Drapers has revealed The Top 100 list of fashion’s most influential people in 2014, with Sports Direct founder and executive deputy chairman Mike Ashley securing the number one spot for the first time.
Ashley, who ranked fourth last year, overtook last year’s number one entry Primark chief executive Paul Marchant, who this year comes in at number three.
Lord Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next, has risen one place to take the second spot.
The Sports Direct owner has continued to extend his interest in UK fashion, ramping up his stake in Debenhams and with interests in Tesco and House of Fraser, in addition to his increasing influence in the independent retail sector through Flannels, Cruise, Van Mildert and Pulp.
This has been a year full of highs and lows for the UK’s fashion retail heavyweights. As a result, this year’s Top 100 sees sharp falls matched by equally stellar rises, including that of George at Asda’s Fiona Lambert into the top 10, making her the highest-ranking woman, as well as 20 new entries shaking up the fashion scene.
To listen to a video of Drapers’ editorial director Eric Musgrave explaining Ashley’s top spot click here.