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Browns buying director departs

Browns buying director Ruth Runberg has left the business this week after just over a year in the role.

Her position is set to be replaced by Selfridges buyer Laura Larbalestier, who will take up the position of women’s buying director on June 18. She has worked at department store Selfridges for the past eight years as buying manager for women’s designerwear. She will be supported by Brown’s existing buying team Francoise Tessier, Rebecca Osei -Baidoo and Pam Brady.

Runberg joined the premium London indie Browns last February, replacing Erin Mullaney. Runberg, who has spent most of her fashion career in the US, is thought to be returning to the US.

Prior to joining the premium indie, which has stores on South Molton Street, Sloane Street and Hinde Street in London, Runberg was buying director of premium retailer Capitol in Charlotte, North Carolina. Prior to that, she was a buyer for Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue.

In her time at Browns, Runberg was ruthless about championing the original philosophy that Joan ‘Mrs B’ Burstein and her late husband Sydney founded the retailer on in 1970. “We buy things because we believe they are good and this store, from a buyer’s perspective, is all about editing,” she told Drapers in February this year.

Browns, which has a long-standing reputation as a champion of new designers, was crowned number one in Drapers’ list of the Top 50 Inspiring Independents last year.

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