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30 Under 30: Adam Wharton

Merchandiser, The Dune Group.

Adam Wharton

Adam Wharton

For Adam Wharton, shoes are in his genes. His uncle, Richard Wharton, former managing director of footwear chain Office, encouraged him to move to London to pursue a career in fashion upon graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in business studies in 2008.

After three months of weekends spent running from stock room to shop floor as a sales assistant at the Oxford Street Office, Wharton secured a job as an allocator at German retailer United Fashion Brands in 2008, owner of Forever18 and Colloseum. However, two years later - and by that time a senior allocator - he was looking for a new challenge. Cue a stint as assistant merchandiser at value women’s fashion retailer Select, before joining womenswear business Jane Norman as senior assistant merchandiser in 2011.

Then, in August 2012, footwear business The Dune Group came calling. Wharton stood out both in terms of his skillset and leadership ability, recalls buying director Debra Bloom: “Adam is very committed and hardworking, as well as passionate, sociable and engaging”.

Progressing from junior merchandiser to merchandiser in 2014, Wharton is keen to learn from those around him, including Dune chairman Daniel Rubin, whose career is a source of inspiration. “He started Dune in 1992 and has been the driving force behind making it the successful global brand it is today,” he says. “We work with so many talented people, you can always learn something.”

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