Karen Elson St. John ad campign

Karen Elson follows in Angelina Jolie's footsteps as face of St. John. Photo courtesy of St. John

Angelina Jolie can be a tough act to follow... but one gal's up for the challenge.

St. John, the fashion knitwear giant, has announced that it has followed up former spokesmodel Jolie with crimson-haired catwalker Karen Elson, last seen taking a nose dive off the stage at the British Fashion Awards, WWD reports.

Though St. John CEO Glenn McMahon told the source that Jolie -- who reportedly had issues with the dresses she was given to wear to red carpet events -- "overshadowed the brand," prompting several outlets to report that Jolie had been dumped in favor of Elson.

The real story? St. John's PR told StyleList that its relationship with the actress ended amicably in 2008 after her three-year contract was up.

"Her [Jolie's] relationship with St John continues to be very positive," St. John reiterated to us in a statement.

"We wanted to make a clean break from actresses and steer away from blondes and cleanse the palette," McMahon told WWD, referring to Jolie and longtime model Kelly Gray.

"We needed to show a modern point of view of St. John. We have evolved."

Karen Elson St. John ad campign

Angelina who? Karen Elson brings high drama to St. John's Spring 2010 ad campaign. Photos courtesy of St. John

That evolution translates to Greg Kadel's bold image of Elson and her scarlet tresses, a dramatic contrast to the classic black and white shots that featured Jolie.

"The ads offer a fresh take from the images of the past and are clean, modern and editorial in feel," according to a company statement.

"The combination of Creative Director George Sharp's desire to express a modern take on the classic St. John brand, the evocative look of Karen Elson combined with Greg Kadel's keen eye resulted in a beautiful campaign that is directional, yet, attainable."

The new campaign will reportedly be featured in the February issues of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Vanity Fair.

But fear not, Jolie fans. You'll get your Angelina fix the next time, oh, Shiloh eats a tater tot or the twins get their diapers changed.

Let us know who you prefer in a comment!

And check out Givenchy's new spring campaign.