My ‘Woman of Substance’ for March is known as the “fairy godmother of...
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Born in Helensburgh, Scotland, Kim was the youngest and first female Director of Marks & Spencer, Chief Executive of Pringle of Scotland, CEO of Aquascutum, Chairman of Agent Provocateur, not to mention advisor to Natalie Massenet at Net-a-Porter. Kim was appointed by Theresa May, Prime Minister as Trustee of the Natural History Museum and she is Independent Non-Executive Director (INED) of the luxury Peninsula Hotel and Property group.
Kim works with specific family funds on investments and also devotes time to advising aspiring young business individuals to help them achieve their goals.
She supports various charities including working with HRH The Prince of Wales with The Prince's Trust. Kim was asked to sit on The Good Work Commission for the government alongside selected other businessmen such as John Varley, then Chairman of Barclays. She works with students at Central Saint Martin's and Heriot-Watt University and is a regular contributor to Forbes.
Kim was awarded a Doctorate by Heriot-Watt University in 2002 for her work in the British textile industry and an Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty The Queen for her services to the British fashion and retail industry in 2006.
A talented tennis player, Kim was chosen to represent her country and had to make a career-defining decision whether to pursue her sporting dreams or enter the world of retail.
Travel has always been a large part of Kim’s life – mainly for business, particularly for Winser London, but also in her role as INED of the Peninsula hotel group. Kim’s packing tips are valued by her customers – her ability to pack light while creating a multitude of outfit options from just a few pieces has been core to the development of the Winser clothing collection. So too has the ‘touch of stretch’ in every piece, which ensures you look as good at the end of the day, even after a long-haul flight, as you do at breakfast.
Kim spends her free time with her son who has recently started at university and indulging her long-standing passion for fast cars and particularly for Formula 1, which occasionally takes her to the racing circuit.
Despite Kim’s business success, her mother’s words have kept her grounded and utterly down-to-earth. “My mother advised me to always ‘just be myself’,” she explains. “Those few words have stayed with me and have kept me on a solid path throughout my career – and my own advice to myself has been “to give more than I take in life”. I hope we will always deliver this to our customers through Winser London too”.
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