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.
Related: Whistles/ Trousers