Celebrating Lucy's 10 years at Coco de Mer - An interview with Lucy Litwack

This month marks 10 years since our incredible CEO and Owner, Lucy Litwack, joined Coco de Mer, transforming what was once considered a niche brand into the luxury Home of Pleasure it is today.

To celebrate the occasion we sat down with Lucy for a special editorial, where Lucy shares everything - from why she fell in love with the brand to her personal inspirations.

Delve in and be inspired...


  1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to becoming the Owner and CEO of Coco de Mer? What initially attracted you to the brand, and how has your vision for Coco de Mer developed over the years?

Absolutely. I grew up in London and have worked in the lingerie industry for over 20 years. I live and breathe Coco de Mer - but when I have a moment for myself, you can find me walking my cute little Maltese, Charlie, eating at my favourite Italian or inviting friends over for cocktails! 

I joined Coco de Mer as CEO in 2014 and was instantly drawn to the brand's pursuit of pleasure. Back then, it was considered a somewhat niche brand but as conversations around sexual wellness moved more into the mainstream, it had the potential to be so much more.

Coco de Mer felt like home from the very beginning and after 3 years at the helm and an entire career in the lingerie industry, I knew that this was the brand I wanted to own and grow. In 2017, I led an MBO of the business, driven by my passion to transform it from a niche business to a global luxury brand that champions female pleasure. I wanted to place the focus back on women, on the importance of female pleasure and the female gaze as a path to empowerment.

Fast forward to today, and Coco de Mer is the luxury Home of Pleasure, championing all women looking to celebrate themselves and their pleasure. This shared purpose has remained at the centre of our ethos ever since I took over, uniting us with the people we work with and driving change.


  1. How has Coco de Mer evolved under your leadership? Are there any specific areas of the business you have adapted or grown? 

 Building the purpose element into Coco de Mer was really important to me personally and has enabled the brand to grow into what it is today. Throughout my career in the lingerie industry, I have always been committed to celebrating and championing pleasure for all, and Coco de Mer fully embodies this - chipping away at the longstanding taboos around sexuality.

Our social impact has evolved during my leadership into a core part of the business and through partnering with organizations like The Five Foundation, we've fought against FGM and supported women's rights - reflecting our mission and aligning with the cultural shift towards recognising a woman's right to pleasure.

It has also been a privilege to build meaningful collaborations over the years with several incredible women including Pamela Anderson, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Helena Christensen and most recently, Charli Howard. We believe that so many things are better, and more powerful when done together and all the women we have collaborated with are strong, confident and own their sexuality - yet they are also relatable, inclusive and such fun to work with!

These partnerships have been fundamental to the evolution of Coco de Mer, helping us reach new audiences and spread our message far and wide.


  1. Who or what inspires you in your work at Coco de Mer? Are there particular figures, books, or experiences that have significantly influenced your approach to leading the brand?

I have had the privilege of working with so many incredible women over the years so it is hard to narrow it down, but in terms of inspiration, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was everything I admire in a leader, using her intelligence, eloquence and female strength to push barriers. There is a quote of hers that I love, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” This is something I try to emulate through my leadership at Coco de Mer every day. 

Then there is Waris Dirie, who I first heard about through her book Desert Flower. I was aware of FGM growing up, but it was reading this book, that brought home the horror of what was happening to so many girls around the world and inspired me to want to do whatever I could to help.

Over the years I have had the privilege of meeting so many brilliant activists, including Nimco Ali, the founder of The Five Foundation and Nancy Durrell McKenna, the founder of SAFEHANDS. Both women are fiercely dedicated to ending this horrific practice, and I have been immensely inspired by their honesty and resilience.


  1. Looking back over the past ten years, what have been some of the standout moments for you at Coco de Mer? Are there any particular collaborations or milestones that you are especially proud of?

As mentioned earlier, we have partnered with several incredible women over the years and working with these women, who have now become friends, was a real highlight and I’m so proud of what it says about us as a brand. 

At the same time, it was truly inspiring to partner with institutions such as Sotheby’s and The V&A Museum - gaining an insight into their heritage and creating collections and events that brought our brand to a new audience.

