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11 Square

15 Old Bond Street, Bath

Who you need to know

Owner Lyn Gardner (left)

Brands include Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson, Missoni, Stella McCartney

“With the right backing, almost anyone can open a store and get a brand mix that will work,” says Lyn Gardner, owner of designer womenswear store Square. “But that doesn’t mean they know fashion.”

Gardner is the beating heart of Square’s 3,000 sq ft shopfloor in Bath, where her comprehensive understanding of fashion knocks polka dots off most of her peers.

What’s more, she knows it: “What Hilary Alexander is to The Daily Telegraph, I am to Square,” she claims, adding that she frequently finds herself citing influential designers such as John Flett, Helen Storey and Joe Casely-Hayford to brand chiefs and young designers, only to be greeted with blank looks, which suggests they have never heard of them.

In another life, Gardner might have been a lecturer, but she prefers to work at the sharp end of fashion, bringing her historical and proudly intellectual fashion knowledge to bear on 30 years of retail. At Square, she has brought the likes of Alexander McQueen, Missoni and Stella McCartney to her customers along with rising stars such as Hannah Marshall. “That’s what my customers want - they come back to me for knowledge and guidance,” she explains.

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