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THE TWENTY CLUB COMMITTEE

How to become a member

To become a member of The Twenty Club, you need to be a business owner, founder, CEO orC- suite executive from a major retailer within the Fashion or Lifestyle retail landscape.

Only one member per retailer is allowed. Member applications can come through a nomination by an existing Member of The Twenty Club or through a website application. The nomination and applications will be discussed by the Committee which meets and discusses club matters on at least a monthly basis.

 

New Members are voted on by the Committee.

 

You can see our existing Committee Members below and they can be contacted via our "Contact Us" page.

2024 Annual Membership Fee

THE MEMBERSHIP

Committee Members

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Fiona Lambert

President

Fiona Lambert is a senior retail executive, most recently MD of Jaeger at Marks and Spencer PLC. Prior to this, she held senior roles with Next, Asda, Dunelm and River Island. Fiona worked alongside George’s founder George Davies to set up and launch the first fashion supermarket brand in 1990.

 

In a 30-year career, she has developed a deep expertise and won awards for design, buying, sourcing, with a major focus on innovation and customer needs. She has supported Graduate Fashion Week for 5 years.

 

She has been a member of the Twenty Club for 13 years and on the Committee for the last 5 years. 

She became the Twenty Club President in 2023.

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Damian Hopkins CBE

Past President

Damian is a respected and accomplished senior fashion and retail executive and business owner with a proven record of entrepreneurial flair having founded, built, grown and sold two successful businesses in the fashion, retail, licensing and brand sectors, and has also served on the board of a £1bn UK retail business.

 

Damian was awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire Medal) in King Charles’s inaugural birthday honours list in 2023 for services to Retail and Fashion.

 

He has over 25 years’ experience working at a senior level in a variety of roles and is currently an Executive Director of PDS Ltd a $2bn turnover fashion platform business that operates across 20 countries supplying and operating some of the worlds leading brands from value to luxury. He is also the CEO and founder of PDS Radius Brands, a fashion and home brand management and licensing business. 
 

Previously the director of Matalan developing their international business across 13 countries and prior to that Damian was an early adopter of launching Fairtrade Cotton and recycled polyester in 2008 in the UK. 
 

His expertise in brand and talent management spans from launching celebrity endorsed apparel ranges internationally with the Kardashian sisters and Robbie Williams to licensing with numerous fashion and home.

In a voluntary role, Damian has been involved with the Retail Trust Charity for many years including chairing the fundraising committee in 2018-19 and is now Co-chair of the ambassadors. 
 

Damian was the former President of The Twenty Club until 2022.

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David Blakeney

Club Secretary

David has worked for several leading retailers including Allders Duty Free, Arcadia and most recently 25 years at House of Fraser including 10 years as Director Of Store Development   He founded DB Retail Consultancy in 2018 working with leading Retail brands advising on Space Management, Procurement & Store Design & Development.

 

He is a regular speaker at Retail conferences, a judge for both Drapers & Retail Week Awards, on the Advisory board for Retail Week Interiors and a Retail Trust Ball Committee member. 

 

David joined the Twenty Club in 2009, and has been on the Committee since 2013. He was appointed Club Secretary just over 3 years ago.

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Billie O’Connor

Club Treasurer

Billie O’Connor is our newest member of The Twenty Club Committee, having joined in 2019 as assistant Treasurer.

 

Formerly the Digital Finance Director at Selfridges, Billie is now the CFO of Milk & More, the direct-to-customer digital business of The Muller Group, and brings with her 18 years of Retail Experience across Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, and Selfridges during her career as well time spent in Healthcare, Fitness and Travel.

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Helen Connolly

Committee Member

Helen Connolly has spent the past 20 years working in the retail sector. 
She started her career as a buyer for businesses including Next, Dorothy Perkins and George at Asda. From there, Helen progressed to executive roles, leading fast-paced, energetic teams focused on delivering commercial success.

