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Footwear legend Peter Tainton dies

Footwear legend and Drapers’ Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Peter Tainton has died after a short illness.

Tainton, who pioneered the high street multiple’s approach to selling shoes by bringing footwear into the limelight at River Island, was 57. He died on September 27 of lymphoma and is survived by his wife Christine and sons Matt and Nick.

Tainton worked in the industry for 24 years, moving to the UK from South Africa in 1986 to escape political unrest.

His first role on arriving at the country was sportswear buyer at Concept Man, two years before the retailer was converted into River Island. Tainton is credited with having told owner and founder Leonard Lewis he could do a better job of managing the footwear division, and set about changing the way shoes were sold.

Tainton’s impact on the industry was recognised four years ago, when he won Drapers’ Lifetime Achievement Award.  

His life will be celebrated in a service next Monday (October 8) at East Hampstead Park Cemetery & Crematorium at 3:45pm. His family has requested that anyone wishing to can make a contribution to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Click here to read Tainton’s obituary


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