias Madre. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming,” Zuccarini said of the destination location, which is located privately on Melrose Avenue.
The brand worked with Los Angeles-based company Perron-Roettinger on the design concept. The sultry eggplant, rose and rust interior designed by partners Willo Perron and Brian Roettinger eliminates the influence of 1970s Italian design; taking inspiration from the erotic and rich interiors of Carlo Mollino and a touch of Studio 54. Yet Zuccarini insists he’s meant to feel non-intimidating too. “I wanted to create a retail space that felt intimate and residential, yet striking and sexy.”
At the start of the pandemic, the lingerie designer noticed an increase in demand for more provocative styles. In May 2021, Fleur du Mal launched a pleasure category with partners such as sex toys from Le Wand, lubricants and bath bombs from Foria and Apothecanna, as well as even sexier styles that have boosted business. “Lingerie is an emotional purchase and people were looking for a way to look for me, something to make them feel good at home,” she theorizes. “It was also a great time to spice things up and experiment in quarantine.” The brand plans to add more attractive products to include leather accessories.
The launch on December 25, 2020 of Shonda Rhimes, a very popular, romantic and exciting series Bridgerton also turned out to be a post-holiday gift for Fleur du Mal. The team noticed that the word corset was increasingly sought after on the website during the series premiere, leading to increased sales of corsets and bustiers. “Stylists were pulling corsets, but the demand was mostly from American consumers,” she noted. “A corset is the opposite of sweatshirts; I think people were looking for an escape and wearing something different from their midlife wardrobe.”
Still, Zuccarini says corsets weren’t the only sweat-wicking uniform as slip dresses continued to perform well as both lingerie and ready-to-wear, mirroring the ’90s trend propelled by supermodels. time. “It was great to see people dressing up at home and wearing a dress with straps,” she says, pointing out the comfort of the zipper dresses, especially their cowl-neck style. “I wear it on an airplane sometimes with a sweatshirt and boots.” The pandemic has also helped laser target salon styles, particularly the brand’s signature bodysuits and strappy dresses. Another area of interest has been the sizing of offerings which have increased since 2017 to include a more extensive range.
The brand seems plum for a fashion collaboration – rigor in the industry today. Zuccarini’s dream would be to partner with legendary French houses like Saint Laurent or a jewelry collaboration with Victoire de Castellane de Dior. “I am obsessed with it.”
But for now, the expansion of brick and mortar appears to be the area of focus for the brand. Miami comes to mind, as many moved there during the Covid-19 crisis. “It’s a sexier city with hot weather, lots of transplants in New York City, besides being a major tourist destination,” she says. But it also suggests an unlikely global expansion, at least at first glance. “I would love to explore the opening in London with a pop-up to test the market. I think it’s a perfect city for Fleur du Mal, and the British love lingerie.”