House of Fraser has inked a deal with retail guru Mary Portas to create a collection for the department store.
The deal will also see House of Fraser and the launch of the collection featured as part of a Portas television show, expected to show on Channel 4 later in the year.
This will be the first time Portas has gone as far as to endorse products and clothing directly with her high-profile name. Previously, she is understood to have been wary of compromising her independent consumer-championing status with such a project.
The project also coincides with her appointment by the government to review the future of the high street, a job which British Independent Retailer Association BIRA said would require full “concentration” and was not a “24 hour news story”. Indies have backed the appointment which will see Portas feed back her initial findings to the government in November.
Other TV fashion stars have embarked on similar projects to Portas’ clothing range. Makeover specialists Trinny and Susannah launched a similar project with Shop Direct several years ago selling different silhouettes to a set of body shapes they profiles. However sales were mixed and they have since abandoned fashion to focus solely on selling body-shaping lingerie. Gok Wan also has a range of body sculpting lingerie sold via N Brown’s Simply Yours internet site.
The collection will target women aged 40 and over. House of Fraser has a raft of own labels targeting the younger and more contemporary end of the market from Criminal to LabelLab, Therapy, Untold and Pied a Terre. Its Linea and Episode labels are aimed at a slightly older clientele.
House of Fraser chairman Don McCarthy said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for House of Fraser and for Mary.”