Posted by Kristen Hyde on October 10, 2017 in AncestryDNA

What do you think of when you think ‘British style’? A classic trench coat? Some well-loved Wellies? Artful layering?

British style is as diverse as the people who call the nation home and gives as much of a nod to cultural and environmental influences, as it does to the nation’s diverse and dramatic history.

It is with this in mind that we’ve collaborated with British fashion brand, Jigsaw in the launch of their Autumn/Winter 17 campaign – aptly named ‘♥immigration’.

The campaign aims to challenge the traditional notion of ‘British’ style by celebrating the people and cultures that have contributed to making Jigsaw a ‘Beautifully British’ brand since 1970.

After all, Jigsaw wouldn’t be Jigsaw without immigration. It was a humble Afghan coat that first started the brand, brought into the country by Jigsaw founder, John Robinson in 1970. Now, the company employs 45 nationalities across the business. Immigration and cultural diversity has become a defining aspect of the brand and has influenced what we now know as ‘British style’ on the high street.

“We could just talk about clothes,” says Peter Ruis, CEO of Jigsaw, “but with what is going on around us it seems hypocritical and superficial not to accept the debt we owe to immigration in its broadest sense. Be it people, cloth, the stone floors in our shops, the film to shoot our campaigns. We are all part of a vibrant, tolerant, global Britain.”

At Ancestry, we also believe that diversity is stitched into the fabric of who we are. To support Jigsaw in their campaign, we invited the staff to take AncestryDNA tests to learn more about the people and places from their past. We are also collaborating with a group of fashion designers who will each use their AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate as inspiration for a bespoke fashion piece. Jigsaw’s ‘♥immigration’ campaign is a celebration of all the ways in which our differences and diversity can be beautiful. The campaign is perfectly summed up in the ‘♥immigration’ manifesto:

British Style is not 100% British.
In fact, there’s no such thing as ‘100% British’.
Or 100% Dutch, French, American, Asian or European.
Whatever your opinion, at some point in your ancestry
someone moved in and unsettled the neighbours.
Because none of us are the product of staying put.
And we’re no different.
As a clothing brand we couldn’t do what we do
if people weren’t free to move around.
Without immigration, we’d be selling potato sacks.
We need beautiful minds from around the world.
Working with beautiful materials from around the world.
To make beautiful things for people around the world.
Fear, isolation, and intolerance will hold us back.
Love, openness, and collaboration will take us forward.

We couldn’t agree more.

Kristen Hyde

Kristen is Ancestry's Social Media Manager for the United Kingdom.


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