Saturday, December 11, 2010

Portmans signs Abbey Lee Kershaw

david jones SS1011 backstage/frockwriter

How nervous are Australian retailers about the imminent arrival of Zara early next year? Wetting their pants, some might surmise, given the news that Australian mid market fashion chain Portmans has just signed homegrown modelling superstar Abbey Lee Kershaw as its autumn/winter 2011 campaign face. As revealed by frockwriter yesterday, Kershaw was recently involved in a cycling accident, injuries from which may have precluded her involvement with Chanel's big Pre Fall 2011 runway presentation in Paris on Tuesday. Kershaw is, after all, one of Chanel's advertising faces this season. Nevertheless, she has just arrived downunder and according to our sources, will shoot the Portmans campaign in Sydney next week with Nicole Bentley. The campaign is due to roll out from January 31st through until May and we hear Kershaw will bank at least six figures for the job, minimum A$120,000. This is a large sum for a single season Australian campaign. 

Although perhaps also indicative of the recent recovery in the Australian advertising industry – with expenditure up 11percent, against the wider backdrop of a global ad industry recovery – the timing of this particular campaign does seem more than coincidental. 

In April or May 2011, a whopping three level, 1800 sqm Zara emporium is due to open within the new Westfield Sydney development, fronting onto Australia's highest traffic retail strip, the Pitt Street Mall. A Melbourne store may open earlier still 

Now the world's largest clothing retailer, Zara revolutionised the fashion business with its speed-to-market innovations which put trends in the hands of consumers in record time. Anecdotally at least, this journalist has heard more than one designer and retailer express concern about its potential impact on their local businesses.  

Founded by the Bloom family in 1946 and acquired by Just Jeans Holdings in 2002, Portmans today has over 190 stores around Australia. 
The company's previous campaign faces and ambassadors have included Elyse Taylor, Miranda Kerr and Jessica Hart. But none were in Kershaw's league at the time of their contracts. Kerr's contract, for instance, expired in 2007.

Currently ranked as the world’s number five overall model by industry authority, Kershaw's big bucks luxury brand campaigns include Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi, Ralph Lauren and Gucci (x 5). However her portfolio also embraces numerous sportswear, diffusion and even high street brand campaigns, from D&G to See by ChloĆ©, CK Jeans, CK Calvin Klein, H&M, Gap and South Korean chain Lewitt

In July, Kershaw helped fill in for newlywed Kerr on the runway at David Jones Spring/Summer 2010/2011 season launch

But clearly, she won't be available to lend a hand for DJs' Autumn/Winter 2011 launch in February. First up, she's likely to be on high rotation on the Fall/Winter 2011/2012 runways at that time. And now of course, she is going to be the face of a rival Australian retailer for winter.


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