Launching our wholesale division at the start of my time at Coco de Mer was exciting and we are now stocked in 53 global outlets. Bringing our products and our mission to as many women as possible is so important to me and wholesale was a great way to reach more women internationally.

More recently, we received the Butterfly Mark from Positive Luxury, which reflects our commitment to creating a positive impact on society and the planet. To earn it, we had to  provide evidence of the change we’re making across a vast range of sustainability issues, including our impact on things like climate, nature and water; how we treat our workers and communities, as well as how responsibly and ethically we manage our business. No detail is left out. I am so proud of everyone’s hard work to get here and it’s a symbol that we stand for progress over perfection, difficult work over easy wins, and that we will never stop trying to improve.


  1. What are some of the key challenges you’ve faced during your time at Coco de Mer, and how have you navigated them? 

I thought completing a successful MBO would be my biggest challenge, but nothing could have prepared me for the pandemic hitting at the pace it did. Our boutique in Covent Garden had been the heart and soul of the brand for 20 years; so its lockdown closure was devastating.

We had to learn quickly to become a digital-first brand - which ended up being incredibly insightful and has influenced the way Coco de Mer has evolved. We saw a clear uplift in sales during the first lockdown, particularly in the purchase of sex toys which was a wonderful silver lining to know people were finding the time to explore their desires, alone or with a partner.

Another challenge has been our continuous battle with Meta’s advertising rules and given the very nature of the products, the typical steps to retail growth are not always straightforward for us. People’s perception of erotica, whilst ever-evolving, creates logistical issues - not being able to advertise on social media is just one of them. It is something which is still very much ongoing, but we have navigated this by getting creative with our marketing efforts and partnering with other incredible women to spread our message wider.


  1. Championing female pleasure is at the heart of Coco de Mer. Can you delve into why this focus is so significant and how do you see Coco de Mer contributing to the broader pleasure conversation?

From art to culture, education to pornography, the female perspective on pleasure in all its forms is little discussed or truly understood. And yet, from general happiness and confidence, to deepening and nurturing our relationships - and a fundamental appreciation of ourselves - knowing and owning female pleasure and sensuality really can be life-changing. And it is only now starting to get the attention it deserves.

I have always believed that self-love and pleasure are key components of a happy life and it informs all aspects of our brand ethos. When I first began at Coco de Mer the pleasure conversation was still very limited but it has been encouraging to see the conversation opening up, especially in more recent years. I believe women need to be at the forefront of the pleasure conversation, and at Coco de Mer we have had the opportunity to amplify this.

It’s one of the true gifts of being a woman. Our capacity to experience it is innate, universal and human - and it’s never too late to start exploring its extraordinary possibilities. It’s why, through Coco de Mer, I wanted to create a Home of Pleasure - a safe place to discover its potential; with a brand built by and run by women, for women. I believe that pleasure done well fires all the senses; that sight, sound, taste, touch and smell are a system greater than the sum of their parts - and as women, we need the opportunities to fully explore the fun, joy and endless possibilities of our sexuality. 

Normalising the subject is really important and being honest and open about what works, what doesn’t and what is needed hugely helps. We have talked about The Orgasm Gap a lot at Coco de Mer, and it is one of the main motivators behind our focus on female pleasure. The data tells us that the disparity between the frequency with which men versus women orgasm, sits at roughly 30%. I believe that if women's pleasure was treated with the same respect as men, we would see a kinder, more considered and generally more pleasant society.

With this in mind, all of our sexual wellness products have been designed for female pleasure, and we have considered every little detail - from the soft texture of each toy to its luxury packaging.

We are also really passionate about spreading awareness and advocating for healthy and comprehensive sexual experiences.  Over the last couple of years, we have hosted many insightful panel discussions, exploring a variety of topics, from menopause to masturbation - each with a focus on the importance of female pleasure.


  1. Coco de Mer operates with an all-female team. Why do you believe this is crucial for the brand and what influence does this have on your campaigns?

Our brand exists to champion female pleasure and I believe this can only be driven by women. Working with an all-female team has shaped the direction of Coco de Mer and has enabled us to keep our core values so prevalent. 

