Agent Provocateur is a British lingerie retailer founded in 1994 by Joseph Corré and Serena Rees.
The company has stores in 13 countries and it is considered as one of the most iconic fashion brands in the world. The brand is famous for their passion for creating beautiful and luxurious lingerie. The AP name has become synonymous with global leadership in style, design innovation and the empowerment and celebration of women. The company is known for its provocative videos.
In 1994, Agent Provocateur was founded by Joseph Corré, the son of Vivienne Westwood, and his then-wife Serena Rees. The first store opened in Soho on Broadwick Street. The company sold colourful and fashionable lingerie. Joseph Corré was the designer for the brand.
In 2007, after the divorce of Corré and Rees, 3i, a private equity firm that invests in mid-size companies, purchased 80% of the company for £60 million. Between November 2007 and March 2009 the company opened 13 shops expanding to the US, Russia, Dubai and Hong Kong
By March 2008, Agent Provocateur’s profits dropped 18% to £2.2 million due to the cost of expansion.
In March 2017, the business entered administration. As part of a “pre-pack” deal, it was purchased by Four Holdings, a company one-third owned by British businessman Mike Ashley who reportedly paid around “£25m after seeing off competition from private equity firm Lion Capital.”
Corporate responsibility is important to Agent Provocateur and they are committed to responsible business practices in their own business and within their supply chain. Employees and suppliers who understand how they work, share their values and work proactively to achieve and improve standards are an asset to their business.
Agent Provocateur currently operate in over 30 countries worldwide, and employee over 600 employees globally. Their manufacturing operations compromise of suppliers in the UK, Asia, Europe and North Africa. Although UK and European manufacturing sources have significantly declined over the last 10 years, Agent Provocateur does support the UK and European sources wherever possible, and they continue to use European laces, fabrics and trims.
Agent Provocateur is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in all its corporate activities, and to ensuring that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.
Agent Provocateur partners with Sedex to help ensure its supply chains are slavery free. Sedex is a non-profit organisation dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains (www.sedexglobal.com). By partnering with Sedex, they can ensure that all their suppliers are compliant in four key areas – labour standards, health and safety, the environment and business practices.
We also ensure all the factories we work with follow the Ethical Trading Initiative Based code. Our supplier risk assessments are designed to be fair and achievable, covering the principles of international law for best practice in rights at work: no child labour, no forced labour, no discrimination, the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, wages, working hours, communication of employment, health and well-being.
Agent Provocateur is committed to ensuring that its suppliers adhere to the highest standards of ethics. Suppliers are required to demonstrate that they provide safe working conditions where necessary, treat workers with dignity and respect, and act ethically and within the law in their use of labour. The organisation works with suppliers to ensure that they meet the standards of the code and improve their workers’ working conditions. Serious violations of the organisation’s supplier code of conduct will lead to the termination of the business relationship.
To support this policy, their production and technical teams regularly visit their factories throughout the year and actively engage with their manufacturing partners and other key stakeholders in identifying areas for improvement. They ensure that all their employees who work in their production and supply chain areas complete training on the company ethical trading policies and processes.
Agent Provocateur operates the following policies that describe its approach to the identification of modern slavery risks and steps to be taken to prevent slavery and human trafficking in its operations:
Agent Provocateur encourages all its workers, customers and other business partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities, or the supply chains of, the organisation. This includes any circumstances that may give rise to an enhanced risk of slavery or human trafficking. Our whistleblowing procedure is designed to make it easy for workers to make disclosures, without fear of retaliation.
Employee code of conduct:
Agent Provocateur’s code makes clear to employees the actions and behaviour expected of them when representing the organisation. We strive to maintain the highest standards of employee conduct and ethical behaviour when operating abroad and managing our supply chain.
Agent Provocateur uses only specified, reputable employment agencies to source labour, and always verifies the practices of any new agency it is using before accepting workers from that agency.