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BFC Chair Stephanie Phair steps down

Tom Shearsmith
05 September 2022

British Fashion Council has confirmed that chair Stephanie Phair is to step down after four years in the role.

Phair succeeded Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet as BFC's chair in 2018, helping steer the organisation through the COVID-19 pandemic and recent cost-of-living crisis.

Phair launched Net-A-Porter's off-price business The Outnet in 2009 and also sat on Net-A-Porter Group's executive board. She joined Farfetch in November 2016, around the time it was also rumoured that Dame Natalie was considering a move to the business.

At the time of her appointment as chair, the BFC said she was "driven by her reputation as a strategic thinker" and that she had "propensity to challenge the norms to create new opportunities for growth".

In June 2022, Stephanie Phair was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. Stella McCartney and retailer Tom Joule were also among other high profile fashion figures to be recognised.

Caroline Rush CBE, CEO of the British Fashion Council, commented: “Stephanie has brought incredible empathy to her role at the British Fashion Council which will be sorely missed. She has listened to everybody, to the designers, to our patrons, to us. Her ability to have that sort of big picture chair view — challenging us in a really positive way — but then when the chips are down, rolling up your sleeves and getting on with it, has been incredible. We are excited to see what the future has in store, both for her and for the BFC.”

A successor is expected to be named at a board assembly later this week.

Earlier this year, the British Fashion Council partnered with UK-based venture capital firm Venrex to launch a new fund for businesses that take a non-traditional approach. The fund, "Venrex BFC Fashion I", provides early-stage and growth stage investment for businesses.

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