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Formal line signals White Stuff ‘evolution’

Lifestyle retailer White Stuff will replace its long-term buying and merchandising director later this month ahead of the introduction of more formal pieces into its autumn 12 collection.

Former House of Fraser director of buying for accessories and lingerie Antonia Long will take up the role at the end of May, replacing Katie Grassby, who has been at the helm for 17 years.  

White Stuff will trial a more formal womenswear range for autumn 12, in response to a desire among customers to shop for both casual and more formal clothing at its stores.

The 25 to 30-piece range will comprise items including shift dresses, shirts and unstructured jackets.

White Stuff chief executive Sally Bailey said Long’s appointment signalled an “evolution” in design direction. “It’s a reinvigoration of womenswear to offer more choice to our consumers,” she said.

White Stuff announced a raft of other appointments earlier this week, including Moss Bros chairman Debbie Hewitt as chairman and House of Fraser director of merchandising Jo Penny as merchandising director.

Former La Senza interim chief executive Nick Mather has joined as chief financial officer, with finance director Richard Steele set to leave at the end of June.

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