Nestled in Seven’s Dials’ Monmouth Street is the legendary Coco de Mer. Founded in 2001, it’s built an inimitable reputation as The Home of Pleasure - a celebration of the extraordinary world of female sensuality, creativity and sexual self expression. In fact, they were our second ever HANX stockist! Naturally, we’ve got a whole lotta love for the team, and were lucky enough to be joined by CEO Lucy Litwack on our irreverent Knicker Box Glory podcast where we talked lube, consent, and kinks.
As we celebrate three years of HANX, we thought it was about time we popped by to find out how they’re returning to ‘normal’ (whatever that means!), which pieces of luxury lingerie, covetable sex toys and collectable erotica you should be adding to your Pinterest ‘NEED’ board, and why buying IRL (if you can) is the key to great lingerie. Upon entering 23 Monmouth Street, it’s best to expect the unexpected: vibrators masquerading as pendants, solid silver butt plugs cast in the image of fresh fruits 🍓, and rows of lingerie in jewel tones flocking its opulent walls. Each piece is carefully curated to cater to various desires; as our Coco de Mer expert wisely explained, “everybody has a penchant for something.”
HOW’S POST-LOCKDOWN LIFE?
We opened again full time in July and it’s only just started to feel more ‘normal’. I’m so excited to be back in the West End, we’ve seen weekdays become as busy as weekends, all while following our strict guidelines which are clearly displayed at the door.
We’ve had many couples coming in who’ve bought pieces online and who now want to actually see the store itself, women want to see the lingerie and their partners or husbands wanting to treat them… We’ve had returning customers who’ve popped in to let us know they’re pleased to see us open again and they’ve taken the opportunity to stock up favourites, like the massage oils.
WHICH PIECES ARE MOST POPULAR RIGHT NOW?
Well the butt plugs always catch eyes, they’re very aesthetically pleasing and they’re usually the last thing people linger over at the till. With sex toys, you tend to need a little bit of help finding the right piece or you’ll come in and straight away know exactly what you’re looking for. 👀 Some pieces would be a shame to hide and our customers agree, some of our more sculptural ceramic designs have been bought to display on mantlepieces, as part of their art collection… Oh, and these clamps sell out straight away - as soon as we get them, they’re gone!
Once you’ve come in the shop and you’ve had a moment to relax, the more confident you become and usually, by the time you get to the till, you’re happy to say ‘I’ll take this, this, and this!’ Wearing a mask definitely helps to remove some of the inhibitions some people usually would have…
OK, WE’RE THINKING ABOUT CHRISTMAS ALREADY! WHAT SHOULD WE HAVE ON OUR WISHLIST? WE’VE BEEN EVER SO GOOD...
Our lingerie has been really, really popular. Sex toys and accessories could be considered ‘easier’ to buy online but buying lingerie is so tactile, a lot of people consider it preferable to do so in-store, the experience is what really makes it. Our bodysuits always turn heads! When they’re in the window, women run past, come back and and ask if they can take a pic to send to someone special… Bordelle just sells itself, ropes are popular too, they’re very high fashion. Of course, anything Dita Von Teese is is stunning - look at this green set, they’re all stunning. Our own wishlists get longer every day!
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES, SUCH AS COCO DE MER?
Seeing the closure of big corporate businesses could see the rebirth of independent shops, if they can just hang on! The high street was dead pre-lockdown - it’s so nice to be able to go to lovely streets like this and visit boutiques like us, it’s time to rediscover the hidden gems! We should be taking this opportunity to seek out places where you buy something that you know you can’t get three doors down. We’re fortunate to be alongside fellow lovely businesses, for example, the Covent Garden Hotel and of course, Monmouth Coffee: its weekend queues are a testament to the importance of doing something really well and in your own style. People really appreciate passion, knowledge and good quality.
Thank you so much for having us, we’ll be back very soon! There’s never been a better time to support your favourite boutiques, so plan your trip here, shop HANX at here, and find out more about the Coco de Mer X Desert Flower Foundation partnership to support, empower and educate women – with the aim to end gender inequality and eradicate FGM.