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The Art Of Confident Entrepreneurship

Renowned fashion designer Amanda Wakeley OBE was among the speakers who took to the stage at Top Drawer on Monday (11 September). Interviewed by fashion journalist Julia Robson, Amanda, who built a global fashion empire over three decades – and who currently hosts a podcast, Style DNA – spoke about her passion for fashion, (“a tough, complex business”), her rollercoaster business journey, and the tips she would pass on to other entrepreneurs.

They included, getting investment before you need it; always putting the customer first; making the best use of social media; not trying to build Rome in a day; and taking advantage of sound advice from a business mentor or someone in the know.

A keen gift buyer, she told that, “a thoughtful gift is a way of showing your love for someone. I used to do a range of men’s cashmere, and loved giving pieces to my father, brother and my partner. Meanwhile, a gift that I treasure is a black and white photo of a ship being built in the 1930’s that has a close family connection.” Which one item would she take to a desert island? “The family photo album,” revealed  Amanda.

Asked for three words that best describe her, she chose “passionate, authentic and kind – in terms of kindness to people, and being kind in my designs, to ensure that my clothes have always made people feel  good about themselves.”

Top: Amanda Wakeley on the Retail Fest stage at Top Drawer with’s editor Sue Marks.

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