What we learned from the big names at Drapers events in 2022


Go as far as you can go uncomfortably, and then you’ll be believable.

Burberry Responsibility Program Director, Jocelyn Wilkinson at Drapers Sustainable Fashion, April 21

Jocelyn Wilkinson, Burberry Responsibility Program Director at Drapers Sustainable Fashion 2022

With speakers and panelists from Burberry to Boohoo Group, Gant to Ganni, Drapers Sustainable Fashion – the premier event for responsible fashion retail innovators and disruptors – brought together more than 400 changemakers in April.

The overriding message was that the world can’t afford fashion to just tinker around the edges when it comes to sustainability – supply chains need to be cleaned up while also focusing on circularity, for example – operations more wide and fine details of fashion companies must both take priority, one cannot wait for the other.

Shaun Packe, global sourcing and sustainability director at Superdry, urged speed – “Go for the easiest and biggest wins” – while Jocelyn Wilkinson, responsibility program director, Burberry, said reminded companies that when it comes to climate action, if it’s easy, it’s not. enough: “Narrow down the scope 3 and supply chain objectives as far as you can, and then you’ll be credible.”

At the 2022 Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards, Safia Minney – founder of sustainability-focused fashion brand People Tree and grassroots activist movement Fashion Declares – won the Sustainable Fashion Champion award for her pioneering work and focus on transformative change. . As someone who has campaigned to reduce the harmful effects of production and consumption for more than 30 years and is still going strong, Minney reminds us that tackling the climate crisis takes endurance and steely determination.

John Mooney, Global Brand Creative Director, Asos at Drapers Future of Fashion 2022

Eliminate bullshit when connecting with potential buyers

John Mooney, creative director of global brand Asos, at Drapers Future of Fashion on June 14

Marks & Spencer, New Look, Ebay, Asos, Farfetch, Gymshark and Rixo were among those sharing how they are reimagining retail in a digitally connected world at the Drapers Future of Fashion conference at 155 Bishopsgate, London on 14 june.

The biggest names in the industry discussed everything from interactive high street spaces and rising omnichannel expectations to live shopping, NFTs and the metaverse, but one of the strongest messages was the importance of authenticity when it comes to bringing fashion retail into the digital future.

Joshua Bennai, head of social media at global lifestyle brand Just Hype, urged companies to ask themselves why users access platforms when creating content and planning marketing campaigns: “Put yourself in your place consumer: you don’t use your phone to shop, you keep having fun, talking – you can’t force people [to want to shop there]. You need to invite people to the platform for the reason they want to be there. Sticking to it will get you much further. A lot of brands get it wrong because they want to push everything on everyone, but not everything is for everyone.

John Mooney, creative director of global brand at Asos, agrees, saying brands need to “cut the bullshit out” when connecting with potential buyers – especially the coveted Gen Z group – in this new digital future.

2022 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Professor Jimmy Choo

Education has always been on my mind, giving back what I’ve learned

Jimmy Choo, winner of the Drapers Footwear Awards Lifetime Achievement on June 23, 2022

Skechers, Schuh, JD Sports and Crocs were among the brands and retailers that triumphed at this year’s Drapers Footwear Awards at Grosvenor House London.

JD Sports was named Multi-Shoe Retailer of the Year, while Tower London was named Independent Shoe Retailer of the Year.

Shoe designer and industry icon Professor Jimmy Choo has won the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his illustrious career, from selling slippers in an east London market to making shoes for most influential women in the world, including Diana, Princess of Wales, and, of course, commonly sex and the cityby Carrie Bradshaw, as well as major Hollywood stars such as Halle Berry and Sandra Bullock.

He wowed the audience with a moving and poignant acceptance speech about his humble beginnings, his hard work to perfect his craft and the establishment of his Jimmy Choo Academy in Mayfair, central London, which will carry on the legacy of his passion for shoemaking.

Choo spoke to Drapers for the magazine’s June issue about the importance he places on “giving back to society.”

He said: “Education has always been on my mind, to give back what I have learned and experienced.”

Independent Lifetime Achievement Winner, 2022 – Sean Barron

If someone shows up at your door, you don’t turn them away – you see them

Sean Barron, chairman of Flairline Fashions, owner of womenswear chain and Irish institution Pamela Scott, winner of the Lifetime Achievement award at the Drapers Independents Awards on September 22

Hundreds of fashion retail professionals from across the UK and Ireland gathered for a lunchtime awards ceremony at Grosvenor House London to celebrate independent businesses in retail at fashion detail.

