The Body Shop’s category and innovations director Diane Roberts will run the studio while a new creative director is found, with team leaders at the design studio reporting to her.
Austen (pictured), who is now an independent consultant, was unavailable for comment as Design Week went to press.
Some industry sources are cynical about the opportunities which the position of creative director at The Body Shop will afford a new recruit.
An alleged increase in the number of product directors at The Body Shop means that there would now be ’little for a creative director to lead on, in terms of products’, says one source.
With the roll-out of the new interior design now complete, product directors’ control over product design, and upper management’s alleged ’lack of interest in branding’, there is no ’big exercise’ for a creative director to undertake, says the source, who adds, ’The L’Oréal management style is very French and formal, there is no room for innovation any more, and creative people working there feel browbeaten and frustrated.’