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French Connection’s brave new world

Jessica Brown

French Connection’s new and dramatically different ad campaign looks to be reflective of a full and frank repositioning away from its FCUK heritage.

Be Brave. These are the words emblazoned across French Connection’s new and dramatically different ad campaign, which broke this week.

The brand has certainly been brave, producing a mammoth ad campaign that looks at long last to be reflective of a full and frank repositioning away from its FCUK heritage, which was incredibly clever but which ultimately made this super-brand a victim of its own success.

FCUK ultimately made this super-brand a victim of its own success

While there has already been some serious work done on the French Connection collections - its autumn 09 womenswear was one of the strongest on the high street - it has struggled to bring shoppers along with it, proving that the fashion adage of “get the product right and the cash will flow” is a rather simplistic way of looking at things

Whether the new Gap-meets-Marc-Jacobs campaign featuring much older-looking and sophisticated models captures the imagination remains to be seen. It’ll likely take more than one season of this sort of rebranding to turn the Reiss or All Saints man onto French Connection’s slicker menswear offer and to shut the laddish FCUK T-shirt lover, who does by the way very much still exist, firmly out.

But French Connection has been stuck between a rock and a hard place for too long, trying to please a messily mixed-up male and female customer profile.

I hope the management has the courage of its convictions to stick with this vastly improved visual representation beyond spring 10, because fortune really does favour the brave brand.

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