La Fille d’O


Pictures Marco Ferrari & Murielle Scherre
Words Lisbeth Antoine
Editor Mariana Kazarnovsky

I want to introduce you to the woman who is able to save your rainy day with something as trivial as underwear. Meet Murielle Scherre, the mind and soul behind Belgian born lingerie label ‘La Fille d’O’. Your pleasure is her business. And it is safe to say hers is a unique and refreshingly different model than what is out there. In a business climate dominated by marketeers and accountants, Murielle is doing things her own way. We had a talk with the charming designer about the first decade of ‘O, side paths, her revolutionary approach to design and her own take on feminism.



When I look back at the past 10 years, I think that its a form of ignorance that gave me the most insight. I create lingerie. Lingerie that has to be worn, washed, formed around a body; it has to support that body. It is very technical, and I wish to create something that will be beautiful, surprising and innovative at the same time. La Fille d’O stands apart from other brands because they would focus on only one of those assets; and it drives me mad that there is nothing out there that combines those. The lingerie industry is not keeping up with fashion, nor the other way around. There is no Martin Margiela, Gauthier or Issey Miyaki of lingerie. That amount of variation and layering is just not there. It gets more technical the closer you get to the skin. You often see it: fashion designers who try their hand at lingerie but lack technicality. After all a cropped tee is not a real bra! It’s that technicality that excludes many ‘spielerei’. I don’t want to choose between a great design but cheap material, quality fabrics but a poor fit, or a perfect support yet making you look like a silly candy stick. I want it all!

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From A to G

I would say that as a lingerie designer I am dangling somewhere in between an artist and a product developer; the business woman in me remains in the shadows. I have a creative mind, I don’t think with a business mind. Additionally it is not in my nature to think in multiples, I think in the singular form. Even when I produce in large quantities, my thinking pattern is still based on a single piece. It is this aspect that allows me to make designs that no other brand would dare to put in production, let alone get their hands dirty on. We started with the standard A, B, C cups, now we go from A to G. We designed prosthetic bras and nursing bras. I’m not afraid of niche products. I am aware that I am not a brand that will sell to the masses. That is mainly because of the fact that I have zero business instincts, but I think this is an aspect that sets me apart from the other brands. In the end everyone is in it for the business; you cannot just go and do it just because you think something is ‘pretty’, that way your business would dissolve in 10 days. It is not easy and I still ask myself everyday how it is that I am still standing after ten years.

On one hand I can rely on my ignorance and, on the other my energy. I believe that this, combined with my complete neurosis, nitpicking and love for patterns results in my ability to create a unique product that is different than the rest. I often have mixed feelings about other brands. They fail to create innovative content and impress with their sense of aesthetics. They also often portray questionable ethics, and it all comes hand in hand with a nasty cost price. They sell a dream which was invented by a marketing team, focused on a ‘Sex Sells’ strategy. Their product lacks substance, yet they are successful. That is something that makes me anxious. I find it sad to see that people are being deceived with a superficial and unsurprising image of what is sexy. I guess that is why I started La Fille d’O, it is the vision that drives the brand.

I was lucky to have had support from the start, that in a way defined the brand. I always had a lot of people who believed in me and who have kept me stimulated in order to not compromise and deviate from the quality. It is important to me that people will never feel deceived by the product, because it is never really been cheap and as a client you do not want it falling apart after a while. You can fall in love with a product, but if the quality disappoints, the love affair will fade away quickly.  I want to support women literally and figuratively, and show them a different vision of female beauty. Rescuing those days that hit you really hard, with something as trivial as lingerie. Not just in the “get down and dirty” sense, but “pull you up by the shoulder straps, if I must!”.

‘J’fais du porno et j’aime ça’

I have always had to fight the urge of walking down the side paths. I spent a lot of time playing around and loosing myself in many side projects, which often start living their own little lives. I’ve done a lot of spontaneous things, I love to take things as they come my way; if they ask me to get on board of something, I just jump on it. I always approach everything with the same philosophy that we build our lingerie brand on. Take the I Scream Dildo for example, that was rather unique and improbable within the existing sex toy industry, and is now exhibited in the Museum of Sex in New York.

With the film we made, J’fais du porno et j’aime ça, I won an award for Best Director at the New York Porn festival. That was hilarious. Everyone here at home thought I lost my mind, and the film was perceived as ‘crazy’ here. I truly believe that it was necessary to create that film, as people have been talking about sex for too long, and so have I for that matter. I felt the need to practice what I preach, and show how it can be different. So we did; we made that film in a month, with some friends, I edited it myself. Until today I receive monthly requests to get around and debate the new generation in pornography.

