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Hush appoints first non-executive chair

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Fashion and lifestyle brand Hush has appointed Susanne Given as its first non-executive chair.

Given has a wealth of experience in retail over an executive career that included roles as chief operating officer at Superdry, as buying director at John Lewis and Partners and as the UK/Ireland managing director at TK Maxx.

Her appointment as non-executive chair comes six months after Hush partnered with retail and consumer investment firm True, who took a majority stake in the business.

Hush founder Mandy Watkins said in a statement: “We’re really excited to start working with Susanne on this next stage of our journey. She has amazing experience of scaling brands, both in executive and non-executive roles, which will be invaluable over the coming years as we look to our expand and introduce our brand to new customers and new markets. In addition, we particularly value her digital expertise as well as the emphasis she puts on brand building.”

Commenting on her new role, Given, added: “Hush has an authentic core which shines through in both its proposition and its culture. I am excited to be joining the business at this stage, to work with the very successful founding team that is Mandy and Rupert, as well as Kate Bartman, who has recently stepped up to the chief executive role after working alongside Mandy and Rupert for the past eight years.

“During this extraordinary time where consumers are turning to digitally native brands rather than physical stores, Hush is particularly well-positioned to take advantage of the tailwinds fanning the online sector.”

Paul Cocker, co-founder of True, said: “We have known Susanne for a number of years and are excited to welcome her to both Hush and True. I am very much looking forward to being able to draw on her vast experience to help further accelerate Hush’s growth over the coming years.

“The business’s performance during the first six months of our ownership has been exceptional. We now have a fantastic team in place that will allow us to capitalise on the significant opportunity that the current climate presents for a digitally native brand such as Hush.”

Hush was founded in 2003 by Australian Mandy Watkins as a womenswear label, the brand now offers contemporary fashion, as well as footwear, accessories, jewellery and even chocolate. In recent years growth has accelerated the business from a niche brand into one of the UK’s fastest-growing womenswear brands.

Turnover through its own website and via its partnership with John Lewis and Partners has grown fivefold in the past four years to 50 million pounds, added the brand, and has accelerated over the past six months with online sales up 50 percent since the end of March.

susanne given