Whistles has appointed Nick Passmore, who was part of Jane Shepherdson’s star team at Topshop, to the newly created role of design director.
Whistles chief executive Shepherdson has also appointed former Topshop colleague Karyn Fenn to the role of brand director. The trio were widely credited with the success of Topshop when it stepped up its fast-fashion strategy.
Shepherdson is believed to be building a strategy around differentiating Whistles from mainstream high street multiples with different and more exclusive product. Passmore will be a key part of that strategy.
Passmore and Fenn form part of the core head office team, which also includes former Topshop employees Keith Wilks, who joined Whistles as finance director, and Jo Farrelly, who joined as marketing director.
Kate Malkin has also joined the retailer from Topshop as digital marketing manager. She is set to focus on revamping the website and repositioning the brand online.
Whistles, which is part-owned by Baugur and was previously part of Mosaic Fashions, has more than 40 standalone stores in the UK and about 40 concessions in department stores. Shepherdson led a management buy-in of the chain in January.