Well, if there is anyone out there who thinks that by hiring a supermodel with fantastic ageless features, a gorgeous typical sized body, and a complexion to die for, would be something that pleased its customers then think again. Boden is facing a backlash from its most devoted clients, who appear to resent the fact that they have hired Helena Christensen to model for them. Although Helena is most well known for her seductive lingerie shots, in the new Boden catalogue, there is little hint of any provocation. But still, some ladies are up in arms about the sexy 43 year old mother of one fronting Boden’s new campaign.
For most people, the brand Boden would appear to sum up a frumpy image of the middle class mother who drives their children to school in a large 4×4. So it is not without surprise that the clothing company has decided to go for a more sensual image in an attempt to revamp their name. But customers are arguing online as to whether Helena is a suitable model for the company, due to her previous racy modelling shoots. In one picture taken for the catalogue, sultry Helena is seen pulling a £149 silk dress seductively over her tanned thighs, and it is images such as these that customers are angry about, with many stating that they do not aspire to look like Helena or can they imagine themselves doing so.
The pictures have caused an out pouring of comments from customers who have taken to voicing their concerns on Facebook and Mumsnet, with fans stating that Boden have employed the services of an ‘unattainable clotheshorse’, and one irate customer having a pop at Jonnie Boden, the firm’s founder, asking whether he was ‘getting a little too famous himself and forgetting what the real middle classes want’. Some of the comments posted regarding Helena have been quite vitriolic, with one lady saying she was not prepared to subsidise the models wages by buying from Boden, and yet another stating: “I shop Boden all the time until this campaign [sic] – I’m not prepared to pay for the clothes as I imagine the prices have been hiked for the inflated modelling costs to pay her!!!!!”
This reaction is in stark contrast to her employ at the lingerie brand Triumph, who were delighted as when she modelled for them, their sales went through the roof. Despite Helena earning her own money and more than justifying her salary, customers are still continuing to fume against her. One irate customer said: “I’m a mum, first & foremost, I have 3 kids under 5 and I want to be there for them in practical, fun clothes. I used to be a skinny minny size six but I’m not any more. I don’t want to look like Helena Christensen.” Another said: “We’re not all slim and good looking; rather interesting and designed for the job in hand – motherhood.” And even more others agreed with this lady, saying: “Initially we were given unknown models with a little sentence on their likes and dislikes all geared to aspirational lifestyle living. Seems rather odd to now give us a famous model who we all know has no concept of the lives we lead and makes us well aware that wearing all the Boden clothes in the world ain’t going to give us hers.”
It seems the problem with hiring Helena is that she does not represent the typical middle class woman who buys Boden clothes. Many think that they are working mums who do not want to aspire to looking like Helena, or want to have the trouble and effort in order to look like her. They are doing the hardest job of all, being a mum and want clothes that are comfortable and fashionable but are modelled by someone who understands what it is like to be a mother. Some however are complaining that even Helena cannot make the clothes look sexy, saying: “If they can make her look frumpy then what hope do the rest of us have?!” Boden is a firm favorite with Middle England and boasts David and Samantha Cameron among its fans.
Yesterday a spokesman for Boden stated: “We wanted to choose a model who would showcase our casual clothing in a more modern, urban style. Helena’s own style reflected the image that the collection portrayed.” He added, “Our customers have told us they really liked it – and it was interesting how many of them recognised her right away; we are delighted to have her on board.”
See what customers are saying here at Boden.