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Marks & Spencer set to snap up ‘twinset and pearls’ brand Jaeger after historic fashion house loved by Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy and Kate Middleton fell into administration
- Upmarket company, founded in 1884, went into administration in November
- Chain has been a high street staple for more than 130 years with fans during the store’s reign including Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy and Kate Middleton
- Dubai-based retail billionaire Philip Day currently owns the brand which was known for its sumptuous cashmere jumpers and twin-set and pearls
High street giant Marks & Spencer is poised to snap up upmarket fashion brand Jaeger following the historic firm’s collapse last autumn.
M&S is understood to be in the final throes of sealing a deal to buy the fashion house, which has been worn by A-list stars – including Audrey Hepburn – and royals alike during its stellar 133-year history.
Jaeger was placed into administration alongside sister firm Peacocks in November by Dubai-based owner and retail billionaire Philip Day.
Once known for its sumptuous cashmere, precisely cut dresses and covetable coats, Jaeger has struggled to win over modern fashion fans, despite Kate Middleton wearing it frequently on public outings.
M&S look set to rescue historic Jaeger fashion brand, which fell into administration in November but has enjoyed many a celebrity fan including Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy and Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge pictured in 2012 wearing Jaeger)
Known for its sumptuous cashmere and well-cut coats the brand struggled to win over modern fashion fans…but looks set to have been saved from the brink by M&S
Jaeger was placed into administration alongside sister firm Peacocks in November by Dubai-based owner and retail billionaire Philip Day (A model walks the runway during the Jaeger London show at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012)
The high street giant looks set to re-invent the brand as part of its third-party offering alongside brands including Ghost
Jaeger earned its place in fashion history in 1919, when it introduced the camel hair coat to the British High Street and wooed the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy, Marianne Faithfull and Jean “the Shrimp” Shrimpton with its well-cut attire.
Princess Diana wearing a wine-coloured velvet suit by Jaeger in 1983
However, despite being a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, the brand has struggled to keep its demographic, typically middle class fashion fans.
The first signs of a struggle came in 2016 when the brand’s flagship store on London’s Regent Street closed before current owner Philip Day plunged the company into administration in November.
Any acquisition of the company, once considered on a par with Burberry in the fashion stakes, by M&S is not set to include the chain’s stores, which have already been slashed by 13 to 63 with at least 103 jobs axed.
Philip Day’s EWM Group had already called in administrators for its Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home business earlier in November.
Jaeger earned its place in fashion history in 1919 when it introduced the camel hair coat to the British High Street… but by 2016, the company had closed its Regent Street flagship store and has floundered since.
At the heart of its problems were its struggle to appeal to the demographic that was always its core customer – middle-aged, middle-class women prepared to pay extra for higher quality High Street clothes.
Jaeger’s online shopping operations have remained open and continued to trade as normal throughout.
The move to buy up Jaeger would fit with M&S’s new strategy of selling third-party brands, with existing tie-ups with the likes of Nobody’s Child and Ghost.
It is also thought to be among those in the running for some of Sir Philip Green’s collapsed Arcadia Group brands, such as Topshop.
It comes ahead of M&S’s Christmas trading update on Friday, which is set to reveal the scale of the impact on its clothing stores of lockdowns and tighter restrictions.
The group is expected to report strong food sales as the grocery industry was buoyed by the closure of bars, restaurants and cafes across most of the UK.
The company had closed its Regent Street flagship store in 2016 and has floundered since (Pictured: A model walks the runway at the Jaeger London show at London Fashion Week)
Its clothing sales performance will be watched closely, however, to see how much of the store closures impact was offset by online trade.
M&S and Jaeger’s administrators FRP Advisory both declined to comment.
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