Belinda Earl has previewed her debut collection for Marks and Spencer as it’s new Style Director, and boy is it worth the speculated £1 million a year/two days a week contract (although this claim is refuted by M&S as highly exaggerated) that Earl has secured herself!! Having previously rescued Debenhams from the typical recession-induced decline, this woman is no stranger to heroics.
The collection is a seriously updated version of the Marks and Sparks we all know and love (I don’t know a woman who doesn’t venture to the store to pick up their black opaques, and at least one cashmere jumper) and Earl has given the brand a stylish overhaul by simply “listening to the customers.” Her mission was to put quality back into the brand, and with a nice mix of high and lower end pieces (with a broad spectrum of prices too) Earl certainly seems to have achieved this, without scaring off loyal customers in the process. The collection has an edge to it; there’s a 60′s vibe and a punk element running though the whole range; but there’s a versatility in all the pieces that make them suitable and interchangeable across all age ranges.
I predict a lot more women – myself included – will be shopping in Marks and Spencer’s this Autumn/Winter. I would even go so far as to say that if this collection is the just the start of good things to come from M&S, they could be right up there with Zara, Cos, Uniqlo and Whistles in the next few years.