Marks & Spencer Spring/Summer 2014 Ad Campaign

Posted on March 25, 2014

Why would we feature an ad campaign for British retailer Marks & Spencer? Oh, that’s easy. These goddesses:



Marks-Spencer-Spring-Summer-2014-Campaign-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)Marks & Spencer spring/summer 2014 ad campaign starring Emma Thompson, Alek Wek,  Annie Lennox, Rita Ora, Doreen Lawrence, Lulu Kennedy, Rachel Khoo and Roma Agrawal shot by Annie Leibovitz.

Marks-Spencer-Spring-Summer-2014-Campaign (1)

Marks-Spencer-Spring-Summer-2014-Campaign (2)

Marks-Spencer-Spring-Summer-2014-Campaign-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (4)

Marks-Spencer-Spring-Summer-2014-Campaign (3)

Marks-Spencer-Spring-Summer-2014-Campaign (4)

Marks-Spencer-Spring-Summer-2014-Campaign-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (7)

Marks-Spencer-Spring-Summer-2014-Campaign (5)

Marks-Spencer-Spring-Summer-2014-Campaign (6)
THAT’S why.

We say this without an ounce of bitchiness, Emma Thompson does not have a vain bone in her body. Who would sit in a chair like that for a picture-taking? And yet your eye is drawn directly to her. They all look gorgeous, especially Annie Lennox, who sits high on T Lo’s Olympus of Goddesses. It’s just a little goofy how obviously Photoshopped in some of them are. That’s a very Annie Leibovitz thing to do, but it’s distracting how little they relate to each other in some of the shots.


[Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz for Marks & Spencer]

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  • Lauren

    The photo shop ruins it for me. She is literally walking on water in that last photo. Jesus.

    • kingderella

      I’m all for hyper-staged, but hyper-stage it well, please. You are supposed to be professionals.

    • boweryboy

      “She is literally walking on water in that last photo. Jesus.”

      I don’t know if that was intentional but it sure is funny.

      • Lauren

        It was intentional :) Glad I could give you a chuckle!

    • omg_dora

      I don’t get why Annie Leibovitz gets any work anymore at all. It’s like she’s daring whoever hired her to call her out on how half-assed the results are.

      I think her work is actually more of an eyesore than Terry Richardson’s, which is saying a lot.

      • marlie

        I wouldn’t go THAT far. I don’t think she has the vision and creative eye that she used to. Maybe she’s relying too much on her history and reputation, and just doesn’t care. The pictures that she takes now seem like they could have been done by anyone with a decent camera and photo editing software.

        TR’s work has never seems to display ANY sort of talent or vision to me. I’ll allow that the stark backgrounds and polaroid-like photography in itself can be his artistic vision, but he rarely generates aesthetically pleasing pictures. Plus, there’s that overwhelming Richardson ICK factor.

  • RussellH88

    Emma Thompson looks like she is levitating on that wheat.

    And I swear to God, I kept thinking that was Lupita.

    • demidaemon

      Same here. I think it should be a compliment to them both, though.

    • Sarah

      Behind not-Lupita I also see not-Maya Rudolph and not-Rashida Jones. Weird.

      • kimmeister

        I totally got not-Maya Rudolph too. (I don’t know who they really are!)

    • BlairBear

      They are both awesome. The could play sisters / best friends in a movie

    • kimmeister

      I’ve personally never understood the hubbub over Alek Wek (just in terms of modeling abilities). I think Lupita does circles around her.

    • d4divine

      I don’t know how you could think that was Lupita, besides the color of her skin, Alek Weck looks nothing like Lupita.

      • Tom and Lorenzo

        Even Lupita acknowledged the resemblance, saying that Alek served as an inspiration to her, knowing that people who look like her can be considered beautiful.

        • d4divine

          Lupita was referring to Alek’s skintone and African features not that they “look alike”. No shade TLo, but this happens all the time to black people. I don’t know how many times white people have told me that I look like…insert light skinned black celebrity…and I look nothing like the person, save the color of our skin.

          • Tom and Lorenzo

            I’m sorry, but I think you’re splitting hairs here. Lupita acknowledged the resemblance herself – skin tone and “African features,” as you put it. No one here said they looked exactly alike or that all black people look exactly alike.

          • d4divine

            I’m not splitting hairs nor am I saying that anyone said all black people look alike. I’m expressing how many black people feel about the situation and sharing my experiences as a black woman. That is all.

          • Jaimie

            I’ve often been told I look like people I look nothing like.

      • RussellH88

        Maybe it’s because I’m not familiar with Alek Weck, so my mind wouldn’t see her and recognize her. But I do think they share very high, pronounced cheekbones, which is what caught my attention more so than the skin tone.

