Topshop’s former brand director Jane Shepherdson is to run Whistles as chief executive, prompting speculation that design groups could be appointed imminently.
Icelandic investment company Baugur has bought the chain from Mosaic Fashions, which also owns Oasis, Warehouse and Karen Millen. Shepherdson is to take a 20 per cent stake in Whistles.
Shepherdson says she wants to develop the 40-store fashion retailer ‘into an exciting and stimulating collection and store environment’.
Credited with revolutionising Topshop, Shepherdson says she wants to broaden the Whistles range by introducing more casual wear and collaborating with more young designers.
‘We see a great opportunity to create something unique for the woman who loves great design, isn’t scared of a little edginess and who wants to reference, but not slavishly follow, trends,’ says Shepherdson.
She has invited ex-Topshop colleagues Jo Farrelly and Keith Wilkes to join her on the Whistles management board, as marketing director and finance director respectively.
Shepherdson left Topshop in October 2006, shortly after Green asked Kate Moss to design a collection for the retailer.