Jaeger to lift image with celebrity face

Fashion tycoon Harold Tillman is searching for a 'contemporary Audrey Hepburn' to become the face of fashion retailer Jaeger.

He wants to find a modern equivalent of the glamorous Breakfast at Tiffany's star, who epitomised style and elegance as the muse of Coco Chanel.

Tillman bought Jaeger for an undisclosed sum from entrepreneur Richard Thompson last week, soon after Thompson took the famous business off the hands of threads firm Coats.

Jaeger, which has 100 shops worldwide and sales of£70 million, has suffered from under-investment and a strategy taking it away from core customers towards a younger market.

Tillman, chairman of manufacturer BMB, which supplies Jeff & Co clothing to Sainsbury's, said: 'Jaeger always had a face for its brand in the 1960s.

Similarly, Jaeger today deserves a face.'

Advertising agency Lowe & Partners UK chief executive Paul Edwards said celebrity endorsement could position Jaeger alongside global cosmetics brands that use a similar strategy. However, he warned: 'It's a big roll of the dice.'

Retailers including Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer have benefited by association with celebrities. M&S introduced a David Beckham range, and mockney chef Jamie Oliver has been credited with a sales improvement at Sainsbury's.