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Sarah Curran leaves Shop Direct's Very Exclusive

Lauretta Roberts
04 July 2017

Sarah Curran, managing director of Shop Direct's premium fashion arm Very Exclusive, has left the business.

Curran who made her name in fashion as the founder of the now defunct My-wardrobe.com joined Shop Direct at the end of 2013 and oversaw the launch of Very Exclusive, which went live in February 2015.

Alex Baldock, CEO of Shop Direct, said that Curran's track record and expertise in premium and luxury were the reasons she was recruited for the role. “[...] She's lived up to our expectations and more with what she’s achieved."

"During her time at Shop Direct, she’s built a fantastic team, nurtured relationships with a superb stable of brands and created a unique and already much-loved proposition," he added. “Very Exclusive has performed ahead of our expectations since day one and we’re confident we can build on that success and continue to democratise luxury for our customers. Sarah leaves a real legacy here and we wish her the very best for the future.”

Curran's next move is not yet known but she said in a statement: "Over the course of my career in fashion, my ambition has been to democratise luxury by bringing aspirational brands to as wide an audience as possible. With Very Exclusive, I feel we’ve achieved that by enabling customers to buy into some of the world’s most coveted brands in an affordable way."

“I’ve loved my time at Shop Direct and couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve built with Very Exclusive. It’s in good hands with Alex and the team, and I look forward to watching it grow," she added.

A former independent boutique owner, she founded My-wardrobe.com in 2006 finding a niche in between fast fashion sites such as ASOS and luxury sites such as Net-A-Porter.com. The business attracted investment from private equity house Balderton Capital in 2010 and unveiled ambitious global plans.

David Worby was brought into the business as global CEO, from Harrods Direct, in 2012 and Curran took a step back from the driving seat and eventually left the business altogether in 2013, accepting an offer from Shop Direct later that year. It was also in 2013 that Curran was awarded an MBE for services to the fashion industry.

My-wardrobe.com eventually ceased trading at the end of 2014, which some industry watchers put down to its over-rapid expansion and the introduction of higher price points and more directional brands; its domain name was acquired by Net-A-Porter.com.

Shop Direct, which also owns the Very and Littlewoods brands, is currently up for sale. Its owners the Barclay brothers, who also own The Telegraph and the Ritz hotel, have put the business on the market for £3bn. Former New Look owners Apax Partners are favourites to buy it.


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