Stephanie Phair, chief strategy officer of online luxury platform Farfetch, has been named as the new chair of the British Fashion Council replacing Dame Natalie Massenet whose tenure came to a close at the end of last year.
Phair’s appointment will be finalised as a board meeting in July but she will begin work on the role, which has a focus on governance of the organisation, in June.
Phair has been a close colleague of Net-A-Porter founder, and now Farfetch non-executive co-chair, Dame Natalie throughout her career. Phair launched Net-A-Porter’s off-price business The Outnet in 2009 and she also sat on the Net-A-Porter group’s executive board.
She joined Farfetch in November 2016, around the time it was also rumoured that Dame Natalie was considering a move to the business. Dame Natalie’s appointment as non-executive co-chair and an investor in Farfetch was confirmed in February 2017.
The British Fashion Council had appointed executive search firm Odgers Berndtson to seek a successor for Massenet and its non-executive directors Anya Hindmarch and David Pemsel, along with GQ editor in chief Dylan Jones who chairs London Fashion Week Men’s, also had input into the appointment.
BFC chief executive Caroline Rush said that the choice of Phair 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 of her appointment: “I am honoured and delighted to take on the role of chairman. The British Fashion Council is in a strong position following the incredible work of Dame Natalie Massenet, Caroline Rush and the team, and my role will be to build on this and help drive continued innovation and new thinking in this fast paced, changing industry.”