FLEUR DU MAL: INSPIRING DRESSING UP & UNDRESSING

In late 2012, Jennifer Zuccarini founded Fleur du Mal with an ambition to change the way women approach lingerie and have since expanded to include ready-to-wear and swim.


FLEUR DU MAL: INSPIRING DRESSING UP & UNDRESSING

In late 2012, Jennifer Zuccarini founded Fleur du Mal with an ambition to change the way women approach lingerie and have since expanded to include ready-to-wear and swim.

Zuccarini grew up in Toronto, Canada, and later moved to New York, where she has lived for almost 14 years. She has stated that her mother inspired her to get into the fashion field. She studied Fine Arts in Montreal, after which she completed another degree in Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. During this time, Zuccarini began working at the online store Nanette Lepore, where she forecast trends. She met her boyfriend at Nanette Lepore, and the two began to plan a new business, Kiki de Montparnasse, which they founded in 2005. After three years, Zuccarini moved on to Victoria’s Secret in 2008, where she worked as a lingerie designer.

Zuccarini’s father, who was an entrepreneur, convinced Zuccarini to create her own business. As she had work experiences at Kiki and Victoria’s Secret, Zuccarini chose lingerie fashion. She created Fleur du Mal, a lingerie brand having her own styles meant to be worn every day. Zuccarini took the name from a collection of poems by Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du mal (“the flowers of evil”). Zuccarini felt that Baudelaire was a good inspiration for the brand, as he was a “decadent and tormented artist, a true dandy, who spent everything he had on clothing, opium, and women.” The primary goal for Zuccarini was to change people’s views towards lingerie, as Zuccarini felt that lingerie played an important role as a part of women’s wardrobe and should not be limited to special events such as a date. Zuccarini wanted to empower women to know they can be powerful and sexy.

Feminine, chic, and slightly subversive, the brand explores the notion of desire and artful provocation, while maintaining style and wearability.

Fleur du Mal’s founder and CEO, Jennifer Zuccarini, is a natural entrepreneur. For starters, entrepreneurship runs in her family, as her father was a visionary who brought the first espresso machine to Canada in 1954. Zuccarini and her two sisters, also entrepreneurs, grew up hearing their father repeat, “Why would you ever want to work for somebody? You should always work for yourself.”

With a celebrity following that includes Bella Hadid, Victoria Beckham, and Emma Roberts, Fleur du Mal has carved a niche for itself as a cheeky, luxe lingerie and swimwear brand. The brazen fashion e-tailer has also expanded its product assortment, with a ready-to-wear collection as a separate category.

While Fleur du Mal’s tagline of “Inspiring dressing up and undressing” seems salacious, Zuccarini is cognizant of the importance of presenting lingerie as a part of everyday wear, as opposed to something special women wear on weekends or dates.

Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil) is a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. First published in 1857, it was important in the symbolist and modernist movements. The poems deal with themes relating to decadence and eroticism.

The author and the publisher were prosecuted under the regime of the Second French Empire as an outrage aux bonnes mœurs (“an insult to public decency”). As a consequence of this prosecution, Baudelaire was fined 300 francs. Six poems from the work were suppressed, and the ban on their publication was not lifted in France until 1949. These poems were “Lesbos”; “Femmes damnées (À la pâle clarté)” (or “Women Doomed (In the pale glimmer…)”); “Le Léthé” (or “Lethe”); “À celle qui est trop gaie” (or “To Her Who Is Too Joyful”); “Les Bijoux” (or “The Jewels”); and ” Les “Métamorphoses du Vampire” (or “The Vampire’s Metamorphoses”). These were later published in Brussels in a small volume entitled Les Épaves (Scraps or Jetsam).

On the other hand, upon reading “The Swan” (or “Le Cygne”) from Les Fleurs du mal, Victor Hugo announced that Baudelaire had created un nouveau frisson (a new shudder, a new thrill) in literature.

In the wake of the prosecution, a second edition was issued in 1861, which added 35 new poems, removed the six suppressed poems, and added a new section entitled Tableaux Parisiens.

A posthumous third edition, with a preface by Théophile Gautier and including 14 previously unpublished poems, was issued in 1868.

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