Talbots Goes All In

I’d read a few weeks back that Talbots had hired Linda Evangelista to shoot its Fall ad campaign, and the images are finally out.  (The one above lifted from InStyle.)
I wanted this coat anyway, but wow.
What do you think?  Did Talbots get their money’s worth (you KNOW La Linda doesn’t work for peanuts)? 
All original content property of https://unefemmenet.wpengine.com

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.

Stay in touch

Sign up to be notified of new posts and updates from une femme d’un certain âge.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for unefemme.net. See my complete disclosure policy here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Bonjour Madame Pesu! (so much for my french.) thank you again for your kind words. i hope your trip was great.

    i’ve noticed your current obsession is the Napa Valley – i’m headed there this very afternoon. my mom has lived in Napa (the city of) for a few years now – hub and i spent a fair amount of time there before that, and now we’ve been a bunch more places.

    so if you have any Napa-related questions and/or curiosities please ask! we don’t know too much about b & b’s (since we always stay at mom’s). anyways please feel free to ask if you think we could help! it’s a great place with many non-tourist type places to enjoy as well as ‘the expected’.

    happy weekend everybody!!

  2. I think that hiring Linda Evangelista was a coup for Talbots. Her image adds the idea of high fashion for the brand. Did you see the ad with Naomi Watts for Ann Taylor?
    The mid-level brands are bringing out the big guns.

  3. I think it’s an interesting choice, given Talbot’s efforts at rebranding. Bluntly–I’m not sure she’ll appeal to their younger target audience. I’m in my early 30’s–not even all that young–and Linda Evangelista is not a style icon to me; she feels like a holdover from the 80s. I have been loving Talbot’s new ad campaigns so far, but this one doesn’t do it for me.

  4. Wow, that’s a turn around of image for them, I do love their autumn catalogue and hiring her is really moving them away from their fuddy duddy image.

  5. So, what’s going on with Talbots? Who are they trying to capture? They’ve upgraded their look for sure, but is it a look that young women are looking for? Frankly, I am not sure of that either. And using Linda Evangelista, although she looks absolutely amazing (that is, to those of us who are over 40), seems to be a ‘Hey, we know our demographic is over 35, so let’s throw a bit of real ‘red meat’ in their direction.” WE think she’s fab – the youngsters won’t even know who she IS. In that sense, Talbots might as well have used Joan Collins.

  6. Well, I love Linda, it’s the most interesting thing Talbot’s has ever done in my book. I don’t think they’re ever going to get the 30-somethings anyway. They might as well please their core constituency. I mean, please…30s? Never.

  7. I’m not sure this is going to work. People on Talbots’ Facebook page who are longtime customers are really upset about the lower quality of fabrics and finish – and, especially, about the new pant fit. Meanwhile, the favorable comments sound to me contrived, as if Talbots employees are writing them. For the first time ever I saw Talbots merchandise at T.J. Maxx this summer. I bought a knit shirt. It wrinkled terribly in the dryer. So much that I’ll probably give it away rather than bother to iron it each time I wear it. I await events, but I don’t think it looks good for Talbots.

  8. Hard to judge by one photo, but if they want to show a middle aged woman that she can look fab too, than they’ve gotten their money’s worth.

  9. I think Wendy B’s right — 30 year-olds are not their target market, and I don’t think they really ever were.

    Instead, I think they’ve (wisely) set their sights on the 40-60 demographic. When you think about it, it makes sense. These are women who are still in the workforce, who need to dress at a level that corresponds to what they do professionally, but who also still want some elements of individuality in their wardrobes.

    If I were still corporate, I’d have lots of page flags in their Fall catalog. But since I’m back in academia again, it’s more about j.jill/Eileen Fisher for me. (It’s now the time of the summer when I really look forward to the start of the semester, so I can get out of my shorts and into some of my new pieces!)

  10. Like Mme Pseu, I’m confused about what fishes Talbots is trying to catch. Some of the items on the site look more updated than they used to be, but when I go in a brick and mortar Talbots to check them out the atmosphere leaves much to be desired. They still feel like a sort more dressy L.L.Bean mixed with Vera Bradley, and the clientele seems to be the people who still believe in taking tea in the afternoon on a Southern veranda (may be little exaggerated, but still). I think Talbots should hire models who speaks to most of the merchandise they carry, not just one or two items that fit the personae of the model. The models should work for you not vice versa. Moreover (et en plus), why do they have the nasty habit that putting on some animal print will make clothes more risqué? After all animals have existed before us.
    La Fifi who is heading to Paris this very dimanche.

  11. I think they did!! Looks so chic!! they needed to pump their look up. This might have done it for them, looks like they must have a new advertising agent!! Kathysue

  12. tinyjunco – yes, we’re headed to Napa at the end of September for a few days (will be there during “the Crush” apparently). I’ll shoot you an e-mail.

    Belle – I think Linda definitely will get the brand some attention. Whether that will translate to new customers is hard to say.

    b. – I think you’re right in that this won’t draw the under-35 crowd. When they say they want to attract younger customers, I’m not sure they’re aiming that young though. I’m guessing they’re going for the 40-60 demo. Most of the time when I’m in a Talbot’s store, I’d guess the average customer age at about 65, and I know a lot of women my age think of Talbot’s as an “old lady store.”

    KathySue – I think this ad campaign (and the lookbook in general) have a very elegant look. I hope the merchandise will live up to the ads.

  13. Tabitha – I think they’re definitely moving in the right direction!

    Toby Wollin – I like that they’ve picked an over-40 model to represent the brand. I think if they were truly targeting women under 35, they would have gone with someone younger and with more resonance for that age group.

    metscan – I have to respectfully disagree. Too old?? I love that women in their 40’s and older (Lauren Hutton who must be in her mid/late 60’s is modeling for Chicos) are getting work! While both women are out-of-this-world gorgeous still, it’s nice to see an acknowledgement by retailers that women our age don’t have to be invisible.

