TV presenter Alexa Chung is to tie up with Marks & Spencer to launch a fashion collection inspired by the high street giant’s extensive archives.
The 31-piece womenswear collection will be called Archive by Alexa and will launch in selected stores and online in April.
Ms Chung and the M&S design team said they have been trawling through the retailer’s fashion archive, based in Leeds, to bring back and update classic pieces.
M&S said the clothes will have “modern fabrications and an updated colour palette” but will still have “a heritage sensibility”.
Ms Chung was first linked with the retailer last year when she wore a much-talked about 1970s-style suede skirt that helped improve the image of the firm, and last April helped its clothing division register its first rise in sales in more than three years, albeit for a brief period.
Ms Chung said: “I have always had an affection for Marks & Spencer. I am thrilled to be part of this special and unique project.
“There was something very touching about looking back through the British fashion and social history for which M&S is synonymous.”
M&S executive director of general merchandise and incoming chief executive Steve Rowe added that “using our expertise and classic designs and Alexa’s unique eye and approach to style, our collaboration was born”.
The retailer said the collection was the first of a new series called M&S &, which will feature exclusive collections with “designers, brands and fashion icons”.
Last month M&S said chief executive Marc Bolland is to bow out in April after a six-year battle to turn around the high street giant. He will be replaced by M&S veteran Mr Rowe, who has been with the group for more than 25 years and was recently promoted to head its general merchandise business.
Details of the change at the top came as M&S revealed that like-for-like sales in its general merchandise arm, which includes clothing, slumped by 5.8% in the 13 weeks to December 26.