NAME Jo Bennett COMPANY John Lewis
As head of buying for womenswear, Jo, 40, is responsible for John Lewis’s in-house brands (she launched premium label Modern Rarity in 2016 and casual denim line And/Or earlier this year) and the 106 labels that it buys in, including Boden, which launched in-store in September. Jo joined John Lewis as a buyer in 2010 and previously worked in similar roles for Jacques Vert, Arcadia Group and Austin Reed. She has two children and lives in Hertfordshire. During the first half of the year, John Lewis’s total fashion sales were up 3.5 per cent with a standout performance in womenswear, where sales increased by 5.8 per cent. bringing in previously online- only labels such as Finery (daywear with an edge) and Hush (luxe loungewear), because ‘touching the fabrics is so important to shoppers’, and developing John Lewis’s own brands. Jo talks a lot about flattering cuts – And/Or jeans, for example, have bottom-lifting, thigh-smoothing properties that you rarely find outside premium LA denim labels.