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Colleagues lead tributes to ‘gentleman’ Williams

A legendary buyer of the British menswear industry, Scott Williams, has died at the age of 56.

Williams’ impressive career spanned decades at prestigious UK brands including John Lewis, Harrods, Daks, Aquascutum and Moss Bros, where he was most recently senior menswear buyer.

Its chief executive, Brian Brick, said Williams was a “true gentleman in every sense of the word”. He added: “His elegant and understated style was evident not only through his buying habits but his unassuming nature too. He will sorely be missed by all of us here at Moss and our warmest thoughts are with his family at this time.”

Philip Mountford, chief executive of Netherlands-based lingerie chain Hunkemöller, who worked with Williams at Daks (formerly known as Simpson Piccadilly) and Moss Bros, credits the menswear buying expert with shaping his career.

“He’s been my mentor since I was 18 years old, and was the most perfect gentleman to ever walk this earth,” he said. “Impeccably dressed, elegant, a man of great integrity - he sculpted the way I dress and do business. He was my educator from boyhood into manhood.”

Mountford added: “When it came to buying, he pushed the boundaries of men’s formalwear. He was always so in touch with fashion and where it was going.”
Michael Whitby-Grubb, sales and marketing director at Penrose London, worked with Williams for nearly 20 years at Daks/Simpson Piccadilly and later Aquascutum.

He said: “Scott will be remembered not only for his incredible knowledge and passion for menswear but for his wonderful sense of humour, his impeccable dress code and his negotiating prowess. He was of the old school and liked to lead from the front.”

John Harper, former director of Asian operations at Aquascutum, said Williams was the product of having worked with the best British menswear houses. He said: “Scott was the epitome of good taste, had a great sense of humour and could always be relied upon as a steady, educated and knowledgeable hand during our many inter-departmental merchandise meetings.”

Philip Day, chief executive at Edinburgh Woollen Mills and once managing director at Aquascutum, said of his former employee: “When you are looking to develop an international brand like Aquascutum, which was dominated by English design but had a massive flavour of the continent as well, Scott was very capable of envisaging what all customers were looking for.”
Among other industry appointments, Williams was chairman of the British Menswear Guild.

Williams died on September 11 following a battle with cancer. He leaves a wife and two daughters.

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