This week, Warehouse becomes the latest high-profile brand to launch a collaboration with TV presenter, author and Instagram star Laura Jackson.
It follows tie-ups with brands as diverse as Rixo, Dulux, Habitat, Yolke Pyjamas and Next, which underlines Jackson’s broad appeal.
Jackson first entered the public eye as a TV presenter on Channel 4’s Freshly Squeezed celebrity and music magazine show. Most recently she fronted the BBC’s Saturday night game show Ready or Not.
Beyond that, however, she has been making a name for herself as something of a lifestyle guru for millennial women. She has co-written a dinner party cookbook and designed a range of crockery for furniture and homeware chain Habitat. She is also a contributing food and lifestyle editor for Marie Claire, and hosts regular paid-for supper clubs with radio DJ Alice Levine.
Her 81,000 Instagram followers may fall short of the stellar numbers boasted by some influencers, but they are clearly an engaged bunch – posts regularly garner more than 4,000 likes.
Her past collaborations have proved successful. The Rixo x Laura Jackson collection – which comprised dresses, tops and trousers – launched on the brand’s website and Net-a-Porter last September, and quickly sold out.
Jackson combines a quirky, daring sense of style and an eye for brands on the rise – she wore custom Rejina Pyo dress at her wedding in 2017 – with a down-to-earth, cheerful demeanour, sharp sense of humour and “unfiltered” Instagram presence. A flick through her feed is as likely to show Jackson cocooned in a duvet coat taking her whippet for a walk in the rain, as hosting an achingly cool dinner dressed top to toe in new-season Rixo.
“We love her style and personality,” says Orlagh McCloskey, co-founder of Rixo. “Not only does she have a great sense of style, but she is completely herself – she’s really relatable, so I think people connect with that.”
In line with her approachable personality, Jackson wears mix of cult brands, such as Shrimps and Ganni, high street staples and the occasional high-end designer – making her style something consumers can aspire to with some sense of achievability.
Jill Gate, brand communications director for Warehouse, explains that Jackson’s quirky style and varied CV make her the ideal partner: “Laura has a unique sense of style and an ability to put together the perfect outfit for any occasion. Paired with her other loves – travel and interiors – makes her the right brand fit for our curated series.”
There is an obvious comparison to be made between Jackson and fellow approachable, stylish TV star Holly Willoughby. However, Jackson is yet to match the dizzying fashion furore that Holly Willoughby commands.
When Willoughby tags a product in Instagram, it becomes an instant sell-out. Her collaboration with Marks & Spencer – “Holly’s Must-Haves” – attracted more than 1 million first-time visitors to the retailer’s website when it launched in September 2018, and she went on to spearhead its Christmas campaign. Jackson’s Instagram follower count also pales in comparison with Willoughby’s 5.1 million.
Jackson’s aesthetic is generally more premium with an experimental, trend-led edge – and while this may be catnip for the Instagram generation, it is likely to turn off more traditional shoppers.
However, her core audience is millennial women: smart, style-savvy and engaged. Crucially, it is an audience of women who love fashion, and want to replicate her look – making her a dream collaborator for brands targeting the sophisticated end of the millennial market, or seeking to bolster their “fashion” credentials.