Asos has appointed Topshop buying director Caren Downie to lead a massive expansion of its offer this year.
Downie, who was a key member of the Topshop team during the era of Jane Shepherdson, will join in the newly created role of womenswear buying director.
She will oversee Asos’s ownbrand womenswear and accessories, as well as its branded ranges, and has been tasked with increasing the 6,500-line offer by 30% to 40% this year. Downie will head a team of 70, which is set to double by December.
Downie’s appointment marks a significant investment by Asos in its new strategy as it shifts away from its celebrity-fashion roots towards becoming a fullyfledged fashion etailer, offering everything from fast fashion to designer brands such as Miu Miu and PPQ.
Asos is thought to be anxious to maintain its position at the forefront of etail as more high street chains join the online revolution, with home shopping groups such as Littlewoods, Next and Otto Group also playing catch up.
Asos chief executive Nick Robertson told Drapers that Downie would also drive new creative projects to nurture upand-coming designers. Downie was hugely infl uential on Topshop’s New Generation sponsorship of London Fashion Week designers, and is likely to exploit her links with the London College of Fashion to diff erentiate Asos from its rivals.
Downie, who has worked at Topshop for more than a decade, said: “Asos has proved to be a very successful etailer. My previous experience will fi t in well, because fast fashion is only getting faster and an internet model is a perfect environment in which to showcase this.”
Asos product and trading director Rob Bready said: “Caren will bring a dynamic fashion edge to Asos, which puts us in a strong position for the future.”