WAGs Boutique

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WAGs Boutique
Format Reality
Presented by June Sarpong
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 13
Production
Running time 60 minutes
(including commercials)
Production company(s) Off the Radar
Talkback Thames
Distributor Fremantle Media
Broadcast
Original channel ITV2
Picture format 16:9
Original run 30 January 2007 (2007-01-30) – 24 April 2007 (2007-04-24)
External links
Website

WAGs Boutique was a reality television show on ITV2 in which two teams of WAGs (footballers' wives and girlfriends) ran two rival fashion boutiques over a three-month period.

Format[edit]

Ten WAGs are split into two teams, both of which will run neighbouring boutiques. The WAGs will have to think of a boutique name, decorate the boutiques themselves and choose every single item of stock. They will run the boutiques themselves, with only the occasional word of advice from their mentors. Each week, a manager for each boutique will be chosen and a challenge will be set. The manager will then have to select 2 of their WAGs to leave the shop and complete the challenge. During the 3 months, the contestant WAGs will be competing for their team's chosen charity all profit the boutiques make will go to the charity.

The winning team will be group who takes the most profit. There will also be a winning WAG, who was originally going to get to work with fashion designer Scott Henshall to design her own high street range of fashion, however, the winning WAG from series one, Krystell Sidwell, did not receive this prize, but instead, was awarded a column in Reveal Magazine.

The format was devised, and is owned by Off the Radar, a production company based in London. The pre-production name of FW Boutique was changed to WAGs Boutique and the show commenced broadcasting on Tuesday, 30 January 2007 and ended on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 on ITV2. Wags Boutique is hosted by the female face of Channel 4's youth show T4, June Sarpong. The WAGs Boutique series was co-produced by Soho-based production agency, Off the Radar and Talkback Thames.[1]

Contestants[edit]

  • Madeleine Bowden sings, dances and plays piano for an all-girl group called RockerBaby. Last year, she was a back-up dancer for Kanye West for the 2006 BRIT Awards, painted from gold from head-to-toe. She was the then girlfriend of Justin Hoyte, (Middlesbrough & England U-21). In the first show, she was picked to join Team 1.
  • Julie Phillips is the wife of Kevin Phillips (Birmingham City). She and Kevin have been married for over eight years and have four children together, Millie (9), twins Toby and Kia (5), and 9 month-old Alfie. In the first show, she was picked to join Team 1.
  • Cassie Sumner is a Glamour Model and ex-girlfriend of Michael Essien (Chelsea & Ghana). In the first show, she was picked to join Team 2. On 2 February 2007, a spokesman for Michael Essien came forward and stated that Cassie is not his wife nor girlfriend. He stated that Michael does know Cassie and sees her as a friend – but there is nothing more to it than that. An ITV spokesman said: "We thought Cassie and Essien were a couple.". Since Michael's spokesman came forward and stated that Cassie was never his girlfriend, Cassie provided full evidence to the News of the World newspaper in February 2007 that she DID romantically date Michael Essien. The News of the World backed her and ran her story. Cassie also gave an in-depth interview to OK! magazine in March 2007 talking about the 17-month relationship that she had with Michael and the real reason why Michael dumped her.
  • Krystell Sidwell is the wife of Steve Sidwell (Aston Villa). She and Steve have been married for two years and have a one-year-old son, Harry. In the first show, she was picked to join Team 1.
  • Nicola T (real name Nicola Tappenden) became a Page 3 model in 2003, after winning The Sun newspaper’s first ever ‘Page 3 Idol’ competition. She was the girlfriend of Bobby Zamora (real name Robert Lester Zamora) (Fulham). Tappenden is now engaged to Plymouth Argyle football player Simon Walton. In the first show, she was picked to join Team 1.

