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Exclusive: New Look’s buying, merchandising and design director exits

New Look’s buying, merchandising and design director for womenswear Carolyn Mackenzie has left the business after 10 years to move to Australian womenswear retailer Forever New.

Mackenzie will take up the newly created position of brand director at Melbourne-based Forever New in January. She is currently on gardening leave. Drapers understands New Look is looking for her replacement.

Forever New is co-owned by New Look owner Tom Singh and Dipendra Goenka, who runs it with his wife Amanda Goenka.

Established 10 years ago, the retailer has 240 shops in nine countries, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and China. It operates at the better end of the high street, with dresses, for example, ranging up to £120.

Mackenzie told Drapers Forever New presents a “huge opportunity” for further growth internationally.

“It’s an exciting time for the business, which is already very successful. We are looking at third party opportunities in the UK and the US.

”The Australian market is growing at the moment and that coupled with the quality of life over there made it a very attractive offer. I love New Look but I wanted a new challenge, something I could really get my teeth into.”

Mackenzie joined New Look in 2005 as head of merchandising and was made group merchandising director in 2009. 

In April 2013 she was promoted to group buying, merchandising and design director for footwear, moving across to womenswear five months later. 

Previous employers include Debenhams and BHS.

Mackenzie is the latest retail director to move down under. Former Marks & Spencer head of general merchandise John Dixon is moving to Australia to become chief executive of department store chain David Jones. He left M&S in July after almost 30 years at the retailer.

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