Retail marketing guru Mary Portas is quite possibly one of the United Kingdoms foremost authorities on retail and brand communication. As Creative Director at London’s most respected retail branding and communications agency, Yellowdoor, Mary is recognised throughout the trade as the “Queen of Shops”. Previously Creative Director of Harvey Nichols, Mary repositioned the Harvey Nichols brand into the world renowned store and restaurant group it is today.
Mary’s foresight and unique knowledge of brands, retail trends and consumer insights prompted her to launch Yellowdoor in 1997 when she saw a need for integrated and creative brand communication in the retail, fashion, luxury and beauty sectors. Under Mary’s guidance, Yellowdoor have created category challenging campaigns for a wide range of brands on the high street including Clarks, Louis Vuitton, Oasis, Swarovski, Dunhill, Boden, Thomas Pink, Miss Selfridge, and Patek Philippe.
Mary travels regularly and frequently lectures on the theme of branding and retail. Her first book “Windows – The Art of Retail Display” published by Thames and Hudson in five languages, quickly became the worldwide authority.
In 2005 Mary was commissioned to write a weekly feature in the Saturday Telegraph Magazine reviewing the state of the nation’s shops. Mary now sits on the panel judging the annual national Telegraph Best and Worst shops in Britain awards.
In April 07, Mary’s second book “How to Shop”, will be published through BBC books offering the ultimate 21st century guide to retail therapy.
In May 07, a major new series “Mary Queen of Shops” produced by Optomen Television for BBC2 launched going behind the scenes of the fashion retail world by rescuing a series of ailing boutiques. A second series will air in Spring 2008.
Marys first contact with shops came in the guise of a job as a floater at John Lewis, quite literally floating between departments on a Saturday. She has now run one of the worlds most famous retail marketing agencies Yellowdoor for ten years, turning round the fortunes of some of the biggest names in retail across the globe.
Marys first job was designing and dressing the WAYIN windows at Harrods. The windows backed onto the mens changing rooms. One day, she stepped out of the windows to find Mohammed Ali in his y-fronts. She spent a year having fun designing and installing windows for fashion boutiques on the Kings Road out of the back of her Triumph Spitfire. The most famous of which included Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm Maclarens shop BOY in the early eighties.
She joined Top Shop in the mid eighties most famously putting Gary Glitter and Marilyn singing in the large windows to Oxford Street
She launched the new generation designer show as part of London Fashion Week when at Harvey Nichols. Did a deal with Jennifer Saunders to make Harvey Nichols the famous fashion empire in Absolutely Fabulous. Won the first D&AD gold for a window display and opened the first Harvey Nichols outside of London in Leeds
Her name is respected globally by designers and business leaders alike. Yet her priorities are always her children, Mylo and Verity. Most famously she once told Giorgio Armani that she was unable to make a private meeting with him as it was Mylos sports day.
Mary in the Press
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