The industry has paid tribute to Joseph Ettedgui who passed away yesterday at the age of 74.
Sara Ferrero, the chief executive of Joseph, the company which Ettedgui founded in the sixties and sold in 2005, said: “He has been an invisible magic hand guiding me in this last two years. He will always be in my thoughts.”
New Look group design director Barbara Horspool said: “He was such a sweet man. He was one of the first people to stock my own label Blanche after I left college in the 1980s.
“He was massively creative, but he was a business man. The collection had to sell. He had a great eye and always wanted exclusivity.
“Long after I stopped my own label I started teaching and took a group of students to Paris Fashion Week, there was no guarantee we would get in and we were queuing at the door. Joseph walked past - I hadn’t seen him in years - and he took me by the arm and said ‘Come with me’. That was the kind of man he was. He was just a nice guy with a twinkle in his eye.”
Aurora Fashions chairman Derek Lovelock said: “Joseph was a great talent spotter, always showcasing new brands and designers.
“He defined aspirational chic for a generation of women with his essential wardrobe of perfectly cut, minimal separates all show-cased in cutting edge design concept stores that also inspired our home design.”
Consultant Marshall Lester said: “He was a great Kings Road icon. He had a great eye. He was very understated and had a great charm and style, a sort of understated, dishevelled elegance and had a great way about him. He was very, very cool.
“He was great at recognising talent. He was known for his beautiful knits and the trousers were fantastic, they were very easy to wear and flattering. He amassed an amazing empire with a global footprint. It is very sad.”