As a key influencer within the British & International fashion landscapes, Alexa Chung is the ideal candidate for helping to re draw public attention to a somewhat fading brand. The wearing of that M&S A line skirt, has seemingly led Chung to a direct collaboration with the brand. Though her personal style aesthetic is primarily traditional, it is not specifically coherent with the brands existing visuals, though it is fair to say that there are some perceived similarities.
The collection itself is a curated edit of pieces taken from the extensive M&S archive. Though small elements have been remodelled, such as print & colour, the majority of designs have been kept true to their original forms. The concept of bringing back archived pieces is an interesting idea in itself. It is an opportunity to showcase the brands longstanding heritage, whilst also creating a collection that is feasible in terms of retail.
The online campaign has a strong visual contrast compared to the usual content seen on the website in terms of model casting & styling. When seen in store, the collection does not differ greatly from the other stocked ranges. It is almost as if the online aspect is aimed at the millennials, & the in store collection has been styled to cater for their existing consumer.
Alexa Chung is not an individual who would usually be associated with a brand such as Marks & Spencers. Her experiences & social standing lend themselves more strongly towards an alternative, concept based brand as opposed to a long standing British high street store. It is likely that the collection was created to help broaden the reach of M&S in terms of the age of the consumer. I do feel that the collection is adaptable, as it can be worn in eclectic, vintage style; alternatively the pieces can be styled as they were when they were originally released. Alexa’s personal aesthetic is clearly translated through the edit & her popularity amongst the younger generations could help to draw them to M&S, though I think that it could take more than a single celebrity collaboration to return the store to its former glory.
By Beth Bowman