In the UK, we're good at the creative side of fashion. We turn out graduates who go on to design for all the world's big houses. But creativity alone has not led to commercial success. With the exception of Burberry and Paul Smith, we lack serious players on the international scene. The London fashion business remains a cottage industry when compared with the LVMHs, the Guccis, the Pradas and the Armanis of global renown.
That's why Kim Winser has arrived to lead Aquascutum out of genteel obscurity.
With 20 years at M&S under her belt, followed by a vigorous shake-up at Pringle, Winser knows the meaning of the bottom line. This is why her Japanese bosses hired her. She's very likeable and full of energy, as I found when I tagged along for the interview in her smart Regent Street lair. I was impressed and, worrying that the shop seemed lacking in till action, I even bought one of Aquascutum's shirts - at full price, which must be a first for a journalist.