Lovehoney has sold its Covent Garden-based erotic boutique Coco de Mer to the business’s managing director Lucy Litwack [pictured]. Prior to joining Coco de Mer, Litwack’s 17 years of experience in the lingerie and luxury retail world included six years with Victoria’s Secret in the US and she held director positions at La Perla, New Zealand-based lingerie business Bendon, and her own intimate apparel consultancy business. She also developed and launched David Beckham’s Bodywear range globally through H&M.
The MBO [management buyout] was backed by international institutional investors. Explaining Lovehoney’s decision to sell the Coco de Mer business, Lovehoney co-founder Richard Longhurst told ETO: “We decided it was the best way forward for both businesses – Lovehoney’s rapid international growth demands our full attention.”
Coco de Mer has enjoyed a high profile since it was launched in 2001 by Sam Roddick, daughter of Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, and the erotic boutique became just as well-known for its enviable line up of celebrity customers as its range of luxury ethically sourced designer lingerie, sex toys, jewellery, and erotic art. Lovehoney acquired the business in 2011 and it subsequently overhauedl its online presence and extended Coco de Mer’s range of own-brand products. Last year Coco de Mer lingerie was launched through UK wholesale channels, including Selfridges and Harrods. More recently, Pamela Anderson collaborated with fashion photographer Rankin on a photoshoot for the business. She was appointed Coco de Mer’s international brand ambassador and has since worked on two projects with the company. A co-branded lingerie line, Pamela Loves Coco de Mer, will launch in December.
Lucy Litwack, CEO of Coco de Mer, said: “It’s been a real success story working with the Lovehoney team over the last three years. Coco de Mer has a well-established core client base which is truly international and where we see a number of avenues for growth in the current business. The desirable brand has a strong following and we will be continuing to develop and expand its global profile.
“The MBO and new funds provide us with a strong platform and supports our strategy to grow the business internationally at the luxury end of the market where Coco de Mer is already well positioned and has a very strong customer base. There are many more opportunities for Coco de Mer as we continue to develop new channels of business across a number of territories. I look forward to collaborating with new partners in the worlds of art, design and fashion.”