Jaeger Clothing for Men and Women
View Jaeger Fashion collections on London Fashion Review Blog
History of the Jaeger Fashion Label
Jaeger, established in 1884 by Lewis Tomalin, was named after German zoologist and physiologist Dr Gustav Jaeger, who advocated the benefits of clothing made of animal fibres instead of vegetable fibres. Lewis Tomalin opened a clothing store in London and named it Dr Jaeger’s Sanitary Woollen System. Jaeger was acquired by the Coats textile group in 1967, but a stale image and old-fashioned image led to a brand rejuvenation that would ultimately fail by not attracting the youthful customer-base they were aiming for. The Jaeger brand was resold in 2003 for a token amount to entrepreneur Richard Thompson, who then sold it on (in the same year) to current owner Harold Tillman
The brand is described as an affordable luxury brand at the premium end of the high street. Jaeger’s owner Harold Tillman and Chief Executive Belinda Earl can claim fame for the brands revival. By adding a range of diffusion brands including, Boutique by Jaeger, Jaeger by Jaeger, Jaeger London and premium brand Jaeger Black, they managed to widen the brands consumer audience. Additionally, a key move in rejuvenating Jaeger’s image was to recruit an in-house press team to achieve coverage in magazines from the trendy weekly free magazine Stylist to fashionista-favourite Vogue. Jaeger has also managed to get clothing items on the backs of high-profile figures such as pop star Pixie Lott and Samantha Cameron, wife of the prime minister. This increased the brands profile as evidenced by Jaeger achieving profits of £7 million on sales of £86 million in the 2010 financial year.
As of 2011, Jaeger has 45 stand alone stores in the UK, selling their various womenswear collections, menswear, accessories, fragrance and home wear. Also in the UK are concessions within high-profile department stores Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Fenwicks, House of Fraser and John Lewis. Additionally, Jaeger is available throughput Europe, the Middle East, North and South America, Hong Kong and Canada. The Jaeger e-commerce store, their virtual flagship, is the brand’s second largest store and second best performer in terms of revenue, and ships to 36 countries, including throughout the USA and Europe.
A Recent Timeline Snapshot of the Jaeger brand
Since the Jaeger fashion label was taken over by Harold Tillman in 2003, and the appointment of Belinda Earl in 2004 – Jaeger has undergone a brand rejuvenation, including the development of a number of diffusion lines and collaborations, which has seen them head back into the black.
- 2003: Harold Tillman, the British Fashion Council Chairman, acquires the label for a token amount after annual losses of £12 million.
- 2004: The former Chief Executive of Debenhams plc, Belinda Earl, is appointed by Harold Tilman as Group Chief Executive of Jaeger. She is also co-owner of shoe designer Beatrix Ong chairman of Alex and Alexa, producer of luxury childrenswear.
- 2005: Jaeger London is launched with a womenswear line.
- 2008: Jaeger London debuts at February’s London Fashion Week. Stuart Stockdale joins the brand as the chief design director.
- 2009: Both the male bag collection and Boutique by Jaeger, targeted at the young fashion-forward crowd, are launched. Additionally, Jaeger celebrates 125 years in fashion by launching the 125 Limited Edition collection featuring unique pieces inspired by original 1960’s Jaeger fashion designs. Furthermore, the brand releases a book, ‘Jaeger 125’ chronicling the past and present of the brand. Jaeger collaborates with Begg Scotland to create an exclusive cashmere collection of printed scarves and stoles. Also this year, Jaeger purchases ailing 158 year old Aquascutum – famous for its wartime trench coats – from Japanese owners Renown, who had owned Aquascutum since 1990.
- 2010: Following the success of the 125 Limited Edition collections, it continues under the name ‘Jaeger by Jaeger’ featuring iconic pieces from Jaeger’s archive; re-interpreted and updated with exquisite detailing. Jaeger expands into Italy with the opening of four shop-in-shops in Coin department stores. Also this year, Jaeger team up with jeweller Scott Wilson to create a capsule collection featuring earrings, cuffs, necklaces and pendants of metal and Perspex pieces in dramatic and architectural shapes.
- 2011: In February of 2011, it was announced that Jaeger was to be put up for sale by owner by Harold Tillman after being approached with many offers; the store chain could be valued at as much as £100 million.
- 2012: Jon Moulton’s Better Capital purchases a 90 percent controlling stake in Jaeger for£19.5 million.
Future of the Jaeger brand
In April of 2012 it was announced that Jon Moulton’s Better Capital had bought the secured debt and a 90 percent stake in Jaeger for £19.5 million, which had saw its profits fall by two-thirds in 2011, and the harsh economic climate and resultant downturn on the British high street took its toll. The high-end fashion chain, which operates from 50 stand alone boutiques and 70 concessions, make a profit before tax of £772,000 in the 12 months to February 2011, down from £2.22m in the previous 12 months. Revenue also fell, dropping 10% to £94m.
The sale follows the announcement in 2011 that former majority holder, Harold Tillman was looking to sell the Jaeger brand. Tillman’s business partner, Belinda Earl stepped down as the Chief Executive of Jaeger and Aquascutum for health reasons in March for health reasons. Watch this space for what happens next for Jaeger…
Visit the official Jaeger website, here.