Boden upsets its middle-class devotees by hiring sultry Helena Christensen


Boden supermodel and a yummy mummy backlash: Label upsets middle-class fans by hiring sultry Helena Christensen

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UPDATED:

23:01 GMT, 15 October 2012

For most fashion brands, enlisting the services of a supermodel would be quite a coup.

But most fashion brands don’t have the yummy mummies of Middle England to answer to.

British firm Boden is facing a backlash from fans after it hired sultry Helena Christensen – particularly famed for her lingerie shoots – to model its latest range.

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Provocative: Seductive images of Helena Christensen in the catalouge provoked a reaction from buyers

Provocative: Seductive images of Helena Christensen in the catalouge provoked a reaction from buyers

Provocative: Seductive images of Helena Christensen in the catalouge provoked a reaction from buyers

Sultry: Some of those to comment on the Boden catalogue website questioned if Helena Christensen was an appropriate model for the brand

Sultry: Some of those to comment on the Boden catalogue website questioned if Helena Christensen was an appropriate model for the brand

The photographs, spread over the
firm’s website and autumn/winter catalogue, are rather different from
the wholesome strawberries-and-cream image it usually projects.

In one,
the exotic-looking Miss Christensen, 43, is shown seductively pulling a
149 silk dress over her tanned thighs.

The
images have prompted anger from fans, who have emailed the company to
complain and vented their spleen on social media sites such as Facebook
and Mumsnet.

While most
detractors accused the model of being an ‘unattainable clotheshorse’,
one irate customer let rip 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’.

Causing a stir: The reaction to sultry Helena Christensen, pictured, modeling Boden's latest range has been far from unanimously popular among customers

Causing a stir: The reaction to sultry Helena Christensen, pictured, modeling Boden's latest range has been far from unanimously popular among customers

Causing a stir: The reaction to sultry Helena Christensen, pictured, modeling Boden's latest range has been far from unanimously popular among customers

Irate: One person, posting comments online, said they were not prepared to buy from Boden in order to subsidise the model's wages

Irate: One person, posting comments online, said they were not prepared to buy from Boden in order to subsidise the model's wages

Irate: One person, posting comments online, said they were not prepared to buy from Boden in order to subsidise the model's wages

It
is likely that Miss Christensen, who sent sales of the traditional
underwear brand Triumph soaring after it hired her, and recently posed
wearing only a pair of toning trainers, would have been paid a
five-figure sum for the shoot.

The
issue of her fee caused one irate customer to fume: ‘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!!!!!’

Another 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.’

A disgruntled mother posted: 'I used to be a skinny minny size six but Im not any moreI dont want to look like Helena Christensen'

A disgruntled mother posted: 'I used to be a skinny minny size six but Im not any moreI dont want to look like Helena Christensen'

A disgruntled mother posted: 'I used to be a skinny minny size six but I’m not any more … I don’t want to look like Helena Christensen'

Concerns: One potential customers who feared they might 'look overtly sexy' in the latest range

Helena Christensen models Boden catalogue 2012

Concerns: One potential customers who feared they might 'look overtly sexy' in the latest range

A
fellow customer agreed, writing: ‘We’re not all slim and good looking;
rather interesting and designed for the job in hand – motherhood.’

Another
fumed: ‘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.

‘No
offence but maybe good old Jonnie is getting a little too famous
himself and forgetting what the real middle classes want and aspire to’

The online dressing down

And
one said: ‘I don’t want to look overtly sexy and have had to work hard
to imagine myself wearing any of the clothes she has modelled.

'I’d
prefer to see clothes on smiling, more normal-looking models, not
someone who looks as if they are trying to seduce me!’

But others
complained that even the glamorous Miss Christensen, who has a
12-year-old son, looks a little ‘frumpy’ in Boden’s trademark floral tea
dresses and sensible knitwear.

One said: ‘If they can make her look frumpy then what hope do the rest of us have!’

The firm, founded 21 years ago by Old Etonian Jonnie Boden, counts David and Samantha Cameron among its fans.

Backlash: The Boden website featuring the pictures of Helena Christensen was inundated by comments

Backlash: The Boden website featuring the pictures of Helena Christensen was inundated by comments

In recent years it has faced criticism for becoming too ‘smug’ and ‘twee’, and Miss Christensen’s appointment is part of a deliberate strategy to reach out to a younger audience.

A spokesman for Boden insisted that its own feedback had been largely positive.

He said: ‘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.

‘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.’

Watch behind the scenes on Helena's Boden shoot below…

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