LONDON — Stephanie Phair, a digital and marketing expert who is currently chief strategy officer at Farfetch, has been named chair of the British Fashion Council, stepping into the shoes of Natalie Massenet, with whom she’d worked at Net-a-porter Group.
An announcement is expected today.
According to the BFC, Phair’s role will be formalized during a board meeting on July 5, although she is set to start work in June. The tenure is for an initial three years, with the option to renew. The role is a pro bono one, and she will remain in her position at Farfetch.
According to the BFC, the role of chair will focus on governance, ensuring the organization is able to lead the sector; supporting chief executive officer Caroline Rush in the delivery of strategy around reputation, investment, business, digital, innovation and education; developing relationships with sponsors and industry patrons, and building the profile of British fashion globally.
Phair made her first foray into e-commerce 13 years ago with Portero, the pre-owned luxury marketplace. She was later named president of The Outnet, which she launched in 2009, and she also sat on the executive board of Net-a-porter Group from 2009 to 2015.
Earlier in her career, she held roles in communications, marketing and business development and worked at American Vogue on initiatives such as the launch of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and the annual Metropolitan Costume Institute Gala.
In its search for a new chair, the BFC appointed Odgers Berndtson last December. Anya Hindmarch and David Pemsel, non-executive board directors of the BFC, led the search with the firm, with input from Dylan Jones, the BFC’s men’s wear chairman and non-executive director, and Rush.
Rush said the BFC is looking forward to working with Phair “on strengthening the opportunities for British fashion talent and businesses over the next few years. Her appointment was driven by her reputation as a strategic thinker, a broad view of the sector, and her propensity to challenge the norms to create new opportunities for growth.”
Phair said she wants to “help drive continued innovation and new thinking in this fast paced, changing industry. I look forward to working with the team at the BFC” and with “the talented designers and teams working for British fashion today.”