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UAE’s lingerie business in exposé

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Despite the popular presumption that the Middle East is filled with conservative women, the rise of international shops offering sexy – and sometimes racy – inner wear here in Dubai is quite telling the contrary. Such obvious contradiction deserves explanation, so La Moda says “we better uncover the barely exposed lingerie industry.”

So, we dared two (yes, not one) experts to strip the truth about the business that maybe frowned upon in the open in this region, but nonetheless accepted with much fondness by a growing number of loyal clients. We spoke to Alain de Rodellec, Export Development Manager of Chantelle Group, and to Matthieu Coste of Simone Pérèle.

Le Groupe Chantelle is considered as the largest and one of the oldest French lingerie brands with origins dating back to 1876. It has been present for more than thirty years in the region, and has opened a subsidiary in the year 2000. Thanks to its values, with the right mix of tradition and modernity, success was immediately realised. To maintain it over the years, they focus on proposing new products, featuring excellent fitting together with French allure and seduction. In his own words, in Chantelle Group, “We do not sell lingerie, we enhance a woman’s beauty.”

On the other hand, Simone Pérèle is backed up by sixty years of experience in corset-making wherein its manufacturing secrets are passed on with enduring passion and precision, collection after collection, guarantee perfect lingerie. Starting in 1948, from the small workshop of Madame Pérèle in Paris, her declaration that “in order to reveal women’s beauty, we must liberate women’s bodies” is a philosophy behind the company’s continuing success.


Chantelle concession at Galeries Lafayette in Dubai

Now, read on as we get these two renowned French lingerie brands talking the naked truth behind the fashion and the business of selling sexy women’s undergarments.

Through your existence in the Middles East (Dubai specifically), what kind of women buy your products? Can you describe the women that you target?

Chantelle: If we want to describe our clients, we could divided them in three populations: one third local consumers from Emirates and neighboring countries, one third western expatriates, one third world origin. But I would add that our target consumers do not buy a product anymore. They buy well being, including quality, comfort design and service. Lingerie is the first and the most intimate apparel from women. Chantelle is dedicated to enhance woman natural beauty.

Simone Pérèle: Customer travel more and more nowadays and they do not accept to wear something expensive if the quality is not here. Our customers here are fascinating women looking for being attractive and being comfortable. They are satisfied that for a push-up, a half cup, a control bra, a strapless or a minimizer, they are able to find everything with our lines at a very wise price. Coloured products, push up and control bra are the most sold items for us.

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