After Dustin Hoffman and Goldie Hawn: Richard Gere in KappAhl's new commercial

Richard Gere, one of Hollywood's biggest stars, will appear in KappAhl's new commercial. This makes him the third Hollywood actor, after Dustin Hoffman and Goldie Hawn to appear in KappAhl's You Look Great commercials. And as usual it's a woman who plays the lead role, while the star has to be satisfied with a supporting part. Richard Gere will be donating his fee to charity, including a health project in the third world.

Richard Gere has been on KappAhl's A-list of possible candidates from the start.

"The timing was right. Richard Gere is a superstar with incredibly strong charisma. When he says You Look Great in the film to our leading lady I'm convinced that all women will see this as a great compliment," says Cathrine Simonsson, Marketing Manager at KappAhl.

Richard Gere is very restrictive when it comes to doing commercials. "I've only done a few commercials and I carefully consider what companies I work with before I accept. Working with KappAhl is important and valuable and will benefit many poor people. Through my charity organisation, The Gere Foundation, I want to invest money in projects such as health insurance for the third world. I will therefore be donating my entire fee to this cause," he says.

Throughout his acting career Richard Gere has been involved in the fight for the weak. "He's a true humanitarian and combines his celebrity with a commitment to helping the poor, which he is also doing this time in donating his fee to this deserving cause," Cathrine Simonsson points out.

"You Look Great reflects our customers' view of themselves and we are helping to reaffirm this. KappAhl is very pleased that Richard Gere is spreading this message in our next commercial. We're equally pleased and proud that he has chosen to give his fee to such a worthy cause," says Christian W. Jansson, President and CEO of KappAhl.

As in KappAhl's previous commercials the superstars have to be satisfied with a supporting role. The lead is played by Kathleen McNenny, an American actress of Swedish ancestry. "I really like the You Look Great theme. Being comfortable with who you are and not worrying about your age is very important," she says.

The commercials were filmed over three days in New York. Around 70 people were involved in the production. To get the right atmosphere the film team cordoned off an entire street in the Meatpacking District, one of Manhattan's hottest spots, where TV series such as Sex and the City are filmed.

This covers a total of four commercials. One long main commercial that strengthens KappAhl's brand and the You Look Great concept, plus three shorter ones with a greater focus on the products. The commercials will be shown over a seven-week period in Sweden, Norway and Finland starting on 20 September. The commercials are part of a campaign that also covers DM, advertising, website campaigns and in-store activities.

In the commercials we follow a woman over a normal day, from her morning coffee to the evening dinner party. Richard Gere appears in different situations in the woman's daydreams. In one of the scenes he is by his car on the street calling up to her in the window, like in the film Pretty Woman.

The commercials are built on KappAhl's You Look Great advertising platform, which is a compliment and a tribute to all the company's customers. "KappAhl is an unusually human fashion chain aimed at women between 30 and 50 years-old who buy for the entire family. We want people to know that. Beauty comes mainly from individual style and charisma. KappAhl can then help strengthen their personality," highlights Cathrine Simonsson.

Facts about the actor Richard Gere:

  • He has been married to actress and Bond girl (Licence to Kill, 1989), Carey Lowell since 2002.
  • He had his first major role in the original cast of the theatre version of  "Grease" in London in 1973.
  • His major breakthrough came in 1980 with "American Gigolo", followed shortly after by "An Officer and a Gentleman" in 1982.He is probably best known for his role in "Pretty Woman" in 1990, where he played opposite Julia Roberts. He became one of Hollywood's biggest sex symbols of the 1980s and in 1999 was voted the world's sexiest man by People Magazine.
  • In 2002 he received a Golden Globe Award for best actor for his role as Billy Flynn in the musical "Chicago".
  • His latest film, "The Hoax", had its film premier in Sweden at the beginning of September. In this film he plays the part of a writer who tricked a publishing company and became rich after writing a false biography about industrialist Howard Hughes. The film was directed by Lasse Hallström.
  • His next film will be "I'm Not There", where he will be one of several actors portraying Bob Dylan.

Facts about the humanitarian Richard Gere:

  • He became interested in Buddhism when he travelled to Nepal for the first time in 1978. He's an active Buddhist and friend of the Dalai Lama. He's used his celebrity status for more than 25 years to fight for human rights, including through his own charity, The Gere Foundation.
  • He is also greatly involved in finding funding for Aids research and in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in India.
  • He supports various initiatives for creating peace, justice and understanding around the world and is an active member of Survival International, an organisation that works to protect various tribes' countries and rights.

Facts about Kathleen McNenny

  • She is an American actress who has appeared on Broadway and at theatres around the US. She has acted in a number of TV series and can now be seen in a minor role in the film "Music & Lyrics", where she plays opposite Hugh Grant.
  • She is of Swedish decent and her husband's family comes from Denmark. She also teaches at Juilliard School, a dance, drama and music college in New York.

To find out more about KappAhl's new commercial, please contact:
Cathrine Simonsson, Marketing Manager, tel +46 (0)31 771 55 74, mobile +46 (0)704 71 55 74
Annette Ravenshorst, PR Manager,  tel +46 (0)31 771 56 31, mobile +46 (0)704 71 56 31

KappAhl is a leading Nordic fashion chain with more than 272 stores in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Poland. We design, market and sell clothes for the entire family, but our primary target group is women aged 30 to 50 who buy for the entire family. KappAhl's head office and distribution centre, which handles transport to all stores, are located in Mölndal, on the outskirts of Göteborg, Sweden. KappAhl employs around 3,700 people and more than 90 per cent are women. During the 2005/2006 financial year, KappAhl reported sales of SEK 4.2 billion, with an operating profit of SEK 530 million. KappAhl is listed on the OMX. Further information about the company is available at www.kappahl.com.

Press contacts

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Charlotte Högberg, Head of Corporate Communications
Phone: +46 31 - 771 56 31
charlotte.hogberg@kappahl.com

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Monika Kostovska, Fashion Press and Sustainability Marketing Manager
Phone: +46 70 - 471 55 56
monika.kostovska@kappahl.com

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