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Natalie Massenet to grow profile of British fashion as BFC chairman

Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet will be tasked with globally growing the profile of British fashion as she takes on the role of chairman of the British Fashion council (BFC) next year.

After mounting speculation, the BFC officially announced last night that Massenet would be appointed as chairman of the organisation from January 1 next year as Harold Tillman steps down. 

The BFC said Massenet was approached to take up the position because of her reputation for “innovation and creativity” seen at luxury etailer Net-A-Porter.

In a statement the BFC said: “The fact that as an entrepreneur she has built a globally recognised, award winning fashion business together with her strong international profile amongst media and retailers and her close relationships with both British designers and global luxury brands will all be vital to furthering the reputation and perception of the British fashion industry at home and around the world.”

Massenet will continue in her role as executive chairman of The Net-a-porter Group, but as chairman of the BFC she will be tasked with continuing to grow the profile of the sector globally and the businesses within it.

Massenet said she was “honoured and excited” to be taking on the role. She added: “Not only do we have some of the best creative talent based in London but there are also great British designers working in some of the most high profile luxury design houses in the world.  We also have the best understanding of what our industry contributes to the UK economy and what a significant player the British fashion industry is and can continue to be. “

She continued: “My experience is in merging extraordinary creative content with innovative global commerce. From January, together with Caroline Rush and her team, I aim to apply these lessons to my new role, a role I take incredibly seriously.”

Tillman will step down from chairman at the end of 2012. He said: “For nearly five years as chair of the BFC, I have seen the industry grow and develop – taking its role at the top of the fashion world both in terms of stature, and excellence. Of course, I would not be comfortable moving on without securing a successor who I believe can take the baton and propel the BFC further forward.”

BFC chief executive officer Caroline Rush thanked Tillman for his support and vision over his term, She added: “The board are looking forward to welcoming Natalie to the organisation and working closely with her on our programme of development and activity over the next three years, both at home and abroad.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Thierry BAYLE

    Thank you and congratulations to Natalie Massenet in taking this important role.
    She has proved herself in building Net-a-porter with an E- Commerce business model that many thought would not succeed at first.
    As indicated above, she has a close relationship with domestic and international brands.
    Excited to see the new vision.
    Do we need to put more efforts in providing continuous training and mentoring of young designers in all aspects of the Fashion business?
    Thierry Bayle
    Global Fashion Management

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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