Very Exclusive boss Sarah Curran quits Shop Direct
Luxury e-tail pioneer Sarah Curran is leaving her role at e-tail giant Shop Direct after just over three years. There is no news on what her next move will be.
The executive joined the up-for-sale company, which is the UK’s second largest pureplay online retailer, in December 2013. After leaving the now-defunct My-Wardrobe that she had founded in 2006, she had a remit at Shop Direct to accelerate the development of its luxury offer in branded fashion and beauty.
She spearheaded its move into higher-end retailing as it expanded its online Very brand to create the standalone Very Exclusive in early 2015.The site offers a mix of ‘affordable’ luxury and mid-market fashion product.
Very Exclusive sells more than 100 luxury fashion and beauty labels, including Alexander wang, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, McQ, Reiss, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania and GHD.
In many ways it echoes the accessible luxury positioning that Curran had pioneered at My-Wardrobe and it launched at the same time when many luxury e-tailers were moving closer towards the more expensive end of the market.
Shop Direct CEO Alex Baldock said of Curran’s time at the firm: “Sarah’s track record and expertise in luxury were the reasons we brought her into the business and she’s lived up to our expectations and more with what she’s achieved. During her time at Shop Direct, she’s built a fantastic team, nurtured relationships with a superb stable of brands and created a unique and already much-loved proposition.”
Curran herself stressed that during her time at the firm she was able to continue her aims of helping “to democratise luxury by bringing aspirational brands to as wide an audience as possible.”
As mentioned, it’s unclear where Curran got sent but it’s likely to be another role in fashion with the sector having dominated most of her working life. Having started as a Times sub-editor, she opened her own boutique in 2002 in Crouch End before launching My-Wardrobe in the same decade as a number of other e-tail pioneers, such as Yoox, Asos and Net-A-Porter, also made their debut.
But the company struggled to compete against larger rivals and Net-A-Porter acquired the My-Wardrobe name a year after Curran left, closing the website down.
However, this closure boosted the opportunity for Very Exclusive with a major gap in the market at the time in affordable luxury. Alex Baldock said on Tuesday that Very Exclusive had performed ahead of the firm’s expectations since day one.
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