Chairman, Aurora Fashions
2009 was a real annus horribilis for Derek Lovelock, one of the most-respected high street fashion retailers. Presiding over the Baugur-backed fashion conglomerate Mosaic Fashions as chief executive following the Icelandic banking collapse left Lovelock to cope with a sudden withdrawal of working capital, the loss of currency hedging and a lack of credit insurance on top of managing two severely underperforming businesses in Shoe Studio Group and Principles.
He was left with no choice but to follow the pre-pack administration route following Baugur’s own collapse into administration at the start of the year. He pulled off the rescue of the Oasis, Karen Millen, Coast and Warehouse chains via a newly formed group called Aurora Fashions, which keeps him inside the top 30, but both the Principles and Shoe Studio businesses were left behind.
This can’t have been an easy decision for the honourable Lovelock to make and he has been on the charm offensive with suppliers and landlords ever since.
Lovelock rose to become chairman of Aurora Fashions in October, handing the chief executive reins to Mike Shearwood, but he remains this company’s product guru and that is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future.