One of the Most Inspirational Women in Fashion
Anyone who works within the fashion industry is probably familiar with Kim Winser. In her career to date she’s been widely credited with turning around the fortunes of ailing brands including Aquascutum, Pringle of Scotland and Marks & Spencers.
In 2006, her business acumen earned her the honour of a place on the Queen’s honours list where she gained an OBE for her services to the fashion industry.
However, it’s likely that outside the echelons of fashion’s most illustrious corridors, mere mortals who are content to simply buy clothes may have never heard of her. The success of her latest venture looks set to change that.
Just over a year ago, Kim Winser used her industry knowledge and business expertise to launch an eponymous fashion label which provides women with classic wardrobe essentials and so far, its success has exceeded even Winser’s expectations.
It’s a smart move. As Winser herself explains the fashion industry is a lucrative one. It contributes “more than £26billion to the UK economy.”
But, unlike some who enter the industry hoping to take a profitable cut of the market, Winser is more concerned with disrupting the over-priced status quo to offer consumers luxurious products at an affordable price.
Within months of launch she was approached by Harvey Nichols to introduce the collection into their London store. Now, the Winser London range is available in selected branches of John Lewis and also in Peter Jones, Rossiters Bath and their own store in Gerrards Cross.
But, Winser is much more than a brand and it’s not just her elegant designs that women are finding inspirational.
She is courageously spoken about the flaws of the fashion industry, most notably the over-sexualised nature of style and advertising and the inherently sexist culture of business in general.
After starting her career at Marks & Spencers in 1977, Winser was denied the opportunity to achieve her own aspirations to sit on the board simply because she was a woman. It was perseverance and a lack of fear which altered her fortunes and led to her becoming the first woman to hold the position.
She writes regularly for Forbes and describes there the link between appearance and sexuality. While acknowledging the use of sex as a marketing tool, she describes her preference for promoting a “sensual rather than overtly sexual” image which may help “educate young people and imbue them with the confidence to take control of their own bodies.”
Her passion for helping women and young people feel empowered goes far beyond her fashion range. When recruiting staff for her own business venture, she took great care to employ a combination of experienced personnel and young people who could learn from them and launch their career.
In a recent interview, Winser was asked what one thing she would change if she were Prime Minister for the day. Her answer? “Employment for the young. It’s so important for everyone to earn their own money, and understand accountability and worth.”
In November of last year, Winser was awarded an Inspiration Award by the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity for “Giving the next generation role models that show it is possible to have a sense of status, achievement and success by conducting one-self in a manner that is inspirational.”
To find out more about the elegant designs of Kim Winser, visit her online store at winserlondon.com and see for yourself what this inspirational woman’s fashion range is all about.
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