A LINGERIE shop has apologised after showing saucy mannequins doing laundry in its window and will not repeat it nationally.

Boux Avenue - the underwear chain owned by Dragon's Den's Theo Paphitis- received complaints after displaying scantily dressed women hanging out washing in their Churchill Square shop window.

The shop was accused of "demeaning women with outdated ideology" through the display - but said that they had misjudged the display as simply "fun and engaging".

The company said the controversial displays would be removed from Brighton this week and not repeated across its chain of national stores after Brighton student Sarah Derby made a complaint.

Miss Derby, 23, said: "I understand sex sells but this window displays a picture of women as sexualised domestic beings.

"They seem to be saying that to be sexy you also need to be able to do the laundry.

"I live in Kemp Town and walk past all the sex shops every day. This isn't about being prudish but sexuality shouldn't be linked with domesticity.

"The implications of women as being nothing more than sexualised domestic beings reinforces anachronistic gender roles of 50 plus years ago."

"The fact that it is in such a prominent location at the front of the store suggests the minds behind the display put no thought to the implications and are indeed proud to display such ill-thought and outdated ideology. "

In her full complaint to the company, Miss Derby questioned why the firm had not chosen to display attractive women in the House of Commons, laboratories or succeeding at sport.

She added that the display "undermines the respectable and admirable academic, scientific and physical achievements of women."

However other shoppers questioned whether the display caused any harm.

One woman said: "I think there are probably more important things to get offended by than this.

"Surely people would be just as offended if they advertised their frilly knickers with MPs in front of the House of Commons."

A spokeswoman for Boux Avenue said: "We were very concerned to hear of the complaint with regards to one of our window displays in the Brighton store.

"At Boux Avenue we pride ourselves on being a customer centric brand and we attempt to create fun and engaging window displays that we are confident our customers will enjoy.

"The window as designed by our creative team, was not intended to cause offence but we can see how the concept could be interpreted and have taken the feedback on board.

"The campaign is due to come to an end this week and this is not a creative that we will be repeating.

"We apologise for any offence caused, as this was by no means the effect intended."


FEMINIST campaigns are making multinational companies stand to attention.

Theo Paphitis’ Boux Avenue is not the first national chain to feel the pressure of campaigners, but big businesses are having to take notice of women’s rights to keep ahead of the game.

Last November, Brighton feminists launched a petition against rival lingerie store Ann Summers complaining about the “over-sexualised content” of their Western Road window display.

Jessica Woodfall who organised the petition, which now has had more than 300 signatures, was also part of the No More Page 3 campaign.

They objected that images of sexual violence could be upsetting for victims of crime and unsuitable to be viewed by children.

The Brighton-based No More Page 3 campaign gathered huge momentum last year, although however the Sun newspaper denied that the feminist group were responsible for the decision to cover models up in underwear.

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas very publically supported the campaign, including wearing a slogan t-shirt supporting it in the House of Commons.

She may have been lambasted by speaker John Bercow, but her actions did make a difference.

Last week it was announced that a new dress code will be implemented as a result of her stunt.