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Thursday 28 August 2014

Can these leading ladies resurrect M&S fashion sales?

Emma Thompson replaces Dame Helen Mirren, while singers Annie Lennox and Rita Ora take the place of Ellie Goulding

Bairbre Power, Fashion Editor

Published 24/03/2014 | 12:59

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The new line up includes singers Annie Lennox and Rita Ora.

Can a bunch of famous female faces save M&S declining fashion sales?

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That's the big question for M&S chief executive Marc Bolland as the high street chain roll out a new line up for their 'Leading Ladies' advertising campaign featuring a supermodel, award winning actress and pop icon.

Last time around, the Marks & Spencer's cast of 'Leading Ladies' included Dame Helen Mirren, Tracey Emin and US Vogue's Grace Coddington, shot with a backdrop of London bridge.

While there was a run on certain items like Helen Mirren's checked coat and Karen Elson's pink coat, the high profile adverts - rumoured to cost £5m the last time - failed to boost the chain's sales figures.

In January, the M&S reported its third Christmas of declining clothing sales and clothing sales have been down  for the last ten, consecutive quarters.

In the new advert which launches next week, Emma Thompson replaces Dame Helen Mirren as the famous thespian in the group and after famously dispensing with her high heels at the Golden Globes, Emma is photographed in flat white pumps in the shot.

The new line up includes singers Annie Lennox OBE and Rita Ora who take the place of Ellie Goulding as the young, cool, pop singer in the bunch.

Shot again by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz, the line up includes Alex Wek, supermodel, activist and artist.

The new campaign launches next week and celebrates women from diverse backgrounds and professions, united by their strong sense of personal style and inspirational achievements.

Chic in all white, cookery sensation Rachel Khoo - who shared her culinary delights from Paris in her TV series - models alongside Lulu Kennedy, designer and fashion guru and Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, a campaigner and life peer.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavannge, M&S executive director for marketing and business development described the new Spring/Summer campaign as "a celebration of style and accomplishment" and said that the dynamic Leading Ladies represent unique and diverse women, united in their extraordinary achievements but confident in their differences.

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