Alannah Weston has been the creative director of British department store chain Selfridges since the Weston family bought it in 2004. In early 2014, she was also named deputy chairman of Selfridges Group. She is credited with reinvigorating the store and elevating the store’s events. Selfridges has been voted the ‘World’s Best Department Store’ by the International Association of Department stores, twice in the last three years.
Her family’s ownership of Selfridges led many to view Weston’s appointment with scepticism; however, she has proved her critics wrong. Her creative directorship has redefined Selfridges’ role in London’s retail landscape, ushering in an increase in sales of over 50 percent. For the first time, in 2012, sales exceeded £1 billion.
Entertainment, interaction and spectacle are very much part of her vision. “People now have so much choice – sports events, museums, theatres, these are all our competition. They want intