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Karen Millen appoints international boss

Aurora Fashions has appointed Simon Gaffey, the former merchandise director of the now-defunct Principles chain, as international director of its Karen Millen chain.

Gaffey replaces Sanjay Sharma, who will leave the fashion group at the end of September to head up a new venture for property group Land Securities (Drapers, June 20).
Aurora Fashions chief strategy officer Meg Lustman said Gaffey would be charged with boosting the premium womenswear chain’s overseas operation but declined to give a target number of stores.

In addition to womenswear retailer Principles, Gaffey previously worked for department store House of Fraser, kidswear retailer Mothercare and young fashion retailer Topshop. Most recently Gaffey headed up the Principles Trading Company [PTC] for Aurora Fashions. PTC was set up to manage some of the Principles leases and stock and its website after it went into administration in March. PTC will close in the next few weeks.

Lustman told Drapers: “International offers the biggest growth opportunity for Karen Millen. Sanjay has done a great job and it’s important this continues at the business. Simon has the right blend of negotiating, influencing and strategic decision-making skills. He had international experience with Mothercare and works well as part of the UK team.”
Karen Millen has 240 stores, 151 of which are overseas. Its annual sales are £110 million.

Separately, Karen Millen launched a new iPhone application this week, which enables customers to browse the latest Karen Millen collections via an iPhone.

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