        • ecallaw1977

          And the hairstyle. Not many women sport that kind of cut on the red carpet or in fashion advertisements.

        • ampg

          Their bearing is also very similar; I personally don’t think their faces look alike at all, but the similarity between their body language in photos was enough to make me do a double-take.

  • demidaemon

    These shots are just…beautiful. So glad to see Annie Lennox. AND Emma Thom,pson. Be still my gay heart.

    • demidaemon

      Also love the unconventional posing throughout.

    • International Model

      Emma Thompson should just have a show where she has drunk brunches with the coolest people in the UK. I would torrent that.

      • demidaemon

        And Annie Lennox should do barside commentary!

        • EveEve

          Annie might preferto be the barkeep/chanteuse

          • demidaemon

            I prefer that version.

      • formerlyAnon

        Jesus. I’d subscribe, paying actual cash money, to watch that.
        (Just IMAGINE the people she knows well enough to invite to brunch!)

        • International Model

          Her Cambridge colleagues alone!

      • Chickadeep

        ^^^ YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES. If you could somehow feature Stephen Fry as a recurring character or element – witty narrator or interstitial bon mots, perhaps? – I would die happy.

        • International Model

          Oh yes. (I have the Stephen Fry alarm clock so this idea is particularly genius.)

          • Cathy S

            There’s a Stephen Fry alarm clock?!!!

  • Synnamin

    Annie Lennox has a portrait in her attic, I’m sure. Still, the Photoshopping is strong on this one, which is a bit distracting, but this is a lovely photoshoot. More Leibovitz, less Richardson!

    • Aidan B

      I <3 you for the Dorian Gray reference.

  • decormaven

    Annie Lennox takes it in a walk. What a stunning woman!

    • kimmeister

      In the white jacket, I hear her singing, “Whyyyyyyyyyy.”

  • VicD

    But, the point is… the pictures make me very interested in owning a couple of these outfits. I really want Alex Weks’ skirt in the first picture, Lulu Kennedy’s jacket (same picture), and Doreen Lawrence’s black and eyelet dress.

    • Heather

      I know, right? And isn’t M&S the Brit equivalent of, like, Sears? (Brits, feel free to correct me.)

      • Corsetmaker

        Don’t know where Sears sits in the market. But M&S is a mid range high street store, long tradition. Fights a bit of middle aged image. Great food hall which is a little more expensive than the average supermarket.

      • MilaXX

        I always thought they were more Macys

      • VicD

        M & S is more like Carson’s / Belk / Bon Ton Stores, except that they carry their own brands rather than stocking other lines. So the business model is a bit more like Kohl’s, but definitely more upscale than Kohl’s.

  • Sarah

    Oh, man, Annie Lennox is FIERCE. Rita Ora looks good too, and I usually wouldn’t put her in the Wek-Lennox League. And I don’t know who Marks & Spencer is, but GOD BLESS THEM for having multiple sizes in their ad campaign.

    • Aidan B

      M&S is a pretty big British chain. In my limited study-abroad experience, it’s a department store where you can also buy things like samosas to go and bottles of mulled wine at Christmas. And I LOVE this and their past couple of campaigns!

      • Sarah

        Cool. I have been all over the world, but not to the UK, obviously. I would love it if Target had samosas to go :)

        • kimmeister

          I’ve bought M&S stuff in Hong Kong too. Really, anywhere the Brits have had a major presence, I think?

          • schadenfreudelicious

            We used to have them in Canada, but alas no more…

      • WendyD

        Cheers to study-abroad! But yes I fell in love with M&S when I lived in Wales in college. For some odd reason, the one thing that I took away from there was a pack of mens undershirts that I liked to sleep in. They lasted forever. When I finally got back to the UK 10+ years later, I had to get another set. They were still the same quality item. I’m wearing one as I type this as I’m still in PJ-mode.

        • Aidan B

          I’ll have to pick some up when I get back there!

    • leahpapa

      Multiple sizes, ages, racial/ethnic groups? Surely this isn’t a clothing retailer – I’m not crippled with anxiety and self-loathing after staring at the ads! Also, note to OG (original goddess) Emma Thompson: Go buy that pink sheath and that cardigan and those shoes. Get them in lots of colors. Wear them over and over. Wash, rinse, repeat.

      • Sarah

        Agreed, on all points. I actually feel breezy camaraderie with all women after looking at these pics. And it says a helluva lot that I wouldn’t wear anything in that spread, ever (except perhaps the b/w chevron skirt) and I am liking all of it. Good advertising at its best!

