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49 Stephanie Chen New

Director of womenswear and accessories, House of Fraser

The smiling and serene Stephanie Chen is a tour de force in womenswear and drove House of Fraser’s relaunch of womenswear label Biba in September. The rebirth of the iconic 1960s brand created the biggest buzz House of Fraser has seen for years and topped £1m in sales in the first three weeks alone. Goodness only knows what the extra footfall did for sales across the board.

Biba’s founder Barbara Hulanicki may not have liked the product and pricing - she sounded off to Drapers that it was “too expensive” and did not reflect the original Biba style - but the launch collection nonetheless won the admiration of the fashion cognoscenti. They pounced on the maxi-length leopard-print coat, even at an eye-watering £390, and a feather-print Grecian maxi dress flew out of the door at £425.

Chen helped mastermind a pitch-perfect ad campaign, fronted by model-of-the-moment Daisy Lowe, and upped House of Fraser’s fashion credentials by drafting in new concessions for Whistles, Day Birger et Mikkelsen and Lauren by Ralph Lauren. Suddenly, HoF has serious style clout.

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