Capping a decade of innovation as Creative Director at Selfridges, Alannah Weston was appointed Deputy Chairman of the group in 2014.
She has brought strategic and creative innovation across the international department store group. The Oxford Street flagship has posted record profits since Alannah Weston came aboard in 2004, and has been voted the World’s Best Department Store several times. After opening Britain’s largest shoe store inside Selfridge’s in 2010 and achieving three years of sales projections within 12 months, the former international press director for Burberry turned to social enterprise.
She launched Project Ocean in 2011, joining forces with ethics-conscious fashion designers like Katharine Hamnett and 20 environmental groups in pushing the boundaries of the shopping experience to include “retail activism” such as marine conservation education. The first series of forums, all held at Selfridges, turned into a long-term partnership; in 2012, the restaurant converted its entire menu to sustainably sourced fish, and in 2013 all beauty products with shark oil were removed in preparation for 2014’s social campaign, The Beauty Project, with forums and online debates on controversial practices like retouching. Alannah Weston is chair of the Selfridges Group Foundation, and a trustee of the Blue Marine Foundation, a small NGO that champions ocean conservation.
In 2016, she became a director of George Weston Ltd., the $32 bn publicly-traded Canadian conglomerate, founded in 1882 by her great grandfather, which owns or controls 200 companies. She serves on the board of the Wittington Investments, one of the largest grant-making trusts in the U.K.
Born in Ireland and raised in Canada, Alannah Weston and architect Alexander Cochrane parent their two young daughters while working together. What’s next? Turning Selfridge’s into a city block, further anchoring this branch of the Weston family confederation, spanning the Atlantic from Toronto to London.