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Provocative Purchases? Surprisingly Thriving

On La Perla’s website, for example, sales of the Ambra collection, an assortment of pieces that includes delicate balconette bras and high-cut panties adorned with French Leavers lace, increased 200 percent in the period between April 1 and mid-May compared with the six weeks that preceded it.

Figleaves, the British online lingerie retailer, reports that United States sales of its Pulse collection, which includes ornately detailed low-cut bras and sheer-back Brazilian panties, more than doubled between March and April, and nearly doubled again between April and May.

Between March and the end of May, thong sales on Le Mystère’s website more than doubled compared to the same period last year. (It’s worth noting that in the lingerie business, sales are usually slow in the weeks after Valentine’s Day.)

More risqué styles proved popular, too. At Journelle, a lingerie merchant that, until recently, had been selling solely online after its boutiques closed on March 17, purchases of its Natalia Ouvert style, a skimpy bikini with a large open section that leaves little of the wearer’s derrière to the imagination, were up nearly 50 percent in April and May over the two preceding months. The terms “ouvert” and “crotchless” are now among the Top 10 search terms on its website.

On the Kiki de Montparnasse website, sales from March 22 to May 27 of several options of panties and bras with exposed areas topped the sales of those styles for all of last year, according to a representative for the brand. Fleur du Mal, which designs and sells lingerie that’s both luxurious and suggestive, quickly sold out of four styles of its crotchless panties online after its New York City boutique closed on March 15.

“Anything that’s on that racier, sexier side — our strappy bondage styles, our open bra styles, garter belts — is moving,” said Jennifer Zuccarini, the Fleur du Mal founder.

Guido Campello, the co-chief executive of Journelle, offered an explanation, suggesting that for some couples, confinement may be encouraging intimacy that is outside of typical comfort zones. “They’ve gotten to know each other and gotten a lot closer, and they’ve gotten more creative,” he said.

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