By Kate Bassett Thursday, 13 March 2014

Meet ex-Acquascutum and Pringle boss Kim Winser

Here's your chance to hear from one of the most influential women in fashion retailing.

The CEO who turned around the fortunes of Pringle and Aquascutum before launching her own womenswear brand will be speaking at an exclusive MT networking evening on 10 April 2014.

Kim Winser’s foray into the world of fashion started in 1977 when she gave up a career as a tennis pro to join Marks & Spencer's management trainee scheme. She raced up the corporate ladder, becoming the chain’s youngest divisional director at the age of 30, eventually landing a coveted board position as director of womenswear.

‘It wasn’t easy,’ she admits. ‘I was rejected from the board three times just because I was female. I bumped into the deputy chairman one day and told him that I was willing to work my balls off, but I didn't have any so I was being held back. I got offered a place on the board the next day.’

She left M&S for Pringle of Scotland, a brand that Winser transformed from "a discounted men's golf clothes business", into a successful fashion house attracting customers including David Beckham, Robbie Williams, Guy Richie and Madonna.

Then, in 2006, she became boss of Aquascutum, again turning the business around and attempting a management buyout, before quitting when it became apparent the Japanese owners intended to split up the company and sell it.

The 54-year-old fashion queen launched her own label, Winser London, last March, with pop-up shops in department stores such as Harvey Nichols and John Lewis. She has already expanded into South Korea and aims to create a major worldwide fashion brand.

If you would like to hear about Winser’s journey to the top and her advice on landing a board position and starting your own business, then join us from 6.30pm-9pm on 10 April 2014 for an evening of networking, champagne and canapés.

The event, which marks the launch of our Inspiring Women 2014 event, will be held at a private room at Kettner's in London's Soho.

For your free ticket, email inspiringwomen@haymarket.com. Tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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