Jaeger is relaunching for autumn 17 with a renewed emphasis on its heritage and plans to open more standalone stores.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) acquired Jaeger’s trademark and debt in April following its collapse into administration, but until now it has not been clear what was in store for the premium brand.
However, at a relaunch dinner this week, the Jaeger team confirmed that it is business as usual and EWM is backing its growth.
“The new owners are building a lot of stability in the company and investing,” said James Jee, head of menswear at Jaeger. “We will continue to be the premium brand we’ve always been.”
The autumn 17 collection demonstrated a return to the old Jaeger, with a focus on its heritage and classic styles – particularly tailoring, coats and knitwear – in pure wools and cashmeres. It is designed in London and many of the fabrics are sourced from Italy.
“We stressed to the new owners that we’re about quality,” said Fiona Heygate, Jee’s counterpart on womenswear. “There’s a nod to the catwalks but we’re not about super high fashion, it’s clothing you can wear year in, year out.”
The team said Jaeger would open more standalone stores, but could not provide further details at this stage. It will also look at how to grow online sales.
Jaeger announced plans to close 20 of its 46 stores a week after going into administration. It moved out of its flagship on Regent Street at the beginning of 2016.
The brand also has concessions in John Lewis, House of Fraser and Days Department Store, the new concept from EWM.
Days has opened one store so far in Carmarthen, Wales, and is set to open a second in Bedford at a date to be confirmed.
Drapers verdict: clothes with character
Jaeger’s autumn 17 collection is unmistakably Jaeger. Gone are the directional experiments such as its Laboratory Vol 2 capsule collection, which featured architectural shapes and heavy use of lime. Instead, there is everything you’d expect from Jaeger – luxuriously soft knits, classic coats (including, of course, a camel version), and premium tailoring. It is a cohesive collection, albeit one that plays it safe. But that is understandable: this is the collection with which Jaeger is communicating to the world that it is still here, still Jaeger. The more adventurous pieces can follow once it has re-established itself in its customers’ minds.