    • Kate4queen

      M&S are a big British chain famous for selling more knickers and bras than anyone else-and all good quality lingerie. Their food hall is divine-think mini Harrods and their clothes are…sometimes okay but great basics. :)

      • VicD

        Oh, the Extremely Chocolatey Caramels……

    • Monabel

      We used to call it “Marks n Sparks” when I was a schoolgirl in London, eons ago…

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        Yup – it’s still ‘Marks n Sparks’.

      • Kate4queen

        us too! although my little sis used to call it ‘Marks and Expensive’ best chicken tikka salad sandwich in the world!

      • EveEve

        Oh yes, all our delicate underthings came from Marks & Sparks – soft wool, no synthetics. Also, my favorite teenage pair of red leather, ankle strap, stack heel pumps, and a killer Glen plaid makintosh.

    • Zaftiguana

      It’s kind of like the UK Target. Both in their stock and in that you typically go in to by toilet paper and leave with $300 of new tops, convenience foods, toiletries, panties, drugstore cosmetics, and possibly a window fan.

  • BlairBear

    All I see are a bunch of women who would have made for far better Vogue covers. See the beautiful people can emote and have a personality that shines through. Also better than Kimmy is a low bar to clear and these women clear in by miles. Also I wish Emma Thompson would adopt me. I love a woman who is a kick in the pants

  • zenobar

    A resounding HELL YES to these muses.

    Those pink-and-cream floral pieces – I wore stuff exactly like that to work, back in the early 90s. Legal secretary realness ca. 1992.

    • decormaven

      The way those pink outfits are lit, and the way the women are positioned in the grass, it’s almost like finding a pretty pink Easter egg in one’s basket. I liked the lead shot the most in terms of “story” – the other two are headscratchers.

      • zenobar

        Pretty pink Easter frocks, yes! Although I admit the wheat backdrop/lighting is giving me a little “Christina’s World” discomfort.

        • Ginger

          WOW…I didn’t see your comment before I commented below. I’m so glad that somebody else saw it, too! Out of all the paintings in all the world, “Christina’s World” is by far my favorite.

  • Imasewsure

    Love these bitches but I really don’t like Annie Leibowitz’s recent work at all… O-V-E-R-R-A-T-E-D???? Dunno

    • Aidan B

      I definitely think her recent work is overrated, esp with the Disney campaigns, which are so heavily photoshopped I think they can barely count as photography.

    • marlie

      For a second, I thought you said “Annie Lennox,” and I got all ready to tell you to shut your mouth. 😉 But yeah, I totally agree.

      • Imasewsure

        I would slap my own face for saying something against Annie Lennox who is head to toe and inside and out AMAZING. Glad you are checking though. Even BKs need schooling now and again…

      • fursa_saida

        Exact same happened to me. I was ready to unleash hell.

    • Denise Alden

      So with you on that. The only reason this still sings is those women. The spread is amazing IN SPITE of the photographer. And the photoshopping really has to stop.

  • @Biting Panda

    This is the medicine I need.

    • charlotte

      With a spoonful of Photoshop?

  • Aidan B

    I got chills. Seriously.

  • sojourneryouth

    Even with the PS (which is super-poorly done), I LOVE this! Different ages, sizes, races, styles. Amazing! The only thing is I wish they had put some color on Alek Wek’s face. She is a lovely woman, and I feel like they do the nude face thing to her a lot (I don’t really follow her career closely, but I have seen several shoots with what I consider an underdone face). I would love to see her in a beautiful dark red lip here with a smoky eye to really show her beauty.

    • B_C_J

      Google her name, open images & you will see a cover she did for Forbes in the makeup you are describing. You will fall to your knees at how beautiful she is. Of course, she is magnificent without it but it’s nice to see how she transforms.

      • sojourneryouth

        Just did it and OMG OMG OMG you are soooo right! Stunning!!!

        • B_C_J

          They like to play up her lovely ethnicity but her incredible face is capable of many looks. :-))))

          • sojourneryouth


  • Sophie

    Annie Lennox and Emma Thompson! But I find the picture in the wheat field rather silly. The first one is great.

    • Ginger

      The wheat field one reminds me of Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World” and that’s what makes me wonder if maybe, just maybe, the photoshopping was intentional to make them look like portraits instead of photographs.

      • Sophie

        I had never heard of it before! Interesting idea, and very possible since Annie Leibovitz is American.

  • 3boysful

    Emma Thompson is just waiting for me to arrive for al fresco drinks with her. She looks like so much fun!

  • Anne

    To me these photos almost look like paintings.

  • marlie

    THIS. IS. AMAZING. I LOVE this ad campaign. The clothes are cute, but the campaign is what makes me want to check out their website.

