There have been rumours for the last couple of days, but the BFC have just confirmed that Natalie Massenet has been appointed their new Chairman.
It’s a popular choice, as Natalie has long been involved in the fashion world. The daughter of Bob Rooney (an American journalist) and Barbara Jones (a model for Chanel), she joined Tatler in 1996 and left in 1998 to set up British fashion favourite, Net-a-Porter. She was awarded an MBE for services to fashion in 2009, then in 2010, she sold her share to Richemont (for a reported £50m) but stayed on as Executive Chairman. In 2011, Massenet launched the male equivalent website, Mr Porter.
The BFC statement says Natalie was chosen due to the fact she built a globally recognised, award winning fashion business, her strong international profile amongst media and retailers and her close relationships with both British designers and global luxury brands. Natalie will start her new position on 1st January, 2013, and had this to say about her new role:
“I am honoured and excited to be taking on the role of Chairman of The British Fashion Council. Over the past few years The British Fashion Council, led by Harold Tillman and Caroline Rush, has done an extraordinary job of building the profile of our industry worldwide. Not only do we have some of the best creative talent based in London but there are also great British designers working in some of the most high profile luxury design houses in the world. We also have the best understanding of what our industry contributes to the UK economy and what a significant player the British Fashion Industry is and can continue to be. My experience is in merging extraordinary creative content with innovative global commerce. From January, together with Caroline Rush and her team, I aim to apply these lessons to my new role, a role I take incredibly seriously.” – Natalie Massenet MBE
Harold Tillman CBE will step down at the end of the year after completing an extended term as BFC Chair.