Barbara Horspool, New Look’s group design director who quit last month ahead of a spectacular shake-up of personnel at the value chain, has been persuaded to stay at the business in an elevated role by chairman and founder Tom Singh.
New Look is expected to announce this afternoon that Horspool has been promoted to creative director of the beleaguered business with responsibility for design across all categories rather than just womenswear and a new responsibility to oversee the creative side of marketing.
She had been due to leave to join Oasis as design director.
It is the second high profile return to the business instigated by Singh, who was parachuted back in to the business after the ousting of chief executive Carl McPhail in March.
Singh’s first move upon rejoining the retailer was to overturn McPhail’s decision to fire group buying director Roger Wightman. He was reinstated within days of Singh’s return to full control.
Chief marketing officer Nick Cross, who was appointed in January and has previously worked at Selfridges, will continue to work in the same role.
It is unclear whether New Look will seek a direct replacement for Horspool’s current role or how her appointment across all categories will impact the current menswear, footwear and kidswear design teams.
Liz Evans, managing director of Oasis, which is owned by Aurora Fashions, said: “We note that Barbara Horspool has chosen to remain at New Look. Barbara was a strong candidate and while we’re disappointed that she won’t be joining us we wish her well in her role.”
“We intend to seek other high quality candidates to fill the position of design director and look forward to the successful candidate playing a key role in positioning Oasis for continued growth.”