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What we learnt from 2017's Drapers Interviews

This year, Drapers sat down to interview some of the industry’s biggest names, from designers to chief executives. We look back at some of the key learnings they shared for those looking to follow in their footsteps.


nick beighton

Nick Beighton

Asos chief executive Nick Beighton on building relationships with brands:

“It is a relationship that works both ways and it is super-important to nurture it. Working together is fundamental, it isn’t transactions, it is relationships, shared insight, information, inspiration and vice versa. Having those relationships mean we can develop lines together. We ask for one season of exclusivity on it then they can do what they want with it. We want brands to do well, as we will then do well.”

Marty Wikstrom

Marty Wikstrom

Marty Wikstrom, founder of the Atelier Fund and former Richemont chief executive, on creating workplace culture:

“People have a hard time hearing you when you’re screaming. Often, people don’t hear the message. It’s much better for me for my words to be heard. I don’t have a big loud voice and I’m not overly out there, but I bring people into a place where we can hear each other. I think it’s really important that people who work with you and for you know that they’re important.”

Adam frisby seated

Adam Frisby

Adam Frisby, founder of etailer In The Style, on never standing still:

“A lot of people might think where we are now is enough but there’s so much more to go at. To me, it still feels like the same little business I built. I never sit back and say: ‘Wow, I’ve achieved everything I set out to do’ – because I haven’t. There’s still so much we can do.”

Jojo maman bebe 003

Laura Tenison 

Laura Tenison, founder of Jojo Maman Bébé on the importance of appointing the right people:

“We combine my over-enthusiastic entrepreneurial spirit and wanting to take on the world, with her [commercial director Gwynn Milligan] number-crunching skills,” she says. “I realised there were only 24 hours in the day, and I was working about 18. When you run a bigger company, you can’t do everything yourself, but I’m probably still a micro-manager and I can’t talk to 800 people all the time. I just didn’t want to be the reason why the business didn’t continue to grow.”

Drapers simon brown 2017 421 web

Simon Brown

Simon Brown, founder of Joe Browns on surviving in retail:

“If you’re waiting for the perfect moment to do something, you’ll come and go so fast. There’s never a perfect time – what you have to do is just work jolly hard and [bring] a point of difference. The first lesson everyone learns is that there’ll be bumps along the way, and that’s just the way life is. You shouldn’t be afraid of choppy waters.”


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