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Jane Shepherdson, Chief executive, Whistles

Jane Shepherdson has had a dramatic year. The former Topshop brand director now heads up Whistles following a management buyout with a collective of former Topshop colleagues earlier this year.

Shepherdson sealed the deal to acquire the fashion chain from Mosaic Fashions, with Baugur retaining an interest in the business. Since the takeover, Shepherdson has revolutionised the business, with a “classic, pared-down” direction and a rebranding.

Shepherdson is drawing on the brand’s heritage to move the business forward. However, the contemporary womenswear retailer has been hit hard by the collapse of the Icelandic banking system, and Shepherdson has been on the hunt for additional funding. She is believed to be close to securing a refinancing package.

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