Everyone would have a lot of opinions about it, and some people laugh with my digressions and escapades, but you cannot really know what will come out of it unless you try.

The Lovers and the Haters

For the past ten years I have had the time to develop myself as a person and as a creative. Now I feel it’s time to detach La Fille d’O from me, because it represents more than just one woman. My brand is called ‘daughter of ‘O’ because it can be any woman. I definitely need other people for that. I have a wonderful team of likeminded people beside me, so I do not make anything alone, and neither do I make it for myself; I make it for those who find it great, and especially for those who do not find it that great.

La Fille d’O has a strong following of women that are very devoted because of the value system we reflect. However I want to win the hearts of the haters too, and there are still many to seduce.

Some have criticised the women I put forward in my images, because they are different from the models and images they are used to see. When I show girls with a small cup size or a size 44, or if you have a picture where their body is twisted and you see a fold, people think it is ‘creepy’. It makes the viewer feel uncomfortable simply because they are used to seeing women in perfect proportions, and highly treated images. You are likely to encounter the La Fille d’O women in real life, and they will look exactly the same as in their picture. For many people that is shocking. People are unfortunately no longer used to being exposed to authenticity.

The Deville Harem What?

The Deville Harem Girls was my dream posse. I dressed women La Fille d’O and offered them a stage to do whatever they felt like. I had even tried to set up a non-profit organisation for this. Yet I had to stop my big plans, because in Belgium there is no infrastructure for what I wanted to do.

My accountant looked at me funny when I told him “I want to do a show with girls dancing on a stage!”. I wanted to create my own version of the Crazy Horse. I think those shows are beautiful. Ok, you can say those are derogatory towards women because you are just going to admire their looks and you don’t really care about their mental abilities. Sometimes it seems as if beauty is like a disease, as if appreciating female beauty does not align with feministic ideals. Yet you can go to a museum to admire beautiful paintings. For me it’s the same thing as admiring the beauty of a real woman. I regret that beauty is stigmatised in this way sometimes.

I would offer girls a stage in a small club or organise a show where they could perform, and present themselves or an alter ego to a public in their lingerie. The feedback I got from these shows was that the girls got to know themselves in a different way, that the experience made them ask the question “What does this stage do to me?”.  It is reassuring to re-discover their own body like this, freed from invasive moulded shapes. To be able to look at your own natural body again, to be able to touch it and actually feel the flesh, delicately supported. Yes, I’m the one that puts girls in their underwear on stages and lets them stagedive, hoolahoop and pour milk on themselves and each other.  Obviously I was asked the question of “Why did you do that?”, and my only response would be ‘- Have you ever done it?’

Of course this is a sensitive subject and some people can take offence, although it was never the aim to display the girls as sexual objects. The line is very thin and I love to tiptoe on that line and find a balance, it was all very natural, good clean fun. There is nothing wrong with that, the only thing that is wrong is to categorise “types of beauty”. Which is something I try to avoid by putting all sorts of types of women together on stage, and show the variety and authenticity. Again; ‘Daughter of ‘O’, because it can be any woman. I want to show all those shades of beauty. Slender athletic women. Fit curvy women. Voluptuous sculptures of women. Variation is very attractive to me.

Untangling your tingle

A collection is launched when it is ready, regardless of the conventional seasons. It is a bit tricky, and you get some nagging and hustle that comes along with that but I do not want to bring out anything when it’s not 100% finished and fine-tuned. I sometimes pull back some styles because they are not perfect, by doing so I can mess up the original collection storyline but that’s fine. I rather have a crooked collection than have a piece that doesn’t fit well.

Our public has become very diverse over the years. You have people who know us for 10 years and new ones that are making a crossover. Which is why we have several lines now; the basic collection which is always in stock and is the perfect entry level product. It is simple and functional, and customers return for those often and stock up on multiples. To compliment the basic range, we refresh our key pieces seasonally with new colours, fabrics and details. Additionally we always do a capsule range to fascinate and surprise our adventurous women that is seeking something truly special. This is the collection that I really enjoy designing and the one which I can go really crazy with.

Lastly we have a bespoke range each year that is created one on one with the costumer, so this one is partially customised. This line is focussed on a very particular public and is sold in different types of boutiques. This line can be seen as a superlative of what we do. When I start designing this collection the main question in the back of my head is “What untangles your tingle?”.
Do let me know!

Murielle is wearing 30BPM
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