NEW AT NICHOLS: Laura Larbalestier has been named group fashion buying director at Harvey Nichols, WWD has learned. An announcement is expected today.
Larbalestier will take up her role on Aug. 13 and report to Daniela Rinaldi, co-chief operating officer of the store. She will replace Anita Barr, who left the company earlier this year.
Larbalestier, who has held senior positions in buying and merchandising at Browns and Selfridges and was most recently buying director at Boutique 1, will be responsible for women’s wear, men’s wear and accessories buying across the business.
Rinaldi and Manju Malhotra, co-chief operating officers, said it was an exciting time for the store, “and we are really looking forward to having Laura join our management team. With her wealth of experience and expertise, we have no doubt that she will help strengthen the fashion sector within the business.”
Larbalestier said she’s joining the store at a great time. “As one of the world’s leading luxury department stores, the strength of the brand, its prestigious history and world-class team represent an incredible opportunity. I can’t wait to get started.”
Harvey Nichols has been on an expansion streak of late: Last month it opened a refurbished designer women’s wear floor as part of an ongoing revamp of the Knightsbridge store and other units across the U.K.
Last week, Marc Jacobs Beauty announced that it had picked Harvey Nichols as its exclusive U.K. distribution partner, while earlier this year the retailer inked a unique, multiyear e-commerce partnership with Farfetch, aimed at widening its international audience and accelerating its digital strategy.
As part of that deal, Harvey Nichols has been able to tap into Farfetch’s e-commerce and logistics platform and introduce services such as in-store returns and same-day deliveries.