Retail legend Moss dies

Martin Moss, a retail executive who was awarded a CBE for his services to design in Britain, has died aged 84.

In the early 1970s, Moss was deputy chairman of the Design Council, and chairman of the Royal Society of Arts from 1983 to 1985.

Moss was credited with bringing a ‘one man wave of fashion’ to London’s Knightsbridge area in the 1950s. He took over as managing director of Woollards, a store he described as being like ‘a dowdy old aunties’ store’ and transformed it by bringing in young designers from the Royal College of Art to advise him on turning the ground floor into a place for young, fashion-conscious shoppers.

Terence Conran, who was then a part-time tutor at the RCA, took over management of the project, and designers including Mary Quant became fixtures at the store.

Moss worked within the Debenhams retail group until 1966 when he left to work at Simpson’s in Piccadilly, which has since become Waterstone’s flagship store.

He is survived by his wife, the photographer Jane Bown.

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