Chief Executive, The Outnet, aged 32
Oxford graduate Stephanie Phair started as a PR at London agency Siren before stints in marketing and communications for designer Issey Miyake and Vogue. Phair then took a merchandising role in a start-up, online luxury accessories site, Portero.com, setting herself up to lead designer etailer Net-a-Porter’s venture into discount fashion - The Outnet.
She says in the start-up environment there are definitely some advantages to youth. “People are enthusiastic to help because they are not intimidated or feel that you will take offence,” she says. “If you have an open approach others will provide encouragement and support.”
Phair suggests that making a lateral move or taking a step back can ultimately help set up a more interesting, fulfilling career path. “I think progression can sometimes look like a zigzag and not a straight line up,” she says.
At The Outnet, Phair has the benefit of launching a new business with the weight of a well-respected name, Net-a-Porter, behind her.