New Look – The Latest High Street Chain To Up The Fashion Stakes
This week saw the announcement from much loved high street fashion chain New Look, that Girls Aloud’s more curvier band member Kimberley Walsh is set to be the new face of their Autumn/Winter 2009/2010 clothing collection, due to her modern day iconic style.
The range, following in the footsteps of Lily Allen, will include a number of items tipped to be very ‘va va voom’, making the most of Kimberley’s voluptuous figure.
Whilst I am indeed a big fan of New Look, and in fact of Kimberley too, it seems that the days when fashion chains could attract you in to their stores purely on the basis of the quality clothes they had to offer and the reputation they have built, have long gone. The only way to lure consumers in store nowadays, is to bring on board a well known celebrity who appeals to your target audience, by getting them to wear the clothes!
Forgive me, but I don’t remember the last time I saw Madonna sporting a Hennes outfit? Kate Moss may be the face of Topshop, but in a recent episode of ‘Topshop launches in New York’, she voiced her frustrations at having turned up to the launch in a Topshop dress from her own collection, only to find everyday consumers wearing the same outfit! Sorry, but isn’t that the whole point?
With such an uplift in celebrity involvement including Take That, Twiggy and Myleene Klass who raised the fashion stakes of M&S, Stella McCartney and Viktor & Rolf who developed their much loved Hennes ranges, Kelly Brook’s New Look swimwear range and of course Roland Mouret who’s collection at Gap was fast tracked to clearance within a matter of weeks, it appears that the reality of the high street experience itself has got completely lost.
In the words of George Davies, the inspiration behind Next, George at Asda and Marks and Spencer’s Per Una range; “we’ve replaced the innovation and inventiveness of retail and fashion with the marketing ploy of celebrity culture. Personality has gone out of the shopping and retail experience for the customer.”
Isn’t it time we let the high street chains let their clothes speak for themselves again, and allow us to enjoy our time perusing through the rails, without the added threat of making it through the door alive in a bid to grab a shred of the latest celebrity range the second it hits?