Former Whistles and Topshop boss Jane Shepherdson has joined peer-to-peer fashion rental business My Wardrobe HQ as chair, marking her return to the fashion industry.
Shepherdson left Whistles in 2016 after eight years following its buy-out by South Africa's Foschini Group. Prior to that she had made her name heading up Topshop and is credited with turning it into a fashion force.
After leaving Whistles she took time out to travel and carry out charitable work. She told the Financial Times that it was during this time, she became interested in sustainable fashion.
“I’ve seen so many documentaries about how fast fashion is killing the planet," she told the newspaper. "I’ve visited a lot of supposedly sustainable brands. But a lot of them are not really sustainable. They’re just adding to the pile.”
She said she had considered establishing a rental business but was approached by My Wardrobe HQ founders who has spotted her name after she registered her interest on its website.
My Wardrobe HQ was founded by Sacha Newall, a marketing executive who briefly headed up sales for the now defunct my-wardrobe.com, and her business partner Tina Lake.
The business has been dubbed a cross between Instagram and Vestiaire Collective. It plays on the social media side with users being able to like and follow women whose style most speaks to them, and renters can create profiles where they can talk about themselves and explain their approach to style.
Rental and replacement prices are established upfront by the renter and My Wardrobe HQ takes care of cleaning, storing and shipping the items. The idea was to elevate the renting experience to a luxury level, Newall told TheIndustry.fashion in an interview in February this year.
My Warobe HQ is one of a number of rental sites to have appeared in recent years all of which use varying business models, such as Hurr Collective, Hirestreet, The Endless Wardrobe and By Rotation. As well as chairing the business, Shepherdson has made an investment.
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