There’s a blast from the past, ‘yuppie,’ but Johnnie Boden’s fashion company Boden is about as yuppie, the term for 1980’s posh boys and girls (and would-be poshes), as you get.
Boden, educated at Eton and Oxford (isn’t everybody these days?) and then briefly a stockbroker began his mail order clothing business in 1991. Now he wants to take it to younger people although one suspects it’s one of the preferred choices of Prince William and Harry lookalikes even now.
But the business turns over a relatively modest £168m a year so the new above-the-line ad account isn’t going to be worth zillions. But it’ll be high profile and top London agencies WCRS and BBH would have put everything into trying to win it. WCRS came out on top.
Actually a more interesting fashion operation is Jack Wills, formed by Peter Williams and Robert Shaw in 1999. Jack Wills started as a shop in Salcombe, south Devon (it’s still there), has a number of branches in the UK and is decidedly cool, if posh.
Salcombe, still a nice place, is known by some these days as Surrey-by-the-sea and it’s full of Home County City types and their over-indulged families in the summer.
Jack Wills recently opened stores in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, which says it all.
Perhaps BBH, the loser in the Boden battle, could have a word with the Jack Wills owners.