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Huit’s Nouveau French Resistance
Posted by richard | July 16, 2015
Huit_AW2015_Grand-Soir

It’s probably no coincidence that the new lookbook from Huit Lingerie looks so much like the one produced a year ago by Agent Provocateur’s L’Agent label, with models showing off the latest styles while playing with aerial hoops and climbing ropes.

Huit seems to be inviting comparisons, encouraging shoppers to decide for themselves who really has the credentials when it comes to authentic nouveau French style.

And why not? After nearly 50 years in business as a closely-watched trendsetter in fashion-forward lingerie designs, Huit has good reason to stand up for its Parisian bona fides. The lingerie world is awash in faux-French imitators and powerful newcomers like L’Agent have been welcomed in important foreign markets like the U.S. For pioneering French brands that set the table for these uninvited guests, there’s a lot at stake.

LAgent_AW14_Vanesa
Huit_AW2015_De-Lair
L’Agent’s ‘Vanesa’ (AW2014), top, and Huit’s ‘De L’Air’ (AW 2015).

Huit offers one of the more inspiring stories in the lingerie business, especially after teetering on the edge of bankruptcy five years ago. It was always a fashion-first brand, taking great pride in releasing new and original looks every season rather than simply recycling proven bestsellers.

Huit has undergone two recent ownership changes, first being acquired in 2010 by UK’s Eveden group and then absorbed by Japanese giant Wacoal. Such moves might ordinarily threaten the autonomy of such a stylistically distinctive brand, but to their credit both sets of new owners simply let Huit do what it does best.

And the changes clearly invigorated Huit, which pushed ahead with the self-appointed task of showing the world that modern French lingerie means more than just coquettish bows and candy-colored stretch lace.

You can see the brand’s commitment to newness in the lookbook images below, which feature the Autumn-Winter 2015 collection that is moving into stores this month. It includes a couple of holdovers from past collections (like the glamorous Arpege range), a couple of “basics” sets, and at least half a dozen new styles and prints that announce Huit‘s love of bold colors, new fabrics and creative patterns.

The showstopper in the new range is the Grand Soir long-line bra and low-cut brief shown in the top photo, in a dramatic peacot hue with checked embroidery. This is a style that oozes pride, daring and self-confidence: a defiant declaration from a brand, and for women like it, that simply won’t be ignored or elbowed aside.

Here’s a look at what else is coming in Huit‘s latest:

Huit_AW2015_Arpege
ARPEGE
Huit_AW2015_Avec-Toi
AVEC TOI
Huit_AW2015_Envoutante
ENVOUTANTE
Huit_AW2015_En-Cavale
EN CAVALE
Huit_AW2015_En-Scene
EN SCENE
Huit_AW2015_Enchantee
ENCHANTEE
Huit_AW2015_Nouvel-Emoi
NOUVEL EMOI
Huit_AW2015_Sweet-Coton
SWEET COTON
Huit_AW2015_Pure-Color
PURE COLOR
Huit_AW2015_Pretty-Retro
PRETTY RETRO
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