Ann Taylor has been working hard to re-vamp its image. Its reputation as a store for moms and conservative “career women” has been a tough one to overcome, but it’s been trying pretty publicly to shake the frump. A report in WWD back in November noted that the retailer was making its stores smaller, and upping the “fashion” offerings as opposed to “core investment pieces.” Part of the initiative has been hiring some pretty high profile actresses/models to front various seasonal ad campaigns. And it seems to be working, because the company has been posting net income gains.
Milla Jovovich, Heidi Klum, Naomi Watts, Katie Holmes, and most recently Demi Moore have all fronted campaigns. So let’s examine what they all have in common: They’re all moms, they’re all over 30, they’re all pretty sophisticated (though Heidi likes to pull out the short skirts and bling once in a while), and they all make relatively safe fashion choices (Katie Holmes took a stab at edgy fashion, but appears to have given up a recently.) So the announcement today that Kate Hudson is the new face for the brand is a bit of a surprise.
Yes, she’s a mom and over 30. But she’s also Penny Lane. She’s pretty much the boho queen of Hollywood, even going hippie chic on red carpets. Boho and Ann Taylor? Hmm… Kate looks lovely in her sensible shift dresses in the ads–shot by Tom Munro–(yes, complete with fashion-y pops of neon), but she also doesn’t look like herself. Part of her appeal is her loose, easy style, and while she looks pretty, she also looks restrained.
Hudson said in a release:
“I love fashion, and [Ann Taylor's] new Spring collection is so stylish and hip and colorful! As a young girl I looked up to the sophisticated style of Ann Taylor so it’s been very cool to see how the brand has evolved to meet the changing needs of modern women. The new Ann Taylor is not afraid to be sexy and real – because they design for every generation. The clothes are stylish and comfortable, easy and wearable. They really help you look and feel perfectly put together for any occasion.”
So what do you think of Kate Hudson as the face of Ann Taylor? Click through to see other images from the campaign.