Womenswear director, Zara
What Uniqlo is to basics, Zara is to fast fashion. The Inditex-owned chain is the go-to retailer for trend-hungry shoppers who can’t afford high-end prices. And it’s the masterful Bea Padin who expertly caters for the tastes of fashion-savvy but understated 30-plus women shoppers, or the more daring followers of fashion looking to emulate Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga’s wetsuit-like tunics. Another beneficiary of the Kate effect, Zara has been one of the retailers of choice for the Duchess of Cambridge who, together with the rest of the UK’s consumers, helped Zara to increase its net sales 13% to reach €4bn (£3.5bn) for the first half of 2011.
Last year’s position 23