The war between David Jones and Myer is starting to resemble a Shakespearean love story at best, Single White Female at worst.
David Jones will begin its summer collections season in Sydney on Wednesday night with a sit-down dinner catered by Neil Perry for 330 guests, including Karl Stefanovic and his new girlfriend Jasmine Yarbrough. On the runway will be Australian-born, United States-based model Shanina Shaik.
The 26-year-old was last year across the road at Myer, walking alongside Jennifer Hawkins, something she said was a lifelong ambition. At the time, former deputy chief executive Daniel Bracken hinted the department store was interested in working again with Shaik.
But like the seasons and the top brass at our department stores, things change quickly.
“They invited me to walk in their show as a special guest and I embraced the opportunity to come back to Australia to see my friends and family,” Shaik said of her tenure with Myer.
She has now defected to DJs and will grace the catwalk with ambassadors Jessica Gomes and Jesinta Franklin, wearing Zimmermann, Aje and P.E Nation.
This latest jumping of shopping centre ships is another move by Shaik that sees her replicating her idol, Miranda Kerr.
The two models now share a manager, are both Victoria’s Secret veterans and, after Wednesday, have been on David Jones’ books.
“I’ve always wanted to work with David Jones, so when my agent got the call I jumped at the chance,” she said ahead of her DJs runway debut. “I grew up shopping at the store and looking up to their ambassadors, especially Miranda Kerr.”
David Jones – which reportedly paid more than $1 million to have American model and good friend of Ivanka Trump Karlie Kloss star in its winter campaign and showcase earlier this year – has now cast an all-Aussie line-up for the summer show.
The retailer has also lured local ’90s model Anneliese Seubert out of retirement for one night. She will appear alongside another fashion great, Emma Balfour.