The story of La Perla begins, in 1954 in Bologna, with Ada Masotti; starting from a small workshop Ada applies his sartorial talent in the creation of corsets of excellent workmanship, so much so that they will soon lead her to found her own atelier. La Perla corsets are immediately striking for their elegance, designed to enhance the beauty of women and for the processing and fabrics of the highest quality. The idea for the brand name comes from the red velvet caskets in which lingerie was sold as if it were a precious jewel.
The great skill of Ada Masotti led her to use precious techniques such as Cornely embroidery, soutache, macramé, embroidery and the Dentelle de Calais-Caudry. She was nicknamed “golden scissors” for her skills.
While always working according to the canons of the best Italian sartorial tradition, the secret of the brand was to be able to represent the feminine sensuality keeping up with the times, that is, following the changes that took place in society. During the 1960s, the growing nonconformism and desire for novelty developed among young people is transposed into La Perla products through the creation of collections rich in colour and vibrant prints.
The youth revolution continued in the seventies in an increasingly fierce way and in particular with a strong commitment to women’s rights: at the same time the underwear becomes more comfortable, thanks to elegant but soft and light models. In 1971, the beachwear line was introduced that includes both bikinis and one-piece swimsuits; among the other new proposals there are the triangle bra in silk jersey and a stretch lace line.
The 1980s in fashion are full of excess and, thanks to iconic looks such as Madonna’s pointed bras, lingerie becomes the protagonist even outside the bedroom. Perla, with its right mix of sensuality and refinement, becomes an internationally renowned brand. In 1989 the elastic body was launched, absolutely innovative in materials, which wraps the body and gives a new concept of comfort. In 1981 Alberto Masotti, son of Ada, took over the management of the company; he entrusted the creative direction to his wife, Olga Cantelli.
During the 1990s the border between public and private becomes increasingly blurred, so that lingerie integrates further with fashion: the brand focuses on glamour with precious fabrics and advertising campaigns that portray models in suits coordinated with shoes and jewellery.
Over the following decades, La Perla continues to offer luxury underwear, paying attention to the needs of modern women and thus becoming a leader in the luxury sector.
Among the most famous appearances of the underwear La Perla there is Daniel Craig in the film 007 Casino Royale, in which the actor appears wearing a swimsuit of the brand. Victoria Beckham, in the video “Headlines” of the Spice Girls, sports the corset Cage, the structure that reminds a cage. Similar in style is the leotard worn at the 2014 Grammy Awards by Beyoncé.
In 2008, Masotti sold the brand to an American company; it will be then bought back in 2013 by Italian entrepreneur Silvio Scaglia. For the fortieth anniversary of its activity, the book “Lingerie and Desire” is published, which collects the most iconic advertising campaigns of the Maison.
In 2016 the creative direction was entrusted to Julia Haart who, the following year, launched the first collection of ready-to-wear bringing on the catwalk extremely sexy and refined clothes. In 2018 a new change of ownership takes place and the company is sold to the Dutch company Tennor. La Perla represents femininity and sensuality with luxury products made in Italy.
Cover Image: La Perla