The belief in female empowerment, female equality and gender equity are at the core of Coco de Mer - we celebrate this every day. International Women's Day is wonderful as a calendar moment to further reinforce the sentiment.
Our company relies on women at every pulse point and we embrace and appreciate that every day. We want to take a moment to show our love and gratitude for every woman involved in the shaping of Coco de Mer and celebrate all they bring to the brand.
Alongside this celebration, our CEO and owner Lucy Litwack shares a few thoughts on the importance of pleasure, empowerment and equity.
“I joined Coco de Mer as CEO in 2014, and then led an MBO in 2017. I was so passionate about the brand - I felt like it had always punched above its weight, but was yet to realise its full potential. It had been considered a niche brand in the past but as conversations around sexual wellness moved more into the mainstream, it had the potential to be so much more - a global luxury brand, focused on female pleasure. That is why I then decided to buy the business. 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. I wanted to place the focus back on women, on the importance of female pleasure and the female gaze as a path to empowerment.
Being a brand with purpose is crucial, and a deep belief in championing women’s causes underpins all my goals for Coco de Mer. As a business, and personally, I work with NGOs and activists in the fight against FGM, in addition to striving to break down taboos around female sexuality.
The fact that gender equity is still a conversation baffles me. Empowering women is the most comprehensive, pervasive, high-leverage investment you can make in human beings.
It feels as though we have waves of glass ceilings being smashed, of the patriarchy being rivaled, human rights feeling more balanced and inclusive, but the female choice and the female body are still being discussed in a way that feels so antiquated and offensive, not to mention the devastating effects FGM, changes to abortion rights, pain relief during labour and other backwards steps have on women globally, especially those in marginalised areas.
We are experiencing an inter-generational increase in female stories in culture. Across all forms of traditional and new media, female storytellers are tackling female-centric stories. But pleasure is rarely on the agenda. We are on a mission to address that.
I think a shared purpose unites us with the people we work with, and it certainly does within my incredible team at Coco de Mer - the basic fundamental human right a woman has over her own body. Through our work with The Five Foundation and Equality Now, we strive to create a tangible impact for the next generation and those around us, ensuring girls and women alike are safe to become the most empowered version of themselves.
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.
Female pleasure is integral to female empowerment and I have seen the hugely positive impact it can have. When a woman is allowed to explore her desires and embrace the complexity of sexual pleasure in an environment that is welcoming, empowering and indulgent - without fear of being judged - it can have an extraordinary effect on a woman’s confidence and, at the same time, lead to a more equal relationship with men.
From a commercial aspect, gender equity is fundamental to the success of Coco de Mer, not just because of our all-female team. There is something very moving about the female gaze - we are able to get closer somehow. It’s why we only work with all-female teams on our shoots. This female gaze is hugely important, even more so with intimate items such as lingerie. There is a trust and confidence in the female interpretation of sensuality which is inspiring, and the women modelling always comment on how safe and empowered the set feels, and I think you can see that energy in the campaigns.
Pleasure is 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 those extraordinary possibilities.”