How She Did It: Creative Director Of Selfridges Alannah Weston

Money isn’t everything, and millionaire Alannah Weston is proof of that. Her family (in case you didn’t know) bought department store Selfridges in 2003 for a ridiculous £628m…no biggie.

As the Weston family took control over Selfridges, Galen Weston appointed his daughter Alannah as the creative director. There were fears for the store as his daughter took charge, and many people had doubts of her capabilities to run the creative side of the store. In fact, a quick Google of her name reveals a lot of people call her things like ‘Daddy’s girl’, for just that. It’s a shame that people might doubt her abilities, but her father definitely didn’t.

She works hard

Alannah has an English degree, has written for Telegraph magazine, and has worked for Burberry – all before her job at Selfridges. She also lives in central London with her husband and two daughters – not a busy lady at all!

After running the store for 12 years now, she has gained an amazing creative flair and has made many changes to the store which proved to make huge differences in sales and business.

She ignored her doubts

Alannah doubted her creative capability as she started her work at Selfridges – but by following her own inspiration she turned what was, as she described, “a beautiful wedding cake, but empty on the inside,” into a store of wonder and style inside and out, letting customers discover the store without feeling trapped inside. She created and opened The Shoe Galleries, the largest shoe department worldwide – sounds like heaven to us. All those people that doubted her should eat their words!

Alannah used her own ideas to make the store better

As well as making the store sparkle, Alannah also put her own stamp on the store. She introduced Project Ocean – a mission to stop overfishing, showcased in Windows and throughout Selfridges stores across the UK.

Selfridges is run on intuition – and Alannah’s intuition alone. She bases her ideas around what her customers want to experience – rather than just a “purchase and go,” Selfridges is all about painting a bigger picture and promoting more than just designs – as we can see through Alannah’s Project Ocean. Customers want and intellectual, spiritual and cultural nourishment from brands, and that is what Alannah bought to Selfridges.

A woman whose family is wealthy and who had her job ‘handed to her’ by her father has shown us that even though some might say she had it all, she kept pushing for more. Her instinct and assurance has ensured that she is now recognised as a serious businesswoman rather than ‘Daddy’s little girl.’ In fact, Alannah’s success has taught us that it’s okay to accept help from others, and sometimes you can’t create your dream career all by yourself!

If you’d like to read about more inspiring women, check out our articles on Adele or Anya Hindmarch.

Holly Deakin

Holly is a coffee lover, dog whisperer and aspiring runner. She enjoys travelling, spending time with her family and reading classic novels.

  • Camille Beygui

    Great post


  • Danielle T

    Thanks Career Girl Daily for providing my daily dose of career inspiration! I’ll definitely be saving this

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