It is also really important when we are shooting a new campaign. Working with an all-female team creates a safe space for everyone, particularly the model. 

I believe women’s sexuality has been perceived through the male gaze for far too long, and it usually feels reductive and performative rather than something authentic to the female experience. Working with female photographers has allowed us to create striking campaigns which are both vulnerable and powerful. When we shoot from the female gaze, we seek to empathise rather than objectify, and the outcome is feminine and unashamed. It gives women agency. 


  1. How do you engage with your audience to ensure the brand remains closely connected to their desires and needs? 

I'm a perfectionist, so naturally, I take every piece of feedback very seriously. We are constantly looking for ways to elevate our offerings and customer feedback informs all aspects of the business. 

Our former Covent Garden Boutique meant we were able to consistently connect with our customers and over the years I noticed many of our customers would spend hours with us, desiring an increasingly personal experience. 

I had always loved the concept of personal shopping but it was customer feedback that drove this decision, and as we grew, it felt all the more important to offer a more personal and exclusive experience.

Last year we took the plunge and opened the doors of our lovely personal shopping suite - creating a pocket of pleasure in Primrose Hill, a place I adore. The suite has become a really important part of our brand and allows us to get to know our customers better while offering a completely personalised experience. 

Over the Christmas period, I had the pleasure of hosting many of our Saturday appointments and it was such a joy to meet so many of our lovely customers in person and hear their memories and experiences at Coco de Mer. Many women expressed that the added level of privacy our personal shopping suite offered, allowed them to feel completely comfortable and empowered - which resonated with me.


  1. What exciting plans do you have for Coco de Mer's future? Where do you envision the brand in the next ten years, and how do you plan to continue innovating in the luxury lingerie and sexual wellness space?

All we do at Coco de Mer is incredibly considered, and I am passionate about growing a brand that champions women’s causes. Alongside our work supporting the fight against FGM, we have recently partnered with Wellbeing of Women to promote women's health and will continue growing our charitable partnerships through fundraising and collaboration. 

The topic of Women’s Health is something we have delved into on the Reading Room this year, with editorials surrounding Painful Sex, Menopause and Endometriosis. We recognize that a woman's health is often intertwined with her experience of pleasure, and we plan to continue raising awareness and breaking taboos in this area.

Our SS24 collection has been our most exciting to date, and I can’t wait to show you what else we have in store. This year Coco de Mer entered a new era of heightened glamour and elegance, and we aspire to continue pushing design boundaries and creating the most beautiful luxury lingerie on the market.

This year we also opened our boutique in Knightsbridge which has been a huge success, helping us connect with customers and understand their desires. Over the next ten years, I hope to continue growing Coco de Mer globally, curating more stores which reflect our brand's purpose and ultimately bringing pleasure to more women around the world. Where would you like to see us next?

There is no doubt that the sense of touch, companionship, and intimacy are crucial in developing a happy life, so technology and eroticism have the potential and the promise to tie much more closely together - particularly at times when we are kept away from our loved ones (such as during the pandemic).

As Covid killed empty brand hype, consumers became collaborators. We saw retail empowering and cultivating communities. Going forward, we will continue to take an editorialised approach to content and brand storytelling as we build a community of interest around the subject of pleasure.


  1. And finally, what advice would you give to women who want to embrace their sensuality and enhance their pleasure? Are there specific events, practices or products you recommend that can help with this journey?

I think generations of women have been brought up on what men want so leaning into your sensuality can be a key part of enhancing your pleasure.

I firmly believe self-pleasure can be a really important part of your self-care routine, helping you to discover what truly brings you pleasure. If you are new to the world of toys, start simply with a discreet clitoral vibrator like No 1 - The Seed. Setting the mood is equally important and I think adding one of our massage candles into the mix can help you unwind.

If you are looking for a little extra encouragement, then I can’t recommend our ‘Reveal Your Majesty’ Salon enough.  The Salon is hosted by the wonderful Miss Polly Rae and is designed to help women reconnect with their power and sensuality through the art of striptease. I experienced this Salon first-hand last month, and the confidence each woman left the Salon with was astounding.