It's been a rough year for Rigby & Peller lingerie, the outfitter of Queen Elizabeth II, among others. The brand lost £214,000 last year ($343,000), after making a £168,000 profit ($269,000) the year before, the Independent reports.
So what's behind Rigby & Peller's deficit? The Independent writes:
Very broadly, lingerie retailers divide their product into two categories: basic and fashion-led. "What we noticed a year to 18 months ago was that people had stopped buying basic product in favour of investing in more special pieces," said Helen Atwood, lingerie buyer at Selfridges.
Women had less money to spend going out so they were buying more glamorous underwear, presumably in a bid to make life more interesting at home. Now, according to Ms Atwood at least, standard underwear is in demand once more. "We're seeing renewed interest in basic lingerie again but it's all about good-quality product," she said. "People are more willing to spend money on a good bra that fits them properly than they used to be."
In April, Rigby & Peller's owner, June Kenton, retired. She had been fitting the queen since 1960 and she revealed that she was terrified before her first royal visit:
"I was so nervous I couldn't sleep or think straight. Can you imagine what it was like? Most people first meet the Queen when she's wearing an evening dress, but not me," Kenton said.
In May, Lady Gaga reportedly lost four sets of expensive Rigby & Peller lingerie. The brand said it sent seven sets from its fall/winter 2010 collection to Gaga so that she could use them in a music video, but that Gaga only returned three sets. The others were reported AWOL by couriers. No word on if they were ever found.