Helen joined New Look in 2020 from Bon Marché. Her time at New Look has been spent focussing on its Buying, Merchandising and Sourcing capabilities, improving both product and efficiencies across the business, as well as driving partnership and concessions opportunities. Now as CEO, she is working to deliver long-term, sustainable growth for the business.

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David Shepherd

Committee Member

David has over 40 years’ experience in the Global Retail industry starting his journey on the shop floor at Arcadia to becoming COO for the Arcadia Group .He was Managing Director of Topman from 1999-2013 overseeing a time of considerable growth and expansion.

Since his retirement from the Arcadia group in 2019 David has set up a Retail Consultancy working with brands like Ted Baker and BDALDN.

David has been both a guest speaker at and been a member of the Twenty Club for 8 years and on the Committee for the past 5 years .

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Mary Homer

Committee Member

Mary is currently CEO of The White Company having joined in 2017,and prior to that was Managing Director of Topshop for 11 years from 2006.

 

She is a passionate supporter of new talent and during this time she was also a Patron of the British Fashion Council. 

Mary is Chair of Women Supporting Women, an initiative that is part of the Princes Trust, and is a Board Trustee for the Henley Festival, a non-profit organisation that hosts a 5 day music festival. 

She has been a member of the Twenty Club since 2017 and on the Committee since 2019

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Emma Watkinson

Committee Member

Emma is CEO & Co-Founder of online fashion platform, SilkFred which she launched at 24. The business partners with over 900 independent fashion brands and is a pioneer in the online fashion marketplace space, recognising that brands wanted to build D2C businesses but needed infrastructure and resources to do so.

Silkfred has created a multi-million pound business by supporting the independent fashion sector and now has an enviable following of over 1 million social media fans and an active base of over 1.5 million customers.

Emma is a passionate advocate for female entrepreneurship, ambassador for Facebook & Instagram's ‘She Means Business’ Campaign, as well as Retail Week's Be Inspired Programme. She is a guest lecturer at London College of Fashion and a Forbes mentor. Emma & SilkFred have been widely featured in multiple high profile press and business interviews and the Brands have been worn by Rihanna, Holly Willoughby, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Amanda Holden & Beyonce.

 Emma joins the Twenty Club Committee in 2022

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Chris Brook-Carter
Committee Member

Chris is currently CEO of the Retail Trust and has been a passionate supporter, advocate and champion of UK retail across his entire career. 

 
Prior to joining the Retail Trust, Chris was the Managing Director  of Retail Week - the most influential media brand in UK retail – and the World Retail Congress, the largest gathering of global retail’s leadership each year. 
 
Chris was a pioneer in the age of digital information, launching his first online news service in 1999 for the FMCG sector and is a passionate campaigner for the positive impact of retail on the UK economy as well as a voice for diversity in business recognised by both the Women’s Business Council and Management Today as an agent of change.

He has been a member of the Twenty Club  and on the committee since 2021
 

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Darren Sanderson-Williams
Committee Member

Darren Williams (DW) is GM at Specsavers, Non-Exec Chair of Men’s skincare brand SCRUBD, and Non-Exec Chair of Sanderson King. He is also the Founder of Williams Harding Consulting.  

He has had a 35 year career in Retail, from the shop floor to Senior roles in a number of businesses in retail and hospitality, including Hotel Chocolat, Paul and Unilever. He also has extensive experience in leasing and commercial property. 

He is an Ambassador, advocate and supporter of the Retail Trust. Serving 8 years on its Annual Ball committee, as well as chairing the event in 2017 and 2018. Having spent his career in the sector, he is firmly committed to the Retail Trusts vision, values and purpose of ensuring a better life for all who work in this incredibly challenging but rewarding industry.

DW has run 4 London marathons and a number of other major run series for the Target Ovarian Cancer charity. Darren also partners with a Bulgarian dog rescue charity (DW brought his dog Scamp home from Bulgaria for a new life in London).

A member of the Twenty Club since 2015, he joined the Committee in the summer of 2023.

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