Penélope Cruz has the ultimate response to all those starlets and supermodels who return to the runways and red carpets only weeks after giving birth.
Rather than just dropping her pregnancy weight overnight (how last year!), the Oscar-winning actress launched an entire lingerie collection yesterday, a mere eight days after giving birth to a baby girl in Madrid. And if that wasn’t enough, she also debuted a short film — her first directorial effort — starring husband Javier Bardem to promote the new venture.
Of course, she had some help. The new label, L’Agent, is a lower-priced diffusion line produced by UK superbrand Agent Provocateur, and it’s been gestating longer than Penélope’s new bundle of joy.
L’Agent had its official launch in London last night, and pieces from the collection will be available beginning today on Net-A-Porter, Bloomingdales, Selfridges and many other retail points.
The collaboration marks a significant new direction for AP, which inked a five-year deal last year with Penélope and her sister Monica to design and front the new label, after the younger Cruz was hired to model AP’s Fall 2012 collection. Monica, who makes an appearance in the video, also delivered her first child in May.
Based on the images below, L’Agent looks a bit like Agent Provocateur Lite, a cute and colorful assortment of familiar looks that convey the flirty eroticism that AP is famous for, with enough diversity to cover a range of occasions, moods and body types. It’s a big collection too, including babydolls, corsets and even a gown among the nearly 20 different style ranges.
What distinguishes the much-anticipated new collection are its price points (roughly half of what you pay for AP lingerie sets) and distribution channels — L’Agent will be sold through department stores and third-party outlets instead of AP stores. Women who may feel they don’t have either the body or the bank account to venture into one of AP’s exotic retail emporiums will now have the chance to access its distinctive brand of sexy intimates while browsing the aisles at Bloomies.
The company has very high hopes for the Cruz sisters’ contributions: last year, AP told Women’s Wear Daily that it expects L’Agent to account for half of its revenues within a couple of years.
And Penélope made it clear this wasn’t just another one of those celebrity licensing deals, saying AP gave them complete control over the label’s development and the accompanying promo film.
“It was very personal and important for me, a very interesting experience,” she told WWD. “They gave me all the freedom and I was able to tell the story I wanted to tell.”
The L’Agent video (above) stars model Irina Shayk and Spanish actor Miguel Angel Silvestra, with a cameo from Bardem. It’s a six-minute fantasy that owes a debt to Penélope’s mentor, Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, with Silvestre playing a party guest who can see women’s undies with the aid of a special pair of sunglasses. Watch for a saucy censor-baiting moment at the 3:00 mark that will ensure this never plays on British TV.
And the Cruz siblings were able to put their stamp on the L’Agent line in another way, too: two of the styles are named Monica (main photo above) and Penélope.
Here’s a peek at what is sure to be a bestselling new label. You can learn more by visiting www.lagentbyap.com.