MARKS & Spencer has scored a host of British names ranging from Oscar winning actresses to authors and Olympic athletes for its crucial autumn womenswear collection, which could determine Marc Bolland’s future at the chain.
The chief executive of M&S has been under increasing pressure this year to stem eight straight quarters of declining sales in M&S’s core clothing division. He is pinning his hopes on the new collection to revive its fortunes.
The new campaign, called “Meet Britain’s Leading Ladies” and shot by fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz, marks M&S’s renewed efforts to win back its female customers.
The group shots, which are taken against quintessential British backdrops, feature actress Dame Helen Mirren; Monica Ali, the author of Brick Lane; Helen Allen, the British Journal of Nursing’s 2011 nurse of the year; and Katie Piper, the acid attack victim.
Steve Sharp, creative director at M&S, said: “We wanted to mark this moment with a confident statement about UK style. The British have a history of being creative and pioneering and these women represent just that.”
The autumn/winter range is the first designed by the new general merchandise team put in place last year, led by John Dixon and including fashion director Belinda Earl.