Luxury lingerie maker La Perla hasn’t paid US employees in a month, sources say


La Perla is getting skimpy — when it comes to paying its employees, that is.

The Italian luxury lingerie brand, whose pricey underwear is popular with Hollywood’s elite like Jennifer Lopez and Kendall Jenner, hasn’t paid its US corporate executives and store employees for a month — and top brass can’t say when the funds will arrive, The Post has learned.

“We had assumed based on assurances that the funding would be available latest yesterday,” La Perla director Peter Shaefer wrote in a companywide email on Tuesday that was obtained by The Post. “Unfortunately this did not happen.”

The lacey intimates maker owned by German entrepreneur Lars Windhorst, whose bras sell for as much as $600 a pop, has racked up losses over the past four years and has been seeking new investors, according to The Sunday Times.

According to reports in WWD this summer, the company hasn’t been consistently paying its 300 employees in Italy and is also being sued for non-payment by its vendors.

Lars Windhorst bought La Perla in 2018 via his investment firm Tennor Holding.
dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images
La Perla has three stores in the US and is sold in luxury retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue.
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“This is creating terrible anxiety,” one employee wrote in an email in response to the companywide communication, flagging that many are working “long hours of overtime.”

La Perla has not paid its US payroll since Aug. 25, another wrote in the companywide email chain, adding “This is unacceptable” and “the lack of communication is negligent.”

La Perla may be falling out of favor as more affordable luxury competitors like Honey Birdette — which sells lacy undergarments for $100 and up — and Kim Kardashian’s Skims — which peddles shapewear for as little as $44 — are gaining market share, retail consultant, Gabriella Santaniello told The Post.

Kendall Jenner is among the A-list celebs who have been photographed wearing La Perla lingerie.
Mike Coppola

“There are other brands that have positioned themselves as luxury at a lower price point,” Santaniello said. “And when Skims came on the scene it really disrupted the intimates industry.” 

Windhorst was questioned in a London court this summer over his personal debts, denying allegations that he is living a “billionaire lifestyle,” according to a Financial Times report.

He declined to provide his net worth in court and said it was “difficult” to say whether he is “balance sheet solvent,” according to the report.

Jennifer Lopez is a fan of the swanky lingerie brand.
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Founded in Bologna, Italy in 1954 and bought by Tennor in 2018, La Perla is sold in luxury department stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods and Selfridges.

La Perla has about 20 employees in the US, including staffers at two stores in New York City and one in Costa Mesa, Calif., sources told The Post.

US employees were told in a Sept. 22 email from the company’s “People & Culture Consultant” Kathleen Hoffer, “We regret to inform you that we will not be able to fund payroll as expected today, however we have been assured that funds are on the their way.”

La Perla was founded in Bologna Italy in 1954. Olivia Wilde wears their lingerie in Beverly Hills.
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On Monday, Shaefer followed up with an apologetic email confirming that there were no funds for payroll, and promising “once we have news will share.”

Reps for La Perla didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.


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