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Jane Shepherdson, Chief Executive Officer, Whistles

Jane Shepherdson, Chief Executive Officer, Whistles
LONDON, United Kingdom — Perhaps it’s not surprising that, in her spare time, Jane Shepherdson does flying trapeze in Hoxton, smack in the heart of achingly hip East London. Right from her earliest days in the fashion industry, Shepherdson has been known for taking risks and having her finger on the pulse of what’s cool. After getting her start as an assistant buyer at Topshop, back in 1984, Shepherdson spent twenty years working her way up the ladder to become Topshop’s brand director, effectively overseeing the retail, product, finance, HR and property departments of a company that, under her leadership, was transformed into a globally recognised brand, emblematic of the dynamic nature of British high street fashion. But in 2006, one week after Topshop boss Sir Phillip Green announced a now-defunct fashion collaboration with Kate Moss, Shepherdson abruptly resigned. Shepherdson’s next move was closely watched. BoF: Let’s start with the results. JS: The results are good. BoF: Really?

How Whistles Reemerged as One of the Most Exciting Contemporary Brands in Fashion 2008 was not an easy year for many in the fashion industry -- least of all, perhaps, for Jane Shepherdson. The former Topshop brand director, once described as "the most powerful woman on the high street," had just become chief executive of (and a substantial investor in) a fading British brand called Whistles. Days before the brand was scheduled to unveil its relaunch, Lehman Brothers collapsed. "It was terrible," Shepherdson recalls. "The whole year was just really, really stressful -- I lost about a stone." It's clear that things are not so terrible for Shepherdson now. To say that it's a busy time at Whistles is an understatement. We asked Shepherdson about how Whistles survived -- and reinvented itself -- during those tough early years, its plans for international expansion and its hopes for a show at New York Fashion Week. You started at Whistles seemingly at the worst possible time -- right before the Lehman collapse. Yes, it was terrible. What was the turning point? No, it isn't.

Jane Shepherdson Whistles Interview | Red Magazine Interviews Shepherdson is not your average fashion CEO. Shane Watson meets a woman on a (very well-dressed) mission. Jane Shepherdson is sitting on the edge of the sofa, chin in hands, brow furrowed, pretending to look perplexed in an impression of men in a fashion boardroom. ‘How are we going to find out what women think?’ she says in a slow, ponderous voice. ‘Oh, I’ve had a lot of that. Shepherdson, CEO of the fashion chain Whistles, is usually described as ‘the woman who transformed high-street shopping’ (she turned Topshop into a fashion leader in the early Noughties). When she left Topshop eight years ago, she became ‘the most influential woman in fashion retail’ She’s the woman who always understands her customer. She knows that fashion can treat us like mugs. What it all boils down to is something a bit bigger than clothes: Shepherdson is a woman on a mission to do her best for women. You’d go into these meetings and they’d be shouting, “What the fuck do you call that?”’ She shakes her head.

Jane Shepherdson Chief Executive at Whistles, Jane Shepherdson is the figurehead of our brand. Originally from Bristol, she studied in London and worked as Brand Director at Topshop. With an uncanny ability to know what women want to wear, she has been working her magic at Whistles since 2008. Here, we find out a bit more about her world. Can you describe what you do at Whistles? What would you say the Whistles aesthetic is, then? Is that quite a modern way of dressing? They’re pieces women can slot into their wardrobe… Yes, that’s important – but we also want to provide solutions. Have you seen women wearing Whistles on the street? Is it inspiring when you see real women wearing it? How else do you keep up with what women want out of their clothes? So you could be in a Whistles store and be served by Jane Shepherdson? Is there anyone you have in mind when thinking about the Whistles woman? How do you feel about being a role model to younger women in fashion?

Awards | YCN Student Awards | 2014-15 YCN Student Awards | Briefs | Whistles Design a concept and campaign for the first ever Whistles scent Background Whistles is a leading British contemporary fashion brand that encapsulates an intelligent sense of design with timeless and luxurious pieces. In September 2014, Whistles launched its hotly anticipated debut men’s collection. The Whistles Woman: Intelligent, independent, discerning. She wants clothes that cater to all parts of her purposeful life. The Whistles Man: Aware, selective, confident. He values contemporary design with modern utility. Our PR & Marketing Strategy We create bespoke seasonal in-house marketing and press strategies. We partner with internationally renowned photographers, stylists and art directors to create our campaigns and capture our brand season on season. Our Retail Strategy Our stores are relaxed, contemporary spaces that focus on exceptional service. Regular arrivals of stock and editorial content enrich the evolving ecommerce experience, driving footfall and increasing engagement. Byredo

#Grazia10 Birthday Exhibition: Watch Whistles CEO Jane Shepherdson On The Future Of High-Street Fashion | Industry Insider Can you believe we’re ten years old? To celebrate our big birthday we've just opened our doors to a two week #Grazia10 exhibition and series of TENTalks at London's esteemed Getty Images Gallery. Our exhibition is a celebration of a decade, giving guests (ie you!) the chance to walk through an interactive timeline of the last 10 years, as if you are walking through the very pages of Grazia itself. And that's not all. Press play below to hear Jane Shepherdson, CBE, CEO of Whistles on the future of high-street fashion Jane Shepherdson is the chief executive of Whistles. Please drop in to the free exhibition or book a place at a TenTalk. GALLERY >> Inside the preview of the #Grazia10 exhibition View Gallery Inside the preview of the #Grazia10 exhibition Touch Cara Delevingne's eyebrows Our wall of 'totes amaze' It Bags YOU can be a #Grazia10 coverstar, too! A wall of Grazia covers Grazia's Jane Bruton and Bauer Media's Abby Carvosso See the list of Tentalks and ticket links below.

