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Yasmin Sewell

The fashion consultant and former creative chief at Liberty tells Graeme Moran about her pop-up shop and work-life balance.

Tell us about your pop-up, Beach in the East.

The shop is the result of a shared longing between my consulting company and distribution agency Paper Mache Tiger for a taste of that carefree vibe of nostalgic California. We felt that a skater moment was happening. We worked alongside Paper Mache Tiger to create a concept inspired by skating film Lords of Dogtown, which led to us creating the shell of a swimming pool for our shop interior.

Why a pop-up?

When you’re competing with the digital world, it’s more important to do something interesting with bricks and mortar. Because online moves so fast, it’s kind of nice to have a pop-up store that responds directly to a specific moment in fashion.

When you were 22 you launched the store Yasmin Cho, which was described by The New York Times as one of the most influential boutiques in the world. Tell us about it.

I didn’t realise at the time, but I had a knack for finding new talent - I just bought the brands I loved, I wasn’t thinking about sell-throughs, what didn’t work last season, or whether pastels work. I just went with my gut 100% and therefore it was a special place.

How would you sum up your role as a fashion consultant?

We work with brands - designer and high street - and retailers on taking their business to the next level. If this means being more commercial, we can do that; more directional, we do that also; or even just clarifying the direction of their retail offer. It’s up to us to analyse their business and guide them as to what strategy to take.

In 2005 you became the buying director of luxury indie Browns. Tell us about that?

Mrs [Joan] Burstein, the founder of Browns, called me up one day and said: “Would you come and take over our buying?” I was like, “OK Mrs B, I’ll jump on a plane next week!” I discovered many great new designers and was able to launch them while I was there, including Christopher Kane, Marios Schwab, Roksanda Ilincic, Meadham Kirchhoff, and a little brand called Acne that no one seemed to be picking up.

You were employed as chief creative consultant of Liberty and helped turn it around with a reinvention of the store. How was it working on this project?

Liberty was probably the most intense and public project I’ve taken on. It was very rewarding though. I brought in 85 new brands and redesigned the three fashion floors, which were looking tired to say the least. We took it into profit for the first time in 14 years.

How do you balance being a wife (to Kyle Robinson), new mother (of Knox Rocket Robinson, both pictured) and your career?

A good team is the key. If you have a good team, then you can really work smarter and be home to be with your family when you need to be.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Drapers, what a pathetic question to ask a woman regarding balancing family/work life. Would you ask this of a man in the same position? I think not.

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