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41. Natalie Massenet, chair, British Fashion Council

Natalie Massenet, chair, British Fashion Council

Position last year: 24

It has been a tumultuous year of change for Natalie Massenet, the founder and former executive chairman of game-changing luxury etailers Net-a-Porter, Mr Porter and The Outnet and the current chair of the British Fashion Council.

2015 saw the etailers go from strength to strength, with Net-a-Porter increasing revenues by 22.8% to a record £654m in the year to March 31, while it continued to lead the way in luxury online retailing, with this year’s exclusives including being the first retailer to sell Tom Ford online.

However, in March it was announced that Massenet had signed a merger deal with Italian etail rival Yoox, creating a €1.3bn (£940m) combined etailer under the new Yoox Net-a-Porter Group.

Another surprise then followed in September when Massenet resigned as executive chairman at Net-a-Porter, securing a £100m payout as she walked away from the business she founded 15 years ago.

While she continues her role as chair of the British Fashion Council and champion of London Fashion Week, London Collections: Men and its other initiatives, her next business move is still unclear. She said: “As for my own future, my entrepreneurial drive is as strong today as it always has been, and my passion for innovation will continue to be my greatest guide in business.” Watch this space.

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