Managing Director, John Smedley
Having grown up with the John Smedley brand as an 8th generation family shareholder, Ian chose to begin his career within finance working for 3i plc, the UK’s largest private equity provider. Following this, Ian began a 14 year advancement through niche multi-channel retailer Orvis, leading areas across buying and sales for both the US and UK. The brand saw rapid growth during the period, expanding from 4 to 27 shops, and Ian ultimately took charge of sales and marketing within the UK. Moving into the family brand, Ian began his role at John Smedley as a Non-Executive Director in 2000, progressing to Chairman in 2008, and Managing Director in 2010. Under Ian’s leadership the brand has consistently moved forward, not only developing its design aesthetic to attract new consumers, but also strengthening its core values as a contemporary luxury brand. Ian has led the company to increasingly profitable growth in the last few years. Key examples of Ian’s achievements within the brand would be the now annual representation at London Collections: Men, showcasing key seasonal designs alongside the best of British fashion, and the continuation of the brand’s highly successful Brook St store location and growing international web business. Ian has also led John Smedley to achieve several accolades including the Royal Warrant of Appointment in 2013, and the Drapers award for Best Premium Brand’ in 2013. Well known for his support of British manufacturing, Ian continues to work alongside key institutions Make it British’, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, the Royal College of Art, the Campaign for Wool and UK Fashion Textiles as a champion craftsmanship within the UK. Speaking of his role at John Smedley, Ian said Leading the team at John Smedley is the greatest challenge and the most exciting business adventure in my career. The passion and commitment shown by everyone in our company to make the world’s finest knitwear is very inspiring to me. I look forward every day to building on the successes of my predecessors and making the brand and company stronger.