Peacocks has appointed its first in-house design team in its quest to boost its fashion credentials.
The value retailer has appointed two full-time designers to oversee the design of its womenswear, menswear and kidswear, who will be supported by consultants and freelancers.
Anthony Whitfield, former senior designer at River Island, has been recruited as head of design for womenswear, while Marni Janaway has joined the retailer as head of design for menswear, kidswear and accessories. She was previously head of design at Ikon Accessories, which supplies George at Asda and MK One, and also held the role of head of design for kidswear at Next.
Peacocks buying and merchandising director Jane McNally said: “It’s our mission to be the number one value retailer selling co-ordinated fast fashion, so we are raising our design credentials even further by appointing a full-time team.”
Peacocks is also sponsoring the Design Wales Awards for 2008 to find the most talented young Welsh fashion designer. The winner will have the opportunity to showcase his or her collection in Peacocks stores and will work with the design team on a year’s placement scheme.
The creation of the new team is part of Peacocks’ wider plans to improve its fashionability. It became the first value retailer to launch a transactional website last month, carrying 150 womenswear lines. Lingerie will be added to the online offer in time for Christmas.
Peacocks also plans to open 40 stores next year. It opened its fifth fashion concept store in Leicester this week and will open its 500th store next month.