Topshop hires ex-M&S buying director as fashion director

Topshop Arcadia Sir Philip Green Gillian Ridley Whittle
Gillian Ridley Whittle will serve as Topshop's fashion director
// Topshop welcomes Gillian Ridley Whittle as fashion director
// Whittle was previously the Marks & Spencer buying director

Topshop has hired former Marks & Spencer buying director Gillian Ridley Whittle as its new fashion director.

Whittle had been in her role at M&S for a year.

She was the group general manager of beauty, lingerie and kidswear at Australian department store chain Myer from 2016 until 2018.


Whittle was also the director of womenswear lingerie, footwear and accessories at Target Australia from 2014 until 2015.

She began her career at Debenhams as head of buying from 2000 to 2004.

She first joined M&S in 2004 where she was the head of buying for womenswear.

Whittle joins Topshop at a time which sees the retailer struggling.

Topshop and Topman have both reported pre-tax losses of £505.1 million for the year to September 2018.

This came against losses of £3.9 million the previous year and followed a nine per cent drop in sales to £847 million, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Topshop and Topman’s results were hit by £488.8 million in charges, including for onerous shop leases on loss-making stores and write downs on the value of assets.

Last month, the retailers saw staff numbers fall by 12 per cent to 3853.

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter