And so it appears that M&S has hauled in yet another top name into the fray. The unconventional Zandra Rhodes is the latest designer to create a capsule collection for the high street store that will launch on May 7. She said: ‘I am thrilled to see my prints and their beautiful clothes reach a wide range of consumers.’
She follows Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field who helped the chain shake off its mumsy image last year. The collection includes swimwear; a racy snakeskin cut out swimsuit has already been picked out as a favourite, a bright orange halterneck jumpsuit, beach accessories, oversized beach bags, scarves and even frilly lingerie. Prices for one of these must-have pieces range from £8 to £89.
The pink-haired eccentric has designed for luminaries such as the late Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury and most recently costumes for the English National Opera. The question here is not whether the collection will sell out. It will. But whether M&S’s everyday clientele will snap up these designer bargains or whether it will be left to the young fashion-forward crowd to flood its doors once again.
The other issue here is whether M&S’s in-house designers will ever slip on their own fashion-forward shoes, or as it appears, if Stuart Rose will have to continue to draft in high profile faces and designers in order to sell the longstanding brand. Yet another celebrity endorsement hits the high street. That line is getting a little haggard.