Lingerie collectors and aficionados around the world are being asked to be on the lookout for a vast treasury of luxury garments — including some museum-quality heirloom pieces dating back to the 19th Century — that were stolen from a Melbourne designer on Friday night.
About 500 pieces worth an estimated $100,000 were taken when burglars broke into the second-floor studio of Shiori Pike on Friday night. The thieves targeted the racks holding Shiori’s personal collection, which she used for photo shoots and styling assigments.
Police believe the collection was targeted deliberately because a security camera was covered up and other items in the studio — including three boxes of champagne — were left behind.
“The collection was so unique and high-end that it should be noticeable if it were to be sold,” Shiori told Lingerie Talk. “And only enthusiasts would really appreciate it. I am devastated by the loss and am still in shock.”
“There were amazing handmade vintage pieces from the late 1800s, 1920s silks and ’40s and ’50s pieces” among the stolen items, Shiori said.
Contemporary brands in the haul included Jean Paul Gaultier, La Perla, Bordelle, Lise Charmel and Made By Niki. The thieves also got “a whole backlog” of Shiori’s own lingerie creations.
Collecting rare high-end lingerie pieces has been a passion for Shiori for more than 15 years and she estimates the thieves got about half of her overall collection.
“I started collecting when I was in my teens and got into designer pieces when I was 20,” she said. “I was very petite and didn’t feel like a woman. When I discovered lingerie it made me feel powerful, strong and beautiful. I no longer felt the need to change my shape and I embraced the shape I was with pieces I wore.”
Among the “irreplaceable” items stolen, she said, was a La Perla Black Label white silk robe with an erotic print and fur collar (worth an estimated $1,000) and another La Perla balconette bra and thong that was Shiori’s first designer set — a 21st birthday present to herself.
She has reached out to other designers in Australia’s lingerie community and appealed for tips through social media. Burlesque icon Dita Von Teese, who launched her own lingerie line in Melbourne three years ago, posted a supportive comment on Shiori’s Instagram page.
“The support has been amazing and some companies and even followers are offering to send me lingerie to show their support,” Shiori said.
Police are taking the theft “very seriously,” she added, especially since the market for high-priced stolen lingerie in Australia is likely to be very small.
“They were very helpful in their questioning,” Shiori said, “but lingerie had to be explained to them.”
In addition to running her eponymous design label, Shiori writes about her passion on My Lingerie Addiction. In the days ahead she will post images of some of the stolen items on her Instagram account as well as updates on the police investigation into the theft.