Design Process

Sarah Shotton:
The Story

Sarah Shotton was appointed Creative Director of Agent Provocateur in March 2010. She had worked for the brand since 1999 when she joined as an Office Admin Assistant after graduating from Central St Martin’s College. She worked everywhere from back office to shop floor, dressing the stores and windows and within a year her designs were used in collections.

In 2002 she became a full time member of the design team. Her designs are unapologetic, sexy and empowering. Many feature on magazine covers and pop videos. She has designed bespoke pieces for many celebrities, including Beyoncé.

It is brand legend that in 2007 Shotton was called in for a disciplinary and came out promoted to Head of Design. In this role she navigated brand expansion and the release of larger collections. As Creative Director she has introduced a high end couture line in 2009. Collections have become more streamlined and seasonal. Her first collection as Creative Director, Betty Sue, sold out. Other hit lines include Fifi, Demelza, Annoushka and Mazzy. Most recently she collaborated with legendary director Anton Corbijn on the Autumn Winter '17 brand film. Says Shotton of the project: 'I thought that it was time to go back to our roots and remind everybody what Agent Provocateur is really about. Provocation, empowerment and edge.'

Shotton works at the brand's head office in Clerkenwell with an 85% female workforce. She lives in North London with her partner and two small children.

Agent Provocateur enjoys iconic status and a global presence through standalone boutiques and concessions. In 2017 the brand was acquired by Four Holdings, and it continues to break new ground with every collection.

A behind-the-scenes shot from the Agent Provocateur AW16 Campaign

From Sketch
To Showtime

“The creation of our iconic ranges starts with inspiration. Whether it’s a movie character or a female actress, each collection has its own muse. We’ll create moodboards based around her, and whatever is capturing our imaginations at the time - be it books, films, or music. We create sketches and samples, and begin to layer up the designs to see how the collection will come together. There’s a defining, magical moment in creating a range when I think, ‘Yes – this is Agent Provocateur,’ and that’s when we’ll start to fit the designs on the female form. When we see the woman within the lingerie, that’s when designs really come to life”.

A behind-the-scenes shot from the Agent Provocateur AW16 Campaign
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