Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Chen tipped to lead more M&S designer link-ups

Stephanie Chen’s appointment at Marks & Spencer could herald a move to introduce more designer collaborations across the retail giant’s general merchandise, industry sources have suggested.

On Tuesday, Drapers revealed that Chen, currently executive director of womenswear, fashion accessories and lingerie at House of Fraser, will join M&S as director of kidswear and home in March 2013.

Chen, who has also held senior roles at Bhs, Debenhams and River Island, will join former Debenhams colleague Belinda Earl at M&S.

Industry insiders have been quick to point out that both Earl and Chen’s involvement with the Designers at Debenhams initiative could mean M&S is planning something similar.

“[Chief executive Marc] Bolland was pleased with M&S’s Terence Conran and Marcel Wanders collaborations on the home and accessories side and he wants to do more of that kind of thing,” said one commentator. “With that in mind, the appointment of Chen makes perfect sense.”

Just this week M&S revealed that sales of its Rosie Huntington-Whiteley lingerie collection had surpassed expectations, with some lines almost selling out after just one day.

“The market has become a lot more focused on brands in the last couple of years and people have questioned why M&S hasn’t brought brands in on the general merchandise side,” said Freddie George, Seymour Pierce retail analyst. “Perhaps doing more collaborations will be Bolland’s answer to that.”

Chen’s appointment is also being viewed as a commitment by M&S to drive forward the fashionability of its kidswear offer.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.