Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Emma Johnson More Bad Marks for Store

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Emma Johnson More Bad Marks for Store

Article excerpt

ICAN'T decide whether it was the pie-crust collar 'Harry' blouse or the 'Olive' slip dress that looked exactly like one I owned in 1998 that did it.

Actually no, it was the 'Eliza' dress that made me want to bang my head on the desk.

They are all items in Alexa Chung's recent Archive collection for Marks and Spencer. The particularly irksome Eliza (PS45) was a high-necked floral mini frock - of the kind we are very used to seeing Alexa in, and which, so the story goes, the model/TV presenter based on an apron from the 1960s. Not at all patronising no? Did she really expect women BORN in the 60s, surely M&S key demographic, would want to go out in it? I admire Alexa's style and had been looking forward to this collection but had my doubts about whether it would appeal to the typical M&S shopper.

Alexa Chung in one of M&S designs Judging by the fact that, more than a month since it was unveiled, half a dozen or so of the 'hero' pieces could be found on the website this week 'buy one get one half price' I think my fears are founded.

This week Marks and Spencer saw its share price plunge 10% as annual profits fell by a fifth.

Not for the first time, I might add, the slump has been blamed on the store trying to be 'too fashionable'.

I am by no means laying this crisis at Alexa Chung's ballet shoe-clad feet. Why wouldn't she take up the offer to work with the store? My beef is with the buyer/ strategist/marketeer who thought this was a good pairing.

Marks and Spencer has a chequered history with celebs. Now on her 15th collection for the brand, Twiggy appears to be a success story. But, when two years ago, the chain featured the likes of Helen Mirren, Ellie Goulding and Tracey Emin in its advertising campaign it didn't exactly have women banging the doors down to shop there. …

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