Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Natelle Baddeley

Head of design for accessories & swimwear, Debenhams

What does your job involve?

I devise, create and edit the product design direction for the womenswear accessories division of Debenhams. This comprises trend research, producing visuals to illustrate new concepts or products, managing the creative direction for the division and working closely with other internal teams such as marketing, press and online.

What skills do you need?

A passion for fashion and a background in design for handbags, shoes, jewellery, swimwear and scarves, as well as a keen eye for print, colour and detail. You need to be able to identify a new trend and have a creative yet commercial mind.

What do you like and dislike about your job?

The variety of working across such an array of brands and products. The daily nature of a busy design studio and buying office is fast paced and exciting. It’s satisfying seeing 2D product come to life and seeing sales figures come through. The only dislike is the number of meetings versus pure creative time.

How did you get to where you are today?

I specialised in accessories design at college and did internships at Bill Amberg and Paul Harnden Shoemakers, learning to draft patterns and make samples by hand. I gained design experience working in the Far East at suppliers to the high street, before going into design on the retail and brand side.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

I’m very proud of the fact that Debenhams is number one market leader for the whole accessories sector, according to [research firm] Kantar WorldPanel Fashion. Launching all the new brands like Mantaray, H! by Henry Holland, Beach By Melissa Odabash and Jonathan Kelsey for our Edition label, expanding the business by moving our brands into further product categories, and working with designers such as Henry Holland, Jonathan Kelsey, Jasper Conran and Julien Macdonald.

What is your ambition?

In the short term I want to focus on getting new brands on board and to expand our choice with own label and Designers at Debenhams collaborations. In the medium term, who knows, a design directorship would be nice. Longer term my secret retirement dream is a little gift/coffee shop in the Malvern Hills.

How do you intend to get there?

Good old-fashioned hard work, working closely with the amazingly talented people here at Debenhams.

What three words sum you up?

Enthusiastic, creative, strategic.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Approach finding your first job as an investment. While studying, offer to work for free (or very little) in return for work experience, spend time researching and targeting the right people and companies, and be unique and creative with your approach. 

CV

2006  Head of design for accessories and swimwear, Debenhams

2001  Accessories design manager, Marks & Spencer

2000  Consultant senior designer, Reiss

1999  Senior accessories and footwear designer, Katharine Hamnett

1996  Handbag designer, Acompany 

1994  Handbag designer, Nancy Fisher

1993  Freelance design assistant, Bill Amberg

1990  HND in fashion accessories design, London College of Fashion

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.