Yva Richard was a company created by L. Richard and Nativa Richard. Yva Richard was one of the very first fetish producers around 1930. The company started in 1913 and closed down in 1943, they were stored at Studio 9 at the Rue Pillet-Will in Paris. They began in 1914 selling costumes, women’s hats, shoes, and high-class lingerie.
Their very first advertisements dated back to 1917 and were for costume and high class lingerie. The company initially focused on the marketing and sale of high-class and costume lingerie, along with women’s hats and shoes.
The lingerie company collapsed in the late 1920s and in its place Yva Richard became mainly an erotic photo studio creating and selling exceptional, high quality photographs featuring seductive lingerie. The company’s photographic studio consisted of Mr. Richard behind the camera and his voluptuous seamstress wife, Nativa, as its principal model displaying a wide streak of exhibitionism. The in-house photography developed beyond lingerie to risqué and imaginative fetish-themed outfits. The fetishized attire consisted of thigh high leather boots, very long leather gloves, lace bras and panties; plus satin corsets, garter belts, silk stockings and patent leather high heels. Their main sales outlet was via a mail-order catalog, La Lingerie Moderne (photographed by Ostra Studio), and magazine advertisements in La Vie Parisienne, Le Sourire, and most likely London Life.
They had only one major rival, Diana Slip, also based in Paris. In America, the only significant dealer in fetish paraphernalia and photography (much of it imported from France) at that time was Charles Guyette in New York.
At one blog I came across this text:
As the bondage market became “the vogue”, Yva Richard’s publicity featured fetishistic accessories and s/m accoutrements, including leather corsets, kid gloves, handcuffs, dog collars with leashes, and bondage gear using Nativa as the model. Images of Nativa often appeared under the names, Helios and Miss Milado.
They also sold erotic photos of bondage, whipping and spanking from well-known photographers such as H. Manuel and Ostra Studio (a division of Biederer Studio).
And then their story ends the same as that of the Biederer Brothers: With the rise of censorship under the Nazi occupation of France, Yva Richard was closed down in 1943.
But…this couple had great influence on artists like John Willie and producer Irving Klaw. In the 1950s, Klaw’s models, including Bettie Page, can be seen wearing a metal cone-bra and chastity belt outfit that is an updated version of the one modelled by Nativa Richard.
Be sure to visit my special project dedicated to the legacy of this photographer and his muse.