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Aurora makes key appointments at Coast and Oasis

Aurora Fashions has appointed Margaret McDonald, formerly chief executive of womenswear and footwear retailer LK Bennett, managing director of occasionwear chain Coast.

Liz Evans – formerly known as Liz Shipwright and current managing director of Coast – has become managing director of Aurora’s womenswear chain Oasis“>Oasis.

Aurora chief executive Mike Shearwood said: “I am delighted to announce these appointments which are a key part in positioning both Oasis and Coast for continued growth and future success.”

McDonald was chief executive of LK Bennett from the end of 2008 until April this year. Prior to that she was vice-president for Europe at Gap-owned Banana Republic, heading up the buying teams for Gap Europe and launching Banana Republic in Europe.

She began her 20 year career at Primark and worked in the US for five years largely for Gap, before returning to the UK to take up senior roles at French Connection and Marks & Spencer.

Evans joined Coast as retail director in February 2006 from M&S where she had a number of roles in the UK and internationally, both store-based and in head office.

She was promoted to managing director of Coast in November 2007.

Today’s appointments complete the hiring of managing directors for each of Aurora’s chains which also include Karen Millen and Warehouse.

At the end of last year, Meg Lustman was named managing director of Warehouse and Steve Price and Gemma Metheringham became joint chief executives of Karen Millen.

Aurora posted an operating profit of £23m in its inaugural year to January 30. The group was reborn out of the ashes of the pre-pack administration of Mosaic Fashions last year.

Strong young fashion sales in the first half of the current year helped to continue the strong performance with Oasis and Warehouse benefitting from a strong trend for maxi dresses and florals this spring.

It is understood that Moira Benigson at recruitment firm MBS Group was responsible for placing McDonald.





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