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People moves 2012: Top 35

Drapers takes a look back at some of the most significant people moves to shake up the fashion sector in 2012, in a year full of high profile appointments and resignations.


Jan 4 - Selfridges appoints former Harrods buyer Abigail Rainer as director of women’s accessories and kidswear, starting January 9. Judd Crane also joined from Hong Kong department store Lane Crawford in the role of director of womenswear, starting on February 6.

Jan 4 – It was announced that TJX Europe senior executive vice president Paul Sweetenham would leave the company. Sweetenham, who has been at the helm of the TK Maxx parent since 2007, was replaced by Michael MacMillan, who headed up The Marmaxx Group.

Jan 19 - Boxfresh managing director Daniel Morris left the Pentland Group-owned brand to “pursue other opportunities”. He was replaced by Ellesse managing director Mike Stopforth.

Jan 30 – It was announced that Shop Direct chief executive Mark Newton-Jones would leave the home shopping giant, though he remains at the business in an advisory role for now. Alex Baldock was appointed group CEO in September.


Feb 23 – New broke that Jil Sander creative director Raf Simons was set to leave the label with his last show at the fashion house to be his autumn 12 collection shown at Milan Fashion Fashion Week. In April Sander was named artistic director of Dior, filling the role that was left vacant by John Galliano.

Feb 29 - New Look’s creative director Barbara Horspool became the latest director to leave the value business, followed by head of buying Nicky Wills and head of merchandising for womenswear David Barton.


Mar 6 - Morrisons appointed former Peacocks managing director Tim Bettley as its first director of clothing in a bid to to ramp up its non-food offer.

Mar 7 - French luxury fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent named Hedi Slimane as its new creative director following the departure of Stefano Pilati.

Mar 15 - Jason Tarry, who was chief executive of clothing for Tesco Central Europe, was named chief executive for the whole of the supermarket retailer’s clothing business.

Mar 15 - Ebay general manager of fashion Miriam Lahage left her role at the etailer after more than a year and a half at the business. In April it was announced Lahage would join Austrian retailer Peek & Cloppenburg.

Mar 23 - Gwynn Milligan stepped down from her role as managing director of womenswear etailer Cocosa, along with finance director Stephen Lewis, after both spening just six months at the business. Reiss snapped Milligan up in May for the newly-created role of trading director.


April 20 - Premium etailer poached Harrods ecommerce boss David Worby as its chief executive.


May 4 – It was announced that Debenhams’ long-serving womenswear design director Karen Peacock would join Marks & Spencer as head of design for footwear and accessories, Autograph, Classics and the Indigo Collection, in July.

May 17 - George at Asda executive managing director Andrew Moore became chief merchandising officer across Asda and George.


Jun 7 – It was announced that Aquascutum design director Joanna Sykes would leave her role at the end of the month.

Jun 13 - Japanese fast fashion retailer Uniqlo appointed former Bally chief executive officer Berndt Hauptkorn as chief executive officer of Uniqlo Europe.

Jun 29 - Harvey Nichols has appointed Grazia style director, Paula Reed, as its group fashion director, effective from September.


Jul 3 - Alan White, chief executive of N Brown and chairman Lord Alliance announced plans to exit the home shopping group, with Tesco executive director Andrew Higginson stepping in to replace Lord Alliance in September. White will depart the retailer in the second half of 2013.

Jul 10 – After much speculation it was announced that Kate Bostock would step down from her role on the board and as executive director of general merchandise at Marks and Spencer on October 1 through “mutual consent” after eight years at the company. Debate raged over what her Next move would be, and on Oct 10 it was announced that she would join Asos as executive director, product and trading in January.

Jul 27 – It was revealed that JJB Sports’ chief executive Keith Jones would depart the struggling retailer. Former La Senza commercial director Beverley Williams was appointed as interim chief executive.


Aug 30 - Jane McNally, the deputy chief executive of womenswear business Jacques Vert and former chief executive of Irisa Group stepped down from the business.


Sept 4 – It was announced that Stephanie Chen, executive director of womenswear, lingerie and accessories at department store group House of Fraser, would leave the retailer to join Marks & Spencer to oversee homeware and kidswear. She was replaced by Allan Winstanley, House of Fraser’s executive director of menswear and kidswear. As a result Jackie Hay, then director of buying for menswear and kidswear, was promoted to fill Winstanley’s role.  

Sept 5 – After five years in the role Harold Tillman announced plans to step down as chairman of the British Fashion Council in 2013, to be succeeded by Natalie Massenet, founder and executive chairman of Net-A-Porter.

Sept 18 - GAP appointed Rebekka Bay, creative director at Brunns Bazaar, as creative director and executive vice president of global design.


Oct 4 - Google head of retail Peter Fitzgerald was appointed to the board of Debenhams as a non-executive director to help grow the department store group’s online business.

Oct 8 - All Saints chairman Kevin Stanford was reported to have left the business he founded in 1994 after clashing with controlling shareholder Lion Capital.

Oct 17 – It was reported that Paul Allen, chief executive of Jacques Vert Group, would exit the retailer in 2013. Disney Stores Europe president and joint managing director Teresa Tideman will join the business as chief executive next March.

Oct 22 - Asos’s buying director Caren Downie and womenswear design director Sarah Wilkinson became the latest senior figures to step down from the etail fashion giant. They were followed by head of buying Ellen Andrews in November, who had been at the business for seven years.


Nov 6 - Ben Sherman chief executive Pan Philippou left the men’s young fashion brand.

Nov 15 - appointed Carmen Borgonovo, former senior stytle editor at Harper’s Bazaar as fashion director, starting in January. She replaces buying and merchandising director Luisa De Paula, who is leaving after five years at the business.

Nov 27 - Jaeger appointed Collette Brown, a senior Burberry designer, to head up its womenswear design team from December.


Dec 5 - New Look has appointed Bestseller’s Anders Kristiansen as new chief executive of the value fashion chain. He starts on January 7.

Dec 6 – It was announced that Selfridges buying director David Walker-Smith would depart the business to join family-owned department store chain Fenwick, to become managing director of its flagship fashion store on Bond Street.

Dec 10 - Giorgio Armani hired Gabriella Piccinni as chief executive of the UK arm of the business.

Dec 14 – Inditex, the parent company of Zara, announced its UK boss Dilip Patel would take up the reigns of its fledgling US business from January, with Lorenzo Marcheselli, the boss of its Italian arm, taking over the UK.

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