Hawkins confirms bombshell Myer rumour
AFTER 12 years working with one of Australia's biggest retailers, former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins has confirmed she will step down as the face of the brand.
In a post to Instagram on Thursday afternoon, Hawkins - who was reportedly on a $1.3 million contract with Myer - said it was now time for her to take a step back from the Australian retailer.
"Way back in 2006 I was approached by Myer to sign a small 3 month contract to feature in a Christmas campaign," she wrote on the post. "Little did I know then that it would lead to being their Face and spokesman."
"It's now been an extraordinary relationship of 12 years! I've always been very proud and extremely grateful to work with such a beautiful and iconic company.
"I've been lucky enough to shoot some amazing campaigns both here and overseas and have had the opportunity to meet literally hundreds of thousands of loyal customers at store openings, launches etc, I have cherished every experience and memory.
"But after 12 years it's time to move onto a new chapter in my life. I'll be finishing up my role with Myer this November but I would like to take this moment to thank everyone at Myer - the staff, the amazing designers, the suppliers and everyone else for working alongside me over those 12 years.
"Myer will always hold a special place in my heart and I wish the Myer team every success for the future. Lots of love."
It is understood the veteran model was unable to negotiate a contract with the department store, forcing her to step down from her role.
According to Sydney Morning Herald's Private Sydney, the 34-year-old model will be replaced by reality star Elyse Knowles, 25, who will do the same job "at a fraction of the price."
Ms Hawkins, who was crowned Miss Universe in 2004, has a number of businesses under her belt - including tanning range JBronze, swimwear label Cozi and Tequila range, Sesión.
The former Newcastle cheerleader - who will turn 35 in December - is married to fellow model and builder, Jake Wall.
It is understood Hawkins will officially retire from her role with Myer in November, and will still appear in their Spring-Summer show later this month.
In a statement to news.com.au, Myer's Executive General Manager of Marketing and Customer, Louise Pearson, wanted to "sincerely thank" Hawkins for her 12 years as the Face of the brand.
"In the modern Australian retail landscape, we don't think there has been such a successful collaboration between ambassador and brand - one with the longevity, the authenticity and the resonance of Jennifer Hawkins and Myer," Ms Pearson said.
"Over more than a decade, Jennifer has brought exceptional Australian designers such as Alex Perry, Toni Maticevski and Acler into our customers' lives - and wardrobes. Jennifer has been incredibly influential for Australian designers and fashion racewear, in particular, and her relationship with, and connection with, our customers has always been wonderful to watch.
"There will never be another 'Face of Myer'.
Earlier this year, model and reality TV star Elyse Knowles made her runway return, strutting for department store Myer in March.
The Block winner, 25, appeared on the catwalk in Melbourne for the retail giant as part of Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, showing off her toned figure at Myer's Bourke St store.
The Instagram star, who has more than 870,000 followers, walked alongside Myer ambassador Kris Smith.
In late July, Myer announced they were signing local stars Hawthorn footballer Josh Gibson as well as Knowles to their stable of ambassadors.
To launch the first of their runway series, Myer's spring-summer shows will all take place in-store, in front of customers, with the first one happening on August 23, in their Sydney store.
According to Fairfax, Hawkins was earning $1.3 million, while Elyse's contract with the retailer is worth just $150,000, which has "ruffled Jennifer's feathers".
Speaking to The West last week, Knowles said Hawkins had played a "huge inspiration" to her modelling career.
"Jennifer has been a huge inspiration to me growing up and into this industry and I am thrilled to have the chance to work alongside her with Myer," Knowles said.
A Myer spokesman told news.com.au Hawkins was "under contract as the Face of Myer until the end of 2018".
"Jennifer has a busy period coming up with Myer to launch the Spring 2018 season and will take part in our Runway Series instore parades starting in Myer Sydney City on Thursday, August 23," the spokesman said.
"Jennifer will also be actively involved in our spring racing carnival campaign and Myer Fashions on the Field hosted across the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
"We will update the media in relation to Jennifer's contract with Myer in the coming weeks."
- News.com.au has contacted Jennifer Hawkins' management