Agent Provocateur targets bankers in men-only lingerie parties
LONDON - Lingerie brand Agent Provocateur is targeting greedy bankers, sparking charges of extravagance and sexism, with men-only preview evenings in the run up to Valentine's Day by co-hosting a party with private equity house 3i.
The party, whose guest list includes investment bankers from Rothschild and Lazard, will include a "presentation" from Agent Provocateur lingerie models over drinks and canapes.
The event harks back to the boom years of rich City-boys and has drawn criticism for its bad timing as the country is gripped by economic crisis.
It comes as arguments rage over the payment of City bonuses, with reports rife that banks RBS, Lloyds and Northern Rock - all fully or partly nationalised - are set to pay out an estimated £1.4bn in bonuses despite racking up losses of as much as £28bn each in the last year.
3i, which is chaired by Baroness Hogg, is an investor in Agent Provocateur and it is thought the party -- which falls in the same week as Valentines Day -- is being held at the request of advisors to help boost sales.
According to a report in The Sunday Times this is just the latest in a series of events hosted by the lingerie range and the first for men.
A spokesman for Agent Provocateur is quoted as saying there were three female-only events before Christmas, and that the underwear would be modelled on mannequins.
News of the party follows the launch of a steamy new campaign featuring Burberry model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who thumps her boyfriend in an Agent Provocateur film to remind men not to forget Valentine's Day.
The racy ad from Agent Provocateur, called 'Love me tender ... or else!', appears on the lingerie brand's website to promote its range as an ideal Valentine's Day gift.
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