Phelan, along with Topman’s creative director Gordon Richardson, will both be replaced by David Hägglund, the founder of his own creative agency in Sweden and a former art director at Vogue Paris.
Hägglund’s appointment comes as part of a shake-up at Topshop and Topman, part of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group. Last month, Paul Price, chief merchandising officer at Burberry, was named chief executive officer of Topshop and Topman, also a new role.
Price will join on Sept. 4 and report to Green, who has also been reorganizing Arcadia’s parent, Taveta Investments. In July, he named Karren Brady, ceo of England’s West Ham United soccer team, chairman of Taveta.
The Topshop changes come amid challenges on the U.K. high street, with homegrown retailers having to compete with the likes of Zara, Hennes & Mauritz, Cos, & Other Stories and Uniqlo. The big British fast-fashion retailers are also taking a hit from high sourcing costs due to the weak British pound and the uncertainty around Brexit.
Arcadia said Wednesday that Hägglund will also join the business on Sept. 4 and confirmed that his role overseeing both Topshop and Topman is a new one.
“David brings a wealth of experience, having founded his own creative agency in Stockholm with clients including H&M and Hugo Boss. Prior to this, David was managing director at [Swedish ad agency] Storakers McCann and, previously, art director at Vogue Paris,” Arcadia said.
Phelan and Richardson will leave the business later this year.
Green said Hägglund’s appointment “continues to mark the start of a new era for Topshop and Topman in moving both brands forward in their ongoing global expansion. I look forward to working with [David and Paul] to drive the business forward.”
Green has been making changes after a tough few years. Last year, a toxic stew of slowing business on the British high street, the sale of his former company BHS and a pension fund drama ate away at revenues and profits at Taveta Investments, which comprises fashion brands Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge and women’s clothing retailers such as Evans, Burton and Dorothy Perkins.
According to paperwork filed at Companies House, the official register of U.K. businesses, Taveta saw sales from continuing operations dip 2.5 percent to 2.02 billion pounds,while profit plummeted 88 percent to 16.7 million pounds. The company does not break out separate figures for Topshop and Topman.
Earlier this year, Green resolved a near yearlong drama regarding the hole in the BHS pension fund by promising to make a voluntary contribution of up to 363 million pounds.
The BHS affair involved a prolonged parliamentary hearing and resulted in Green being reprimanded by members of parliament for his corporate practices. British MPs also voted to strip him of his knighthood, although that never happened.
As reported, Phelan has been confirmed as senior contributing fashion editor at British Vogue, which Edward Enninful began editing earlier this month. She had served as co-fashion director of British Vogue alongside Lucinda Chambers — and at the title for more than 20 years — before becoming creative director of Topshop in 2011.