the fashion feed - episode 1 with jane shepherdson CBE

My first guest on The Fashion Feed podcast is Jane Shepherdson CBE who I've admired for years.  Jane worked at Topshop for around 20 years working her way through the ranks in buying & became brand director in 1998 before moving on to become the CEO of Whistles.

Jane Shepherdson - The Fashion Feed.jpg

In January 2018, I wrote a list of people I wanted to meet and when I went back through it at the end of the year, I had met them all, I couldn’t believe it!

On a separate note, in November of 2018, I had started following Jane on Instagram and sent her a DM to say I’d love to meet her and interview her for my blog

I had no reply which was pretty understandable as she is a busy woman!

Anyway back to my list of people I wanted to meet!

In January 2019 I wrote a new list of people I wanted to meet and of course added Jane’s name to it

The very next day she replied to my message that I had sent to her in November!

I had thought about starting a podcast but nothing more than thinking. However I felt like i couldn’t waste this opportunity on a simple blog post so I told Jane I WAS starting a podcast for definite and would she like to be interviewed as my first guest

She said yes and I thought great - now how do I make a podcast?!

My mum and I raced up to Carphone Warehouse to buy a microphone, I got on Youtube to figure out how to use it and off I went to meet Jane in a small bar in Kings Cross on a Friday afternoon in January. Jane looked as stylish as ever with straight dark jeans and a cream teddy jacket, she had a coffee and I had a Diet Coke.

I thought it would be quiet where we recorded but a group of office workers decided to finish early and gate crash our recording - nightmare!

Anyway we cracked on and had a wonderful chat about everything we’re both passionate about

In this episode we cover :

  • Working at Topshop in the 90's and pushing the boundaries as a high street store with innovative ideas 

  • Her time working with Sir Phillip Green

  • How she made Whistles cool again as their CEO

  • Finding purpose within your career to create new challenges

  • The current state of the British fashion industry and her opinion on trends

  • Why 2018 was 'peak shit stuff'

Following an 'adult gap year' (which you can read more about here) - Jane is a retail expert now working as a creative consultant.  She's also an ambassador for the charity Smart Works - a UK charity that provides high quality interview clothes and interview training to unemployed women in need.

Jane also has her own podcast called Out of Fashion which she hosts alongside Jane Kellock (previously of and is a must listen for anyone interested in fashion!

You can listen below or click through to Apple Podcast here

I would welcome any feedback on the podcast so please leave a review or drop me a message and let me know your thoughts!

Elizabeth Stiles