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“Celebrate the Work of Women.”

Ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March 2020, can you name two female businesswomen who work within the fashion industry who has inspired you? One must be a female businesswoman; you have met the other one whom you haven’t met. Let’s take some time to recognise our inspiring female role models (tag them if you can).

A Female Inspirational Businesswoman I Have Met: Erica Vilkauls Principal CEO: Luxury Fashion Brands

I first met Erica when I was a Technical Manager at LK Bennett. Erica joined LK Bennett as a Buying, Merchandising & E-Commerce Director, but as I like to call her “a Company Doctor.” I was working on the clothing side of the business when she promoted me to Head of Technical for the whole of LK Bennett. What I admired about Erica was that she took the time to notice that the clothing department had dramatically reduced the returns rates down within two seasons, so she prompted me to do the same for the rest of the company. I loved working with Erica, as she is so approachable, good with people, full of useful advice, and was able to handle challenging situations. Erica takes the time to understand a business and then turns it around. She has been my role model since I met her in 2005, and now that I am running my own business, I am always calling her for advice.

A Female Inspirational Businesswoman I Haven’t Met: Jacqueline Gold Chief Executive: Ann Summers

Jacqueline has to be the woman who is on top of my list of someone I have not met for two reasons. Firstly, Jacqueline chose to take on the difficult task of working for her father’s Sex Toy Company, even though men dominated it. She changed the way the sex industry was preserved, which could not have been easy for her. Jacqueline saw the potential of selling sexy lingerie and sex toys to women in the privacy of their own homes with a strict “no men allowed” policy and is now a multi-millionaire businesswoman. Secondly, I read Jacqueline’s feature in Hello Magazine about her secret battle with breast cancer in 2016 and was inspired by her story. Two weeks after reading that story in December 2017, I discovered I had breast cancer. Her story encouraged me to get through my treatment without it having an impact on my life, and she also looked amazing.

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