Chadderton’s Karen is the new face of John Lewis

Reporter: Janice Barker
Date published: 09 September 2008

Chadderton supermodel-turned-mum Karen Elson is the new face of a British retailer’s fashion advertising campaign.

Instead of haute couture she will be the face of high street retailer John Lewis

Now 29, she shot to fame in 1996 as a teenager aged 17 with her flame-red hair and gangly looks.

She modelled for the top names in haute couture fashion such as Chanel before marrying rock star Jack White in 2005 in a canoe on the Amazon.

The former North Chadderton schoolgirl, a regular in the Sunday Times Rich List, is now mother of two boys.

And she flew to Britain from her Tennessee home to front the biggest ever advertising campaign for John Lewis to coincide with London Fashion Week.

The store has spent £1.5 million on the campaign in a bid “for a greater share of the nation’s fashion wallet”, it said in a statement.

Craig Inglis, head of brand communications at John Lewis, said the “radical changes” in fashion floors mean the store now stocks more varied designs.

He added: “Karen was the perfect choice for us — she’s iconic, a mother of two and a woman who in her personal life doesn’t live for fashion but does enjoy great clothes.”

She flew from her Tennessee home for the UK shoot, and said: “When I told my family I was coming over to the UK for a fashion advertising campaign shoot, they thought it was going to be for a high fashion brand but they were much more impressed when I said it was John Lewis!”

The campaign will open on Monday, the same time as fashion fever hits the capital with the start of London Fashion Week, and runs until the end of November.

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