  14. First, Deja Pseu, thanks so much for your blog — I’m a longtime reader and first-time commenter.

    Second: I love these images. They are aspirational to me in a way that the fashion-mag editorial spreads with 18-year-olds are not.

    I’ve been a Talbots customer for a long time, but for basics rather than trend items. (I’m 50.) That emphasis has changed in the last year or so, and for the first time, younger women are stopping me and asking me where I bought my (Talbots) clothes.


  15. Pamela Terry and Edward – It’s a calculated risk for sure, but I think as long as Talbot’s continues to carry the basics, they won’t lose their 65+ customers.

    Wendy B – I agree. When I first started working in a corporate environment in my 30’s, Talbot’s was pretty much it in my price range for work clothes. But there are so many more options nowadays for that age group.

    SewingLibrarian – I’ll have to go check out the comments on theirr FB page, haven’t done so. I’ll admit I haven’t bought a whole lot from Talbots lately beyond some basic tops and cardigans (their pants never did fit me right) but I’ve been disappointed by recent pieces that weren’t anywhere near as well made or tailored as those I bought a few years ago. I’m bummed that they’ve stopped including lycra in their ballet neck tee (which have been a staple for me for the last few years) as the 100% cotton ones lose their shape. The Italian wool navy blazer I bought there a few years ago is a superior piece, but I haven’t found anything as good since.

    NancyK – so far I’ve only seen 4 photos (over at the InStyle link) but I think this ad campaign will generate a lot of buzz for sure.

  16. Good for Talbots, good for Linda! Nothing wrong with an “older” model doing her thing! Why in the world should women aspire to look like 17-year old models? That’s nuts. Personally, I’m tired of seeing these young girls dominate the fashion ads, especially when it’s mostly women over 35 that have the money to purchase high fashion in the first place.

  17. Rubiatonta – I agree about the age demographic they’re aiming for. Even though I still am in the corporate workforce, my wardrobe these days consists of far more Eileen as so much of the more structured, tailored pieces are just feeling too fussy for our workplace (and for me, in general). But I think for women who are still in more formal work environments, some of these new pieces might be just the thing.

    LaFifi – I agree with you about the feel of the stores and the clientele. They seem to be in transition, and the stores haven’t kept up, either with the decor or the merchandise. They do have a lot of good pieces, but a lot of times when you walk into the stores, you’d never know it unless you were looking for them specifically. I’m betting that leopard coat will sell out, though. Have a fabulous time in Paris!!!

    LS – thanks so much for commenting! I’m with you that most fashion images with teenage models don’t inspire me the way these images do. I think they’re going for a degree of elegance and sophistication with the images that a J.Crew model just wouldn’t be able to convey. And it’s always amusing to me when I get compliments from younger women on my Talbots pieces.

  18. bellissima – agreed! And it seems that some retailers are starting to get that.

    Tiffany – I’m with you. I think she’s still gorgeous and she’s still bringing her “A” game. (IMHO, she could make a burlap sack look great.) And yes, about diversity! I want to see more, not less.

  19. To me this seems a similar concept like the one H & M has used, when it hired designer icons to create a collection for them. I know practically zero about Talbot´s and Ann Taylor, but I do think that Linda E. is too old (!!!) and deserves to retire gracefully. I don´t think this idea was a good one.

  20. Such a big change from their usual look. I would rather think Linda might frighten some Talbot’s customers. But she would make me look twice and reconsider the brand.

  21. She is my FAVOURITE of the supermodels from those days, but I guess I’m showing my age – interesting that one of the comments said that it wouldn’t appeal to Talbots’ younger market. I’d wear that coat in a nano-second! I also disagree with anyone who thinks older models should stop working. I WANT to see a range of women in advertising and magazines – old, young, different ethnicities, different shapes and sizes.

  22. Deja: Maybe I expressed myself badly. I have nothing against Linda E., she has managed to stay beautiful for so long. I just like to remember her as a model for the “big” brands. But this is life. Maybe Talbot made her an offer hard to turn down.

  23. I’ve recently been buying a lot from Talbots. I’m 24 but need clothes that come in petite sizes and have a professional/conservative look.

    I like the new look of Talbots. When searching around the store online, I loved the ruffled tee (G95043) and the boat-striped tee (A13021) and denim cuffed capris (A204021) and lots of other things.

  24. I think that, as often, if Talbots has matched their execution to strategy, if the fit and finish of the garments match their new positioning, then yes, they probably will have gotten their money’s worth.

  25. I agree with the person who made the comments about the fit of the pants. The pants fit strangely. I’ve also noticed the shoes have very high heels now. Another youth grab. It used to be to find shoes with high but not sky high heels.

    The fabrics for summer were/are very cheap. I returned several items that were just too cheap.

  26. Thank you Deja Pseu for commenting on the ballet neck tees (“I’ve been disappointed by recent pieces that weren’t anywhere near as well made or tailored as those I bought a few years ago. I’m bummed that they’ve stopped including lycra in their ballet neck tee (which have been a staple for me for the last few years) as the 100% cotton ones lose their shape”). I too have used them for years in so many colors and last spring bought three more to add to my collection even though I thought the fabric looked and felt different (never noticed what it had in it before but lycra makes sense) and they were HORRIBLE…not only is the fabric thin but they were badly sewn together and then they go absolutely shapeless and ugly after being worn for a half hour. I’ll never buy another which is unfortunate because some of my older ones don’t fit any more since I lost 20 pounds!