// Alasdhair Willis, Hunter’s creative director, resigns from business
// Willis will focus on existing consultancies and develop new opportunities
// He was also appointed senior advisor to Hunter’s new majority shareholder, Atypical Partner
Hunter has announced that Alasdhair Willis has taken the decision to stand down from his role as creative director at the end of July.
The footwear retailer and brand said Willis was stepping down to focus on his existing brand consultancies, his board roles, as well as develop new opportunities.
This includes taking a position as a senior advisor to Atypical Partner, the umbrella company controlling Pall Mall Legacy, Hunter’s new majority shareholder.
At Atypical Partner, he will collaborate with, and advise, current and future portfolio companies.
Willis became Hunter’s creative director in 2013, introducing and setting the vision and strategic direction to transform the brand through creativity and design, from what was a traditional Wellington boot business into a global lifestyle brand.
Today, non-footwear accounts for up to 40 per cent of Hunter’s sales in key markets and more than 40 per cent of sales now derive from the US.
Hunter’s ecommerce arm also generates about 30 per cent of its global sales.
Willis is credited for introducing a number of global marketing and strategic collaborations: from Stella McCartney, Dover Street Market and US retail giant Target, to Peppa Pig, Disney and even Rihanna and Pharrell.
“I feel truly grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with this unique brand, and even more fortunate that I was able to create a new and successful chapter in its history,” Willis said.
“I am very thankful to the whole team at Hunter for playing their part in this amazing journey and wish them, and the brand, every success in the future.”
Atypical Partner founder Mauro Morretti said: “Alasdhair brought incredible creative flair and drive to Hunter, its products and the unique collaborations he has been able to bring to life.
“All of us will remember for a long time the Wellington boot hot air balloon travelling around the globe.
“We are very fortunate to have him support Atypical and look forward to putting his gifted mind to new opportunities across our portfolio as a senior advisor.”
The news comes almost two weeks after Hunter confirmed that Vincent Wauters would step down from his role as chief executive, also at the end of July, to pursue to new opportunities.
Jimmy Coo senior vice president of merchandising and licensing Paolo Porta has been appointed as interim chief executive while Hunter carries out search for a new permanent chief executive to replace Wauters.
Meanwhile, Andrew Lawley was appointed executive chairman earlier after acting as chief restructuring officer to support Hunter’s £16.5 million refinancing earlier this month, which support the retailer’s future growth and help mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Both Lawley and Porta will steer Hunter’s business strategic review that will cover all aspects of the business.