Teams[edit]

The ten WAGs were split into two teams, picked by each store's Mentor. Both boutiques were located on Marshall Street, London. The teams are as follows:

Teams
Number Name Civic number WAG Mentor
1
Bows
33
Madeleine Bowden
Anna Park
Michaela Henderson-Thynne
Julie Phillips
Krystell Sidwell
Nicola T
2
Better Half
34
Jadene Bircham
Lyn Gardner
Elle Isaac
Charlotte Mears
Cassie Sumner
Heather Swan
Episodes
Week number Week name Events
1
  • The ten WAGs are introduced to one another outside the stores in Marshall Street. Here, the mentors for each team (Anna Park & Lyn Gardner) choose the girls, one by one, who will run their boutiques.
  • After the teams have been chosen (see below for teams), the girls are set off on their first task – deciding what to call their stores and heading off on a buying trip to source some stock.
  • Team 1 decide on Bow (which they later change to Bows) whilst Team 2 settle for the football friendly Eleven (only to discover that someone else has already registered a shop in that name and are forced to change it to their second choice – Better Half).
  • The Better Half girl Cassie and the Bows girl Michaela come to blows on a stock buying trip to Paris. The tension follows them all the way back to London, culminating in a petulant Ms. Michael Essien refusing to come out of the lavatory until Michaela apologises.
2
Launch party
  • The girls' first task of the week was to get the boutiques decorated. With just eleven days until the launch parties, the girls start offering free football tickets, amongst other things, to the decorators. But the decorators have another idea and bring along five sets of painting overalls for the girls to help out. Although Bows did quite well with not much griping, it was a different story next door at Better Half with the girls not finding the task very amusing.
  • The next task saw the teams sitting down to discuss their launch parties. With both teams using their crafty tactics, Bows called in the assistance of professional party organiser Jade Reuben, the main concern being who the team can get for their guest list.
  • Better Half almost lost some of their stars to the shop next door as The Cheeky Girls stand on the wrong side of the divide.
  • But as the WAGs danced the night away, there was a problem brewing for Cassie. Her boyfriend, Michael Essien had told the tabloids that they were never an item. The TV producers called her into speak to her and decide to let the decision whether she stays or goes to her team mates. Cassie stated: "We've been together for more than a year. He's bought me a car and I went to Germany for the World Cup. I've got proof that we were together.".
  • Her team are sympathetic and decide to let her stay however, Jadene can't help but point out in a tongue'n'cheek way: "You'll be cleaning the loos now you're no longer a WAG!".
3
The Promotion Challenge
  • The first day of trading for both stores sees Better Half racking up £1,898 of sales, however, Bows end up slightly ahead with a total of £2,048.
  • Better Half head to the store on Day 2, however, when they get to the boutique, they discover that they have been burgled. Despite the thieves making off with just two bags, at £500 each, it leaves the girls £1,000 down.
  • Each of the boutiques are appointed a store manager for the day. Heather was picked for the Better Half Team, whilst Madeleine is chosen for the Bows boutique.
  • The first team challenge is announced and the teams have just three days to design their own websites and promote their boutiques. The store managers choose Cassie & Jadene (Better Half) and Julie & Krystell (Bows) to carry out the challenge. The girls are then sent off to speak with the web designers to discuss the look of their sites. Cassie, however, was more interested in flirting with the designer.
  • Whilst the girls are off on the second part of their challenge, promoting the stores on radio stations across London, the rest of the team continues to sell merchandise from their stores. Thinking they are lagging behind in the publicity part of the challenge, the Bows team land a TV interview on Soccer AM which gets them more customers.
  • But there are problems back at Bows as the ceiling has been leaking and there is no choice but to close the lower floor until a plumber can be called. Even worse, after last week's 'de-WAG-ing' of Cassie, this week it is Michaela who is stripped of her WAG status as she splits up with her boyfriend, Stewart Downing.
  • With the challenge close to complete, the girls were taken to a private cinema for the feedback. Jacqueline Gold (Managing Director of Ann Summers) has been following their progress and summarises the results. Based on the website design and radio interviews, Better Half win by far. However, Bows had more customers, sold more stock and, most crucially, have had three times more hits to their website with an amazing 23,737 hits in just one day. She announces, therefore, that Bows win the challenge, and a night at the 2007 BRIT Awards as their prize.
4
The Fashion Week Challenge
  • This week, the girls had to discover young designers to stock in their boutiques. The team with the strongest profit would be the winners of the weekly challenge.
  • Bows took an early head start and started booking appointments with some of the freshest design faces in London. But Better Half were determined that this would be the week they beat their rivals.
  • Better Half Manager (for the day) Jadene selected Charlotte and Heather for the challenge and the girls were split on their choice of stock. Charlotte wanted bags but Heather struck a fantastic deal on some designer necklaces (as worn by Kate Moss) and was determined to stick with her decision.
  • Meanwhile, Nicola and Michaela (carrying out the challenge for Bows) fall for some beautiful bags complete with their own bows (the ones which Better Half had just passed up).
  • But Bows had a huge advantage over Better Half due to the queues of people down the street, wanting to get their hands on their pink, Great Ormond Street charity hooded sweatshirts. But there was a slight problem – the hoodies would be out of stock three weeks.
  • Nicola tried to get one up over the other team by inviting a tabloid photographer down to the boutique to get photos of the girls with their challenge bags. There is just one slight problem – he wants the girls to pose topless. With Krystelle, Madeleine and Julie refusing, it leaves just Michaela and Nicola wearing swimsuits and making sure the bags and bows are in full view, they pose for the photographer and in one day sell out of their stock for the challenge.
  • Meanwhile, Better Half are struggling with promotion and, with only a small budget, Heather and Charlotte decide to throw a party for their customers, luring them with the promise of champagne and strawberries to get them in the mood for shopping. Unfortunately, the fruit gets sent next door and by the time Jadene locates it, generous Julie has already given it out to her customers! To top things off, Charlotte and Heather arrive with the drinks an hour after their customers and discover that most people have already gone home including their teammates.
  • As the queues for Bows continued, the situation at Better Half got worse and arguments started to arise. Charlotte, asked to leave work fifteen minutes early...to go to dinner but was refused by manager Jadene. Charlotte stormed out, much to the bemusement of the onlooking customers. On top of that, Cassie has sold her story about her relationship with Michael Essien to the tabloids and Jadene is furious, labelling her a 'kiss and tell'.
  • At challenge decision time, it is discovered that although Bows sold out of their stock in just one day, whilst Better Half got off to a slow start, the challenge wasn't just about selling all the items. It was about making the greatest profit.
  • Whilst Bows got a reasonable discount on their stock, Heather had driven an even harder bargain for Better Half. Bows' ended up making a profit of £906, whilst Better Half stored up a massive £3,186 and win this weeks challenge.
5
The Now Magazine Challenge
  • This week, the challenge was set by the Star Style Editor for Now Magazine and is all about dressing up and pouting for the cameras. Something the WAGs should be used to. The girls are required to art direct a photo shoot that will appeal to the Now readers. They have to select the clothes (from their stock), choose the props and model the styles themselves. The winners will get to see their photos in print as the prize is a spread in the magazine.
  • Better Half manager Cassie nominates herself and Charlotte, whilst Bows' manager Nicola T opts for Madeleine and Michaela. With just a few hours to source the items, the heat is on and the girls set out to find their outfits. Madeleine and Michaela choose "Monochrome Madness" as their theme, capitalising on the abundance of black and white clothes they have in their boutique. Meanwhile, Charlotte and Cassie have a title ("Never Too Busy to Be Gorgeous") but are struggling to find the clothes to match.
