The venerable British brand is in the early stages of a five-year revitalization campaign meant to shed its 120-year-old, blue-blood image in favor of an updated but sophisticated brand with broad market appeal, with North America an important part of the plan.
The vertically integrated company has 75 freestanding stores worldwide, plus 150 shop-in-shop or leased departments. There are 35 shops in the U.S. and Canada combined, along with a handful of specialty store accounts that carry Jaeger’s women’s collections. Men’s collections are available only in Europe.
In May 2001, Jaeger jump-started its new image campaign in the U.K. with a fresh focus, including an updated signature line and an exclusive and edgier collection designed by Bella Freud, accompanied by a new marketing and advertising campaign and a revamped store design that bowed in Leeds, England, and is being rolled out across the U.K.
Now, Jaeger has set its sights on North America and has unveiled its first new-store prototype outside the U.K. at the upscale NorthPark Center shopping mall in Dallas.
The 1,500-square-foot store, designed by Britain’s David Collins, features a sleek rectangular floor plan with rich, textured carpets and blond hardwood floors. Fixtures are silver metal and dark marble. Towering black-and-white fashion photos from Jaeger’s current ad campaign, shot by Nathaniel Goldberg, line the walls and are also used as backdrops in the store’s front windows.
First-year sales are planned at $750,000, said Ian Welham, chief operating officer for Jaeger North America, who was on hand for a cocktail party last month to christen the new store.
Jaeger’s New York store on Madison Avenue, which opened in 1973, is on track for sales of $1.5 million this year, Welham noted.
"We’re rolling out a new brand image for Jaeger with this store prototype and our fashion collections," Welham said.
"Dallas is one of the leading fashion markets in the U.S. and the perfect place to launch our new prototype in North America. It’s centrally located and will be one of the four cornerstones of our North American business structure, along with New York, San Francisco and Chicago. The prototype will be rolled out to other stores over a period of time, which we’re still defining."Jaeger has produced apparel since 1884, when its first shop opened in London with a collection of wool items. It evolved into a luxury brand, with many styles cut from cashmere, silk and camel hair.
Jaeger’s brand-repositioning campaign returns the company to its classic luxury roots, and the plan appears to be paying off, according to Welham, who said sales are ahead over a year ago.
Sales in 2001 were $225 million for the Coats PLC division, which owns Jaeger and the Viyella moderate and better-priced retail chain in the U.K., compared with $215 million in 2000, based on currency exchange rates at the time. In September, Coats PLC put Jaeger and Viyella up for sale.
At the Dallas store, apparel is merchandised by fashion trends, which are divided into about a dozen groups each season. Carolyn Springett, product director for women’s wear, oversees the design of Jaeger’s signature collection, with women age 35 and older as the target customers.
Key looks include: wool, angora and cashmere coats and shearling jackets; empire wool jersey dresses; wool pinstripe, herringbone and Prince of Wales checked jackets; A-line skirts and slim pants and ribbed knit turtleneck sweaters and scarfs.
For evening, there are satin-trimmed tuxedos, brocade jackets and printed velvet one-shoulder dresses. Retail prices range from $195 for a funnel-neck knit top to $250 for wool trousers and $395 for a belted wool jacket.
In a bid to court new and younger Jaeger customers, specifically those less than 35, the company signed British designer Bella Freud last year to create an exclusive trend-driven contemporary collection.
The 65-piece fall collection includes: boldly printed cropped jackets; striped flared pants; poet-sleeve tops; skinny tweed skirts and jackets with a SixtiesLondon edge and lots of knits.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)