Hobbs has appointed womenswear multiple veteran Meg Lustman as chief executive, succeeding Nicky Dulieu, who stepped down this spring.
Drapers reported in early June that the two parties were in talks.
Lustman, who will start in August, is the first major hire by Hobbs chairman Phil Wrigley, the former boss of New Look. He arrived at the business in January with the brief of improving its fortunes. At that time, private equity firm 3i, which bought Hobbs in 2004 for £111m, said the value of its 47% stake in the company had dropped to £21m. In March 2013 it had been worth £47m.
Wrigley said: “Meg’s extensive background in leadership roles in women’s fashion makes her ideally positioned to steer Hobbs through its next phase of growth and international development. Meg is energetic, passionate and her inspirational leadership will be invaluable as Hobbs makes its mark as an international retail brand.”
Lustman added: “I am delighted to be joining Phil and the team at this exciting time for the business. Hobbs is a brand with a rich heritage and I look forward to leveraging the company’s successes to develop the brand’s global reach.”
With 20 years’ experience in the industry, Lustman was most recently fashion buying director at John Lewis on a nine-month contract, following a 10-year stint with Mosaic/Aurora, including four years as Warehouse managing director.
Derek Lovelock, former chairman of Aurora, told Drapers: “This is a great role for Meg and a great hire for Hobbs. The business will benefit from her huge skill and experience.”
Hobbs was created in Hampstead, north London in 1981 by Marilyn Anselm. It operates more than 140 branches in the UK and Ireland as well as franchise stores in the UAE and Sweden. This spring it opened five concessions in Bloomingdale’s stores in the US. It has websites for the UK, Germany, Australia and the US.