  • First, in front of the camera, are Bows and they discover that their chosen prop (a lampshade) just isn't stylish enough for the shoot. However, their rock chick style is spot on and they get the shots they want. Better Half are having problems, Cassie is feeling deflated as she realises that there is no consistent style to their chosen clothes and the photographer can't stop laughing at their props (a selection of clocks) which forces the girls to abandon them. Instead, they put all of their energy into their modelling and despite a shaky start, leave with some fine feedback from the photographer who claims that they 'gave it everything'.
  • Back at the boutiques, Bows are faced with their first angry customer who demands compensation in the form of free product whilst Cassie returns from the shoot to discover that Elle has been slacking and punishes her in true WAG style – by forcing her to wear the least glamorous outfit in the shop – a camouflage tracksuit.
  • The stock has been flying out of Bows and they have a nice but urgent problem to resolve – how to stock their shelves without spending any more money. Nicola T (a self-confessed, list-writing obsessive) proves her worth as manager, persuading two wholesale companies to donate some stock and, with the rails replenished, the girls are back in business just in time for the rush of Saturday customers.
  • To liven things up, both boutiques decide to get into the party spirit – Better Half with a '3rd Week' birthday party (complete with balloons and cake) and Bows with a bit of fancy dress. Nicola T has bought each girl a costume including police woman, bunny girl and devil. However, there are some strange looks from the customers and the girls give up after just a few hours, worried that they look more like an Ann Summers shop than a fashion boutique.
  • There is a special, guest customer for both boutiques as infamous Celebrity Big Brother contestant Danielle Lloyd pays a visit. The paparazzi are out in force but there is one WAG who has no time for the tabloids. Michaela has just heard that there is a story in one of the papers, claiming that her recent ex Stewart Downing (whom she was with for four years) is the father to a 'love-child'.
  • But there is some better news in store. The challenge has been judged and, despite strong feedback for both shoots, Bows are declared the winners, making the score 2–1 in their favour and landing them a fantastic prize. As well as having their shoot published, the girls will also be getting their own column in Now.
6
The Vintage Challenge
  • The girls start with breakfast in a west London restaurant to find out what this week's challenge is and to discover that this week's managers are Julie (Bows) and Charlotte (Better Half). The challenge is to choose vintage clothes to sell at Portobello Market. There are 172 items – 86 for each team and Bows are talking dirty tactics.
  • Nicola says: "Assuming the others choose something we want, one of us will distract them and the other get it back out of their bag"! There are also tactics being put in place back at the shops where Charlotte and Julie are laying down some ground rules. Unfortunately, for both managers, there are problems in store. At Better Half, Charlotte is struggling to control her staff and things reach a head when Cassie disappears for a three-hour lunch with Jadene.
  • But at Bows, with Nicola and Krystelle off on the challenge, Julie is left with Michaela and Madeleine to help her in the store. The queue is round the block but Michaela decides to go shopping, leaving the others to get on with the hard work. When she returns, Michaela's response is to start screaming in front of the customers then storm out leaving the boutique early to go home.
  • Meanwhile, at the market, it is raining and the girls are off to a slow start. But once Better Half make their first sale, there's no stopping them (it could help that QPR is just around the corner!) and Bows are forced to reduce their prices to compete.
  • With the challenge complete, it is back to HQ to find out who has won and to get some feedback from the mentors. Cassie admits that she had a bad week and Better Half promise to resolve their issues. But Michaela is in more trouble. Mentor Anna Park claims that she should have been fired and that her behaviour was embarrassing.
  • But this isn't all. This week, it is Bows who lose out to Better Half on two scores – Better Half have served 1,330 customers to Bows 956 and their market stall has turned in a profit of £497.27 to Bows £258.60.
7
Red Carpet Dresses
  • As manager for Better Half, Cassie chooses Heather and Charlotte for the challenge, claiming that they are the most design conscious. Meanwhile, Michaela (this week's manager at Bows) selects herself and Julie. But just where are the WAG-mobiles off to and who are the secret celebrities?
