Meet the 18-year-old who is reinventing the idea that Marks and Spencer isn’t for young people…
If you ever told me that I’d be turning to Marks and Spencer for a wardrobe update, I probably would have laughed in your face. However, due to the recent launch of ‘M&S Insiders’, customer assistant Jess Clarkson has changed my mind.
As she sits down with me, I can’t help but compliment her jacket, expecting a run of the mill ‘it’s from Asos’ or ‘Topshop of course’.
Instead, I’m met with an “M&S new release,” and with that, I know we’re off to a good start.
The customer assistant at the Shrewsbury store even admitted herself: “I probably wouldn’t have shopped there before working there,” but the brand is considerably becoming more fashion forward than young people expect.
Thinking back to December when she was still waiting to hear back from her application, she laughs as she remembered “I missed the call and thought I’d lost it.”
Now, her Instagram account, @marksandspencer_jess, has already amassed nearly 4,000 followers, showcasing the fashion-forward finds most people her age would have overlooked, acknowledging that she “never would have given it a chance,” if it wasn’t for her opportunity with M&S Insiders.
Now, Jess gets to showcase her top picks from both in-store and online, styling them for her Instagram posts as well as everyday life.
“I don’t want to promote clothes I don’t like,” Jess told me, before flicking through her favourite pieces on the website, proving to me “it’s so good for staple items.”
Her favourite piece, however, is the anything but basic mint two-piece suit, which is both on-trend and affordable.
Backing up her styling knowledge, Jess said how she loves to wear it as separate pieces as well as together for a bolder look.
Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of Marks and Spencer’s clothing lines is not how accessible and fashionable it is, but the price point that comes with it.
One of Jess’ personal favourite style steals are the jeans, which, at only £19.50, she assures me are “literally the same” as Topshop’s ‘Joni’ jeans.
Not only does the store showcase a range of styles for all ages, but Marks and Spencer’s eco and ethical programme ‘Plan A’ helps shoppers feel a little less guilty about their shopping habits.
Jess backed up the programme, stating: “Any company that try and show change is a good step forward,” especially in terms of environmental impact and sustainability.
Away from the clothes, Jess expressed how grateful she is for the support she’s receiving.
“It’s just ridiculous, isn’t it?” she mused in regard to one of her photographs featuring on the official M&S Instagram, which now has over 12K likes.
Her aim with the partnership? “If I can show my generation how trendy it (Marks and Spencer) is, I’ve done my job.”
Safe to say, she’s convinced me.
By Lollie Hancock