It could well be a sign of the times for Australia’s struggling department stores, with news over the weekend that Myer is set to drop Jennifer Hawkins as its ambassador and replace her with the far cheaper Elyse Knowles of The Block fame.
Hawkins, who’s been the “face” of Myer for the past 12 years, comes with an annual asking price of $1.3 million a year to appear in its fashion shows, ads and promotional events, meaning she’s pocketed a cool $16 million in her time with the retailer.
According to reports in Fairfax Media over the weekend, Hawkins will see out her contract until November – including an appearance in Myer’s spring-summer parade on the 23rd of August – and be replaced by the budget-priced Knowles who’ll command a mere $150,000 annually to take up the ambassador role. A deal that is said to have “ruffled Jennifer’s feathers”.
Despite the tensions between the two parties, the 34-year-old former Miss Universe is apparently keen to move on from the role as she wants to ditch the fashion/catwalk work and focus more on lifestyle and home renovation projects.
According to the news reports, a “tipping point” came between Hawkins and the retailer after Myer staff apparently “planted stories in the Murdoch press introducing its new spokes-models, former contestant on The Block Knowles and AFL footballer Josh Gibson, 34.”
Despite apparent tensions between Hawkins and Knowles, The Block star told The West only last week that Hawkins had played a “huge inspiration” to her modelling career.
“Jennifer has been a huge inspiration to me growing up and into this industry and I am thrilled to have the chance to work alongside her with Myer,” Knowles said in the article.
Speaking to News.com.au, a Myer spokesperson also downplayed any tensions between the parties: “Jennifer has a busy period coming up with Myer to launch the Spring 2018 season and will take part in our Runway Series instore parades starting in Myer Sydney City on Thursday, August 23,” the spokesperson said.
“Jennifer will also be actively involved in our spring racing carnival campaign and Myer Fashions on the Field hosted across the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“We will update the media in relation to Jennifer’s contract with Myer in the coming weeks,” the spokesperson said.