  • As Michaela and Julie find themselves at ITV Yorkshire, they speculate that their celebrity is a soap star and they are on target. Their celebrity is Emmerdale star Adele Silva and her brief for the dress provides more than enough freedom for the WAGs to show their design skills. The only stipulations are that it should be flattering for a smaller frame, quite fitted and definitely not neon. Drawings ready, the girls head back to London for their meeting with young designer Mustafa who will be making the dress.
  • Meanwhile, Heather and Charlotte (Better Half) are off to discover which celebrity they're designing for. Finding themselves on the set of Coronation Street, it is clear that they too have a soap star - this time, actress Tupele Dorgu who says that she wants strong colours and "to make the most of her assets!".
  • The girls are determined to win and decide on a 'make or break' accessory – a fantastic, mirror belt. They even go as far as to help make it until Mustafa forces them to leave to let him get on with the work.
  • Back at the boutiques, Nicola T has a special visitor – her mum! She's come to put a smile back on Nicola's face (who's been crying because of missing boyfriend Bobby Zamora.).
  • Next door at Better Half, Cassie decides to host a sale for all the high-priced stock that is proving difficult to sell and closes an hour ahead of schedule to get the shop prepared (despite Elle's offer to keep the til open). With the sale proving popular the next day, there are two customers who don't quite fit in. However, as Elle discovers, these 'builders' are really strip-o-grams that the girls have booked as a surprise birthday present for her.
  • There is more tension in store as an angry customer accuses Better Half of selling over-priced stock. A fight is close and only prevented by an angry Cassie banning the customer from the boutique. At Bows, there might not be fights, but the girls are less than thrilled when manager Michaela gives herself permission to go home 45 minutes early, leaving Madeleine and Julie to serve hundreds of queuing customers.
  • Both boutiques are eager to see the dresses and as they gather at HQ for this week's feedback, they can't believe how well the red carpet pieces look. Adele is in a fitted corset dress with floating skirt – elegant, stylish and totally sexy in flattering nude tones. Meanwhile, Tupele is in a head turning pink and orange chiffon dress with mirror belt.
  • Scott Henshall chooses Better Half as the winners, giving them a 3–2 lead over Bows. Their prize is a premiere party and some of Scott Henshall's own couture collection to sell in their boutique.
8
The Advertising Challenge
  • As the girls meet at the offices of advertising maestro, Trevor Beattie, they discover that their challenge this week is the hardest so far. Trevor Beattie is the man responsible for the head-turning ‘Hello Boys’ Wonderbra campaign and his challenge is for the girls to design a campaign for their boutique. The only requisite is that it has to feature photos of all the girls. Other than that, it is a clear brief.
  • As boutique managers this week, Elle (Better Half) and Krystelle (Bows) choose who will face the challenge. Elle nominates Jadene and herself as the two strongest candidates whilst Krystelle (via Nokia mobile because, she's running behind schedule) nominates Nicola T and Madeleine. As the challengers stay in the agency offices to brainstorm ideas for their campaigns, the others head back to the boutiques where Better Half receive their previous week's prize – two Scott Henshall dresses.
  • At Bows, there is an additional helper in the shape of Julie's daughter which is just as well as manager Krystelle has been delayed at home. But when she does turn up there is a lovely gesture in store for the customers queuing outside as she sweetens them up with a selection of chocolates. Meanwhile, Cassie puts herself in charge of the Better Half window where she displays pictures of her and Charlotte from the Now magazine photoshoot along with the dresses they're modelling.
  • Back at the advertising agency, the girls are developing their campaigns. With Elle and Jadene struggling slightly, Nicola and Madeleine hit on a line they feel could be the winning formula – "How far would you go for fashion?". As far as Bows and get to writing it on their board to see how it looks. Desperate for inspiration, Jadene takes to covering her face with stickers which Elle loves, especially the 'Pig mentality' one which she feels says everything.