Whistles conquers the 'middle market' of British womenswear | Fashion While Marks & Spencer announced a 6.8% drop of general sales last month, another corner of the British high street has been quietly flourishing. Whistles, the clothing brand set up by Lucille Lewin in the 1980s, announced this week that it had bought back the majority of its shares from the Icelandic government, a move which has underlined its growing strength. Whistles, which has been independent since parting ways with the retail group Mosaic in 2008, has gone from strength to strength despite a tough economic climate. Sales were up 13% in 2011 and there was "consistent double digit like for like sales growth," this year, according to a company statement. Whistles is also the bestselling premium high street brand on Asos, the online retailer. This success is largely due to Jane Shepherdson, the influential retail visionary who became chief executive at Whistles, after eight years as brand director at Topshop, in 2008.

Whistles Report - Within the second half of my first year at University we were set a brief that continued with theme of the United States and the United Kingdom UK brand opening retail store in US market place You must produce a 3,000 word report on the following topic: Moving one of the following UK retail brands into the American market: 1) size? 2) Whistles 3) Accessorize 4) Thorntons 5) Duffer of St.George As part of the launch you must include a collaboration. Your report should include the following sections: PEST analysis, focusing particularly on the social element. SWOT analysis of your chosen brand and one of a close competitor. Consider the cultural differences that may need to be addressed by the brand/retailer to ensure a successful launch. Consumer segmentation: identify your target consumer, including pen portrait and visuals. Ideas for flagship store environment. You should pay particular attention to the visual look of your report. They must be produced on Photoshop:

Whistles Launch First Unisex Collaboration After successfully adding a menswear range to their artillery for autumn/winter 2014, Whistles have revealed their first offering to please both sides of the fence. Teaming up with niche Scandi rainwear brand Stutterheim (fans include Kanye West and the ELLE fashion team) the result is two sleek yet simple raincoat designs. Buy the navy with orange and white stripes for yourself, and the grey with white and black stripes for your boyfriend to craftily acquire both. We’re all familiar with Whistles' dreamy, directional collections, but for those who don’t frequent the menswear section (or venture to Stockholm) too often, Stutterheim is a Swedish rainwear brand, founded in 2010 by Alexander Stutterheim. Inspired by his fisherman grandfather, the coats are simple, timeless and, oddly, sexy. ‘Whistles collaborations are about finding experts in the market and working with them to produce beautiful, functional, carefully crafted exclusive pieces,’ said Whistles CEO Jane Shepherdson.

Skirts | Pencil, Tube & Midi skirts £95.00 £280.00 £140.00 £150.00 £295.00 £295.00 £180.00 £110.00 £95.00 £95.00 £220.00 Whistles x Trekstock Our exclusive Whistles x Trekstock collaboration comprises five must-have accessories created by our guest creatives graphic designer and illustrator Kate Moross, jewellery designers Kate Hillier, Maria Francesca Pepe, Bex Rox and fashion designer Holly Fulton. ‘I am delighted that Whistles is supporting Trekstock; the charity’s approach is refreshing and heartfelt and they are able to introduce and share a sensitive subject, cancer in young people, in a way that is accessible and sensitive to their audience. The pieces are beautifully designed and I hope we can help raise awareness and donations a result of this collaboration’. Katie Hillier British jewellery designer Katie Hillier is best known for fusing ironic, playful, design with luxe materials, such as black gold and red diamonds. What Whistles piece would you style your Trekstock x Whistles ring with? Where did the animal inspiration in your spring/summer 13 collection come from? What are you excited for this summer? Bex Rox

YCN Whistles Brief: Development | Lauren Hall Scented Product Collaboration: Whistles don’t currently offer any scented products but want to help change that. They’re looking for ideas of what the scent should be, how it would be packaged and how Whistles would bring the product to market via PR and marketing campaigns. This should communicate your concept in one or more campaign channels. The brief states that they are open to consider potential brand partners that we could work with to develop the scent and also how your concepts would be displayed in-store and online. I thought Jo Malone would be perfect for this as they share the same target market and have a sleek minimalistic aesthetic. About Jo Malone: An understated style. Campaign Michael Angove collaborated with Jo Malone and designed floral designs featuring wild mulberry branches. Calm & Collected is a creative studio of four young London artists, united in their passion for graphic prints and use of colour. Textures using Whistles products Collaborations

Whistles menswear could be your new favourite brand The range is described by Whistles design director Nick Passmore as a “capsule wardrobe for the modern man” - and I couldn’t agree more. What's surprising is that it has taken this high-street stalwart so long to branch into men's fashion. This British brand, which has been going for over 30 years, was pulled kicking and screaming out of its frumpy funk by high-street guru and ex-Topshop brand director Jane Sheperdson, when she took the helm in 2009. Beloved by the fashion industry, it has now become somewhat of a pit-stop for sophisticated woman looking for stylish pieces that nod to the trends in their cuts and colours, without shouting about which season they belong to. As the highly anticipated men's collection hits stores, it would appear that the brand is set to do the same for the boys. As with its female customers, the new men's collection is aimed at a late 20s-30s buyer who has an eye for style but is not a slave to fashion. Low-top slip-ons, white, £175