Buying and brand director, John Lewis
After scooping three accolades for department store chain John Lewis at the Drapers Awards in November, Peter Ruis was surrounded by industry peers keen to congratulate one of fashion’s most likeable and successful individuals. Ruis was promoted from buying director in August to take on a new board-level role - buying and brand director - and focus on the buying operation, customer proposition and marketing.
With a new womenswear store concept, dedicated fashion website and strong marketing campaigns, John Lewis’s fashion department was the retailer’s strongest-performing category in the first half of the year and boy, did rival womenswear indies notice its rise, losing share to the retailer. Young fashion indies should also watch out after Ruis’s sexed-up attitude helped lure Diesel, G-Star and Lauren by Ralph Lauren this year, while he also launched collaborations with designer Celia Birtwell and brought in quirkier, more contemporary labels such as BZR by Bruuns Bazaar.
Not one to steal the limelight, Ruis ensured his fashion buying team was on stage to collect John Lewis’s Drapers Awards, notably head of womenswear Jo Hooper and head of buying for menswear Matt McCormack, who have been influential in its rapid transformation into a key fashion player. One hell of a buying team, one inspirational leader.