Wednesday, 4 September 2013


If anyone can leave a strong mark, it’s Marks and Spencer’s.

London Fashion week may just be around the corner, but many companies; particularly Marks and Spencer’s gave their otherwise old traditions a modern twist by hosting their very own fashion show, held in the fashion capital on 22nd June 2013.

Although the event “Fashion Camp” has been running for quite a while now; mainly tailored to their employees for training purposes, this year when we attended, we couldn’t help but get a sense of a new and improved retailer - no more was it deemed as a store designed for the older woman but the city woman!

Sitting impatiently on the chair, we felt a surge of excitement fill and quite literally light up the dark urban room and the runway beamed like a beacon before giving a warm feeling. Ellie Goulding – anything could happen played in full blast and right at that instant “I know it’s gonna be” a good day.

Marks and Spencer’s Chief Director, Marc Bolland and speaker came out in full swing; cracking jokes that his personality could only be best described as one suited for stand-up at the Apollo – there were no boo’s but  “Ooh, Ooh, Ooh” and Aahs as people were mesmerised by his charm. He carried on with his pedantic display; animated wide eyes were so focused that it forced others to gaze in suspense as they realised “anything can happen”.

The bare beams and cascading poles revealed impeccable spot lights that shone brighter than the sun, forcing everyone to stare blindly at it, until it got muted by the curtains gently tumbling down; blocking any day-light from the otherwise full length window and gave a cool/coy demeanour. Looking at the stage, up beat music began to play once more before immaculate models sashayed upon the runway one by one as they wore the latest and hottest brands in utter perfection.

The collection depicted the style of Marc Jacob but had the edge of Vivienne Westwood; clean, sharp  with grit – there was the right amount of attitude and subtlety – it was clever, chic and the chances  if someone didn’t find the garment desirable (although unlikely), they would surely find an element of adorability. Whether it was the tartan mini dress (limited), buckle ankle boots (Limited), leather biker jacket (Indigo) or the plum tweed jacket (Classic) in the style of Chanel – M&S have expanded their audience but has also not alienated their current customers.

In the past Marks and Spencer’s have been categorised as a company that has lost touch with their customers. Heading in Southampton town centre, we decided to test this theory by asking customers for their view and Melanie Stokes, Company Director aged 34 said: “Marks and Spencer’s needs to be more modern and that’s why I wouldn’t shop there”.  The responses were astonishing; 77% of the public agreed with Melanie and the other percentage, were the loyal customers, who loved the ideology of a company that stuck with their traditions.

This years Autumn/Winter campaign focuses on the 30+ customers; it’s a quick diversion from “ For Every Woman You Are” 2012 campaign. Yes this year they are a lot clearer about their ideal customer. Newly appointed Style Director Belinda Earl and former CEO for Jaeger said: “It’s important that we get it right”.  We think they are certainly heading the right direction; this is made even clearer from the increase in sales and the continuity of good press from major Newspapers.

Marks and Spencer’s put a lot of effort in ensuring that our fashion Camp experience was nothing other than positive and we can simply say – Marks and Spencer’s have always made a mark  - this time it’s nothing other than fantastic we’re a fan – tick!