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Helen Mirren Stars In Stunning New Marks & Spencer Campaign (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

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What do Grace Coddington, Helen Mirren, Ellie Goulding and Karen Elson have in common? They're all "Leading Ladies," according to Marks & Spencer's dramatic new ad campaign.

The mid-level British department store is attempting to revive its image with ads featuring sophisticated "ambassadors" who "possess intelligence, the confidence to succeed and innate personal style." The Annie Leibovitz-lensed shots call to mind the photographer's iconic Vanity Fair spreads, and as the Daily Mail notes, they "look like they could be attending a UN summit."

The leading ladies listed above are joined by a diverse and highbrow roster including acid attack survivor Katie Piper, ballerina Darcey Bussell, Olympic boxer Nicola Adams, nurse Helen Allen, novelist Monica Ali, singer Laura Mvula and Save The Children CEO Jasmine Whitbread. According to Steven Sharp, M&S' marketing director, the shoot's direction was simple and hands-off: "On the first day, Annie said, 'Let's put them all together in a room and we'll leave them there.' After 20 minutes, it was a party."

"We wanted this campaign to signal a new and confident tone of voice," Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director of marketing and business developments, told Vogue UK. The Leading Ladies collection goes on sale September 3. Watch the spokesmodels talk about their greatest assets in the video below. How do you like Marks & Spencer's new look?

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PHOTOS:

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Helen could sell us anything:

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