Jaeger for Christmas

Rene Gruau cover on Jaeger Staff News magazine 1953

What a glowing edition of the Jaeger Staff News magazine from Christmas 1953. The Rene Gruau cover illustration imbues such positivity about consumerism, fashion and post-war life. Her gorgeous red New Look-ish coat and matching hat. All those big wrapped parcels. His generous wool overcoat and grey Homburg the first word in understated, well-dressed man.

This cover illustration was also the years Winter press advertisement for Jaeger. The Gruau adverts for Jaeger were so visually strong. And this from a company with a history of commissioning great fashion illustrations. The marketing people (Colman, Prentis & Varley under the creative direction of Arpad Elfer) usually left out extraneous copy and let their illustrations sing a capella. Often just the word Jaeger, in a distinctive 3 line typeface design (used by Jaeger since the mid 1930s) ran on the adverts.

Inside, this staff magazine is more prosaic and less pretty. The post war recovery is everywhere. Lots of talk of export. Then more pages of company gossip along the lines of ‘who’s who in the men’s merchandise department’. There are plenty of photographs of glamorous women staff from the selling branches, all wearing bright lipstick, rolled back hair and natty little neck scarves. Stories from the factories feature too, with an order from Japan for 7000 dozen pairs of  ‘slack hose’ (that was completed in just a month in their factory at Shepshed, Leicestershire) creating much excitement. And finally a mention for the social committee in Ipswich, ‘which is always thinking up something.’

In seasonal greetings ‘all at headquarters’ wish ‘the Jaeger Family throughout the country and overseas a Merry Christmas and Good Health in the New Year’.

This is a proper staff news magazine. The forerunner of the Intranet homepage. The tone is patriarchal, it’s true. But the reporting about merchandise and marketing successes is credited to the people behind, and far behind, the label.

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