Mary Portas started her career in retail with a Saturday job in John Lewis. She then had a part-time, and later a full-time, job with Harrods where she was responsible for window displays for about three years, before joining TopShop as display manager. While in this job, she was spotted by Burton Group chairman Sir Ralph Halpern. www.topshop.com
Portas is credited with turning Harvey Nichols into a leading modern fashion brand. She created the Harvey Nichols show windows that became part of the guided tours of London. She then persuaded the store’s owners to use younger designers, and gained publicity in the BBC’s Absolutely Fabulous series in the 90’s.
Portas left Harvey Nichols to launch Yellowdoor, a communications agency that advises clients in fashion, retail, and beauty brands on PR, Communications Strategy and marketing. She also travels around the world lecturing on retail strategy.
After getting her TV break on Richard & Judy, BBC 2 began airing Mary Queen of Shops in June 2007. The show took Mary behind the scenes of the fashion retail world, challenging her to rescue a series of failing independant boutiques.
The second, six-part, series was aired from June 2008, and the three-part Mary
Queen of Charity Shops in 2009.
Her latest series for the channel, Mary Queen of Frocks was a departure from the produced shows that Mary had presented previously, and instead was an
observational documentary that followed Mary as she launched her own
shop aimed at 40+ women with UK retailer House of Fraser.
There’s something about Mary Portas
In the clip below Mary introduces her latest protégé,”My Shop” bringing fashion for “Real Women” to the high street. ” Grown woman are sassy, confident and go getting” she says in the video clip. At last…… as you may or may not know I keep harping on about the lack of true fashion style for us mature ladies. Anyway, enough about my musings.
Inspired by the ‘French Woman’ and her sense of simple classic chique. Portas has taken the principles of dressing well, to the British High Street, all the above but “with an edge”.
This is a collection for Grown up Women, who do not want to comporomise on style.
STOP NOW! dressing like your daughter. Be YOU and make your own statement.
Her focus is also all about quality, customer satisfaction and service. She wanted to create a fashion experience, with a little pampering and loving thrown in.
Mary Portas ‘Queen of Frocks and Shops’ has arrived.
Her passion, drama, down-to-earth sense, straight talking no nonsense approach, generated in me genuine excitement and inspiration. More, more, more s’il vous plaît.
What do you think about; A grown up shop for Women? Did Mary Portas inspire you to shop at her shop?
I will be heading there on my next visit to the UK, to browse her collection in person.
Good News is that The House of Fraser now ship internationally.
Acknowledgements: Yahoo.com,Telegraph.com, Mary Portas.com
- Profile: Mary Portas (telegraph.co.uk)
- Mary Portas gets government retail position (simplybusiness.co.uk)
- Mary Queen of Frocks, Channel 4, review (telegraph.co.uk)