    • B_C_J

      I totally agree.

  • KinoEye

    Annie and Emma are my everythings. I was not aware of Alek Wek until just now, so a big thank you to the Uncles for introducing me to that fierce Sudanese goddess.

  • Kent Roby

    Annie Lennox, god bless you my Uncles Dearest; I am so happy just seeing her.

  • Anna

    PLEASE invite me to that outdoor afternoon tea party, pretty please!!! I volunteer as tribute to make/bring the scones and clotted cream.

    • Ginger

      You bring that and I’ll bring the booze.

      • Anna


  • HomeOfficeGirl

    Love it – overall it’s beautiful. But, Emilia Clarke needs to be careful if she and Rita Orta are starting to look too much alike in their styling.

  • Frank_821

    A wonderrful concept with faboo women. yes WOMEN.

    too bad each picture gets progressively more photoshopped than the last

    the final imagine is bordering on a van gogh painting

  • luludexter

    I hate the photoshopping but love everything else about this, especially the diversity of the women. And I must have that black and white zigzag skirt. now please…

  • MarissaLG

    The models are beautiful but the Photoshopping distracts from that. Too bad.

  • Agnes Gooch

    Is it just me or does Alek Wek not look well? Something about her face seems different (and not in the sense that we usually mean “different” when we’re discussing celebs).

    • PastryGoddess

      Her face is not as full as it usually is. I agree something seems a bit off. I didn’t recognize her until I saw the caption

  • kimmeister

    I didn’t initially realize that the names in the caption were in ascending alphabetical order by first name and thought they were L-R or clockwise, and was SUPER confused. *facepalm*

  • Alicia

    I was hoping you’d feature this campaign! I’d like all the non-UK-based Bitter Kittens to pause for a moment and think of Doreen Lawrence, whose son was murdered in a hate crime, which wasn’t properly investigated due to institutional racism. She has campaigned for 20 years and has been given a life peerage for her work. Lovely to see women of substance being given a platform in the fashion arena!

    • KinoEye

      That makes my afternoon. Yay for lovely photos of substantial women!

    • formerlyAnon

      Thank-you for the context. I didn’t know who she was, had already Googled Ms. Agrawal and had decided that was enough info seeking for now.

  • ReallyNow

    the photo shop is totally distracting

  • boweryboy

    Annie Lennox is fierce as fuck, but Alek Wek steals the spotlight in every photo for me. And yeah, it’s like no one relates to each other in these photos … as if Leibovitz placed cutout photos of each woman on a background scene and called it a day.

  • Danielle

    Annie Lennox is giving me LIFE

  • hazel martin

    In my next life I WILL BE ANNIE!

  • Kate Andrews

    Annie Lennox ftw! Love huh.

  • Gatto Nero

    Emma is divine.

  • FridaStaire

    Ooooooh! That has set me up for the day. The goddesses! The textures on that car! The luggage!

  • gayle

    are the pictures supposed to look like paintings? that is the vibe i am getting but it does seem kinda weird. That said I would go to a garden party with Emma and Annie any day of the week.

  • Boop

    Emma Thompson and Annie Lennox should start their own band. Failing that – they should start their own movement. They are exceptional, beautiful, talented, refreshing women and I love M&S for using them.

  • SugarSnap108

    None of them were actually available, so they did some oil paintings instead?

    (OK, but Annie Lennox, I love you!)

  • Kate4queen

    I still get all my knickers sent over from M&S and always visit the store when I go home. :)

  • msdamselfly

    What a beautiful editorial. Love that it embraces all women

    • Molly

      That struck me, too. Different colors and ages and sizes. Very refreshing!

  • BigShamu

    Annie Lennox for the Win!

  • Heather

    Emma and Annie are SELLING it.

  • Qitkat

    I understand that Marks & Spencer wanted the clothes to be highlighted, also that different poses were ideal for each woman, and that PS is ubiquitous, and that Annie Leibovitz is an institution unto herself, but, for heaven’s sake, why can’t they at least try to create images in which it really appears that the women were in the same xy coordinates at the same time, interacting with one another? What I really wish is that this photoshoot could be used in some advanced photography class, with students, and yes, you too can attend, Annie, requested to improve upon this vision, to create something equally compelling, but with LIFE in it. Given the painterly aspects, especially with Emma Thompson, Annie Lennox, and Rita Ora leading the way, it’s a good beginning, but someone like Annie Leibovitz ought to be able to live up better to her reputation.

    • CatherineRhodes

      I love that — “the same x-y coordinates.” That’s exactly the problem with photoshopping people in. They are never on exactly the same physical plane. The depth of field doesn’t look right, the shadows don’t look right.

  • Sue_Asponte

    I had to google 5 of these 8 ladies, and I find they they are a pretty awesome group. Especially Roma Agrawal, too bad she’s only in the third photo. They’re all amazing. I hope M&S has a profile of each of them in their advertising campaign. I’d love to show my daughters.

  • Trickytrisha

    Really great to see these. Since they’re the ones I know, Emma, Rita, Alek, and Annie draw my eye, but the others are nice to look at as well. Tea in the garden with them all would be a hoot. However… in that first picture, the black and white chevron skirt pretty much dominates.

  • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

    My god, Ms. Lennox is aging beautifully.

  • MilaXX

    Fierce to the 7th degree. Love all these ladies! Especially Emma, Alek & Annie

  • skipiddydoda

    WTF is the hype with Annie Leibovitz?

    ETA: all of these ladies look lovely, but these photos are just ridiculous. As most of her work seems to be.

    • formerlyAnon

      Back when the technology of photography was less digital, Leibovitz did some truly awesome portrait work. I don’t know enough about photography to say more than that about where she is now and how she got there.

      • skipiddydoda

        That makes sense. After I posted this I googled her to see some of her other work and there were definitely some great shots. The photoshop kills me, though.

  • Ashleigh

    OMG!! Marks and Sparks!!

  • London Cameos

    I love Annie and Emma so much! They’re an inspiration! So is Alek! Lovely, if a bit too photoshoped, but who cares! Look at them! Thanks TLo!

  • Une femme

    That second batch is very Andrew Wyeth “Christina’s World.” Right down to the pink hue of the dress.

  • Myra Amler

    Annie Lennox in that white coat is amazing. Love Emma in the first photo.

  • Susan Velazquez

    This looks soooooo photoshopped. Like, amateur level photoshop. I imagine someone tried to point this out and said, “Hey, don’t those shots look really staged and fake?” and I imagine Annie Leibovitz replied, “IT’S ARTISTIC BITCHES” and then she put on a pair of dark sunglasses, and then promptly walked into a pole as she tried to storm off.

  • Boop

    Revisiting this page, and kind of off topic, I see Annie Lennox and the song “Why” is now in my head, and I want to cry, cry, cry.

  • Ass Kicking Adviser

    Thank you TLo. I would never have seen that magnificence if it were not for you.
    If I had my own country, I would appoint Annie Lennox the President.
    And we would all be fine forthwith.

  • SpillinTea

    Alek Wek is a goddess and her expression in that silver dress is “yall will deal. hmph!” I LIVE!

  • quiltrx

    All I can see is the gorgeous, inimitable Annie Lennox! Well, and that incredible skirt she’s wearing in the first pic.

  • Tatiana Luján

    Emma Thompson looks beautiful!

  • MaggieMae

    Thanks for sharing that link.

  • formerlyAnon

    Looking at the smiles, especially on Annie Lennox and Emma Thompson, I plan to convince myself that if I smile/laugh more I’ll suddenly become waaaay more attractive.

  • Vera

    Annie Lennox and Emma Thompson looks spectacular, but the composition of the photos is meh at best.

  • Clash D

    I honestly can’t stand looking at that second photo. I applaude the idea but I am repulsed by its execution. Looks so FAKE.

  • AC Simons

    Annie Lennox and Alek Wek really stand out in these photos. It’s great seeing women aging so beautifully (although having great bone structure and fabulous bodies to begin with doesn’t hurt). Bringing hope to the masses.

  • Chickadeep

    OMG the wheat field. I want all ads to feature these people.

  • suzinrva

    Doreen Delceita Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, OBE is made of AWESOME. Wish they had included more of her!

  • CatherineRhodes

    I wish the Gods of Art would come down to Earth and smite Photoshop for crimes against humanity. Even when they do a good job of it, the image feels “off.” It doesn’t work, art directors. Stop!

  • TrooperSchaf

    Annie Lennox please, no need to wrap :) That is a lovely bunch of great women (and the clothes are awesome as well… coat *drools*)

  • OhSheila

    I cannot deal with Annie Leibovitz….The more I see her work the more she seems like a fussy Terry Richardson. It’s all still one note. And why do I get the feeling they were in an empty ass studio when these pictures were taken?

    • Gatto Nero

      Because they probably were.
      I wonder sometimes with work like this whether artifice is just part of the aesthetic — that we’re not meant to believe that the scenery, or even the grouping of subjects, is actual.
      But still.

  • littlemac8

    Thanks for the mention and link on Doreen Lawrence. I wish she wasn’t wearing that purse over her arm à la the Queen in that first photo!