The finalists represented one of the strongest line-ups in the awards’ 31-year history, reflecting the resilience of a sector that is often at the heart of local communities as it emerges from the disruption of the pandemic, with businesses such as Cheshire institution Black White Denim, Kelso’s Humes Outfitters in the Scottish Borders, womenswear independent Bod & Ted and Pureplay Cult Mia have all won awards.

Sean Barron, chairman of Flairline Fashions, owner of womenswear chain and Irish institution Pamela Scott, has won the Lifetime Achievement, and has been bringing the best brands from London, New York and Paris to his shoppers for five decades.

In his acceptance speech, Barron highlighted the importance of travel and luck in his long career, but also of respect and connections – which seemed particularly appropriate for an event celebrating independent businesses. As he told Drapers in a September interview, “The whole industry is people-centric and respects everyone. If someone shows up at your door, you don’t push them away, you see them.

Nick Beighton, CEO, Matchesfashion at the Drapers Inner Circle Summit 2022

Leadership is a profession. You have to be curious and brave

Matchesfashion CEO Nick Beighton at the Drapers Inner Circle Summit on October 19

With speakers and panelists such as Nick Beighton, CEO of Matchesfashion, and Mary Portas, retail specialist and broadcaster, as well as companies such as AllSaints, Primark, Ganni and sustainability-focused footwear brand Allbirds, Drapers Inner Circle Summit at Mayfair’s Ham Yard Hotel, London, focused on uniting fashion leaders and visionaries to embrace change.

Besides leadership – Beighton shared his top five leadership tips during the event’s opening conversation – and sustainability – its importance, but also the new ‘greenwashing’ rules that have come into effect and other potential legislation in the future – attendees particularly focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) issues, with candid discussions in the boardroom, at panel discussions in breakout rooms and even in women’s restrooms.

A panel explored how to promote diversity, equity and inclusivity in the fashion industry and why leading from the top is crucial, led by Gerri Moodley, Inclusion and Diversity Advisor, with Charlie Magadah-Williams , Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Primark, Caroline Nankinga, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Pentland Brands.

They discussed the importance of diverse teams for business, as well as practical steps leaders can take to improve DEI and improve the experience of their colleagues – such as data collection, workshops and communication. – and the best way to communicate a DEI message to customers. Ultimately, panelists agreed that the industry had made improvements over the years, but still had a long way to go.

Nankinga said, “There was a time when diversity was only about gender. We now talk about a much wider range of topics such as race and disability. We are also starting to recognize the intersections of these areas, but there is still a lot we can do.

please add a link to this year’s event – try to find one

Selfridges Group Managing Director Anne Pitcher has won Leader of the Year at the 2022 Drapers Awards

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ways of doing retail

Anne Pitcher, Group Managing Director of Selfridges, Leader of the Year at the Drapers Awards on November 16

Marks & Spencer, New Look, Flannels, Schuh, Barbour and Boohoo Group were among the triumphant brands and retailers at this year’s Drapers Awards, announced at a glittering black-tie ceremony celebrating the great and the good in fashion at the Hilton London Metropole, West London on November 16.

Marks & Spencer won Fashion Retailer of the Year – Consumer Choice, New Look won Retailer of the Year (over £101m turnover) and Seasalt was named retailer of the year (£30-100m turnover). Meanwhile, Selfridges Group chief executive Anne Pitcher received the Leader of the Year award, and Frasers Group founder Mike Ashley received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The lively party sparkled with glitter and happy smiles from fashion retail professionals – happy to be back in a room together, after the upheaval of pandemic restrictions and event cancellations in recent years.

Pitcher shone on stage as she received her award, reflecting the dynamic vibe of the ceremony audience – telling Drapers in an interview that month that “not being afraid to experiment with new ways of doing business retail” was vital in the fashion industry – but chatting at the tables also revolved around the spiraling cost of living crisis, supply chain issues and uncertainties as we look forward to 2023.

The 2022 Drapers Awards demonstrated just how much the fashion retail industry has to look forward to, but also the immense challenges ahead. The drapers will be there next year to help alleviate and celebrate it all.


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