  • But as the day continues, Better Half choose a copyline they’re satisfied with – ‘No room for substitutes’ with a picture of their girls tearing Bows’ limb from limb! Who says WAGs aren’t competitive? With just 24 hours to prepare their presentations, the girls head back to each other's houses to design their storyboards.
  • 22:30 and Bows have hardly started. But it is worse for Better Half. Having prepared one campaign, Jadene wakes on Friday with doubts and decides to change everything just hours ahead of their meeting with Trevor Beattie. The idea is visual – photos of the glamorous WAGs with footballers' legs as their bottom half. But there is a twist in store. The girls assume they are presenting just to Trevor. But he has invited 50 of advertising's top females to sit in and judge the presentations.
  • Bows make a strong pitch with "How far would you go for fashion?". Clean, sexy and cool – the perfect combination for a fantastic advert. Better Half present their campaign with some visual help from Elle. In football shorts and socks, Elle's look dovetails with the campaign – glamorous top half and football bottom half.
  • Meanwhile, back at the shops, could Michaela have changed from naughty girl to professional assistant, as she disappears not for a break but to get more stock? She's even in at 09:00 Saturday to merchandise the stock ahead of the onslaught of customers and receives great feedback from mentor Anna Park.
  • But it is the words of Trevor Beattie that the girls are really wanting to hear as he reveals who has won this week's challenge. Admitting that it was close, he says that Better Half made a fantastic pitch and Bows had an amazing creative. But, the deciding factor was the use of branding and for this he declares Jadene and Elle's the winning campaign. The prize for Better Half is a poster campaign across 9 sites in London – "quite a win".
9
The Managers Swap Boutiques
  • As the girls gather for their meeting, one WAG is absent as Charlotte (Better Half) is ill. But the girls refuse to let it deter them which is just as well as the challenge is an especially hard one – to sell a range of Isabella Oliver maternity wear for just one day. It will require all the skills they've learnt so far and more than a bit of hard work.
  • But as Jadene (Better Half) and Nicola T (Bows) are revealed as this week's shop managers, there is a twist and it is one that the girls were definitely not anticipating. For this challenge, the managers will be swapping shops with Nicola taking on the Better Half boutique and Jadene in charge of Bows (and with it, the handful that is Michaela.). There is one other rule this week – the managers can't nominate themselves for the challenges. So, for Bows, the challengers are selected as Julie and Krystelle and for Better Half, Elle and Heather.
  • As the girls return to the boutiques, the challengers get started. Having each selected 100 items of clothing, the challenge gets harder as the girls TV presenting skills are put to the test with an impromptu spot on home shopping channel QVC. But back at the boutiques, things aren't quite so professional.
  • With Charlotte still absent and the others on the challenge, Nicola and Cassie find themselves on their own in Better Half and Nicola makes her stand as manager with a pyjama party. Meanwhile, Jadene's hardest task at Bows is getting Michaela to behave but could she have found a tactic that works? Instead of telling her off for not working as hard as the others, Jadene identifies Michaela's strengths and crowns her Bows' official entertainer, responsible for keeping the queues occupied as they wait to come into the boutique.
  • There is more trouble for Michaela as Jadene discovers mouse droppings in Bows and traces the source to Michaela's half eaten food left lying in the stock room. At Better Half, the situation isn't much better as Nicola's initial enthusiasm starts to diminish as she realises that she's then only one doing any work.
  • Meanwhile, on the challenge, the girls aren't having much more success as they struggle to find customers for their maternity range. Even Cassie's efforts to re-stock Better Half with a fantastic blag of 80 designer dresses leaves the others unimpressed and has her close to tears as Jadene tells her off for securing too much stock. As Cassie says, "when it's all free, how can it ever be too much?". Even the mentors agree. This week, Bows won the challenge, closing the gap to a 4–3 lead to Better Half.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WAGs to get own reality TV show", BBC News, 17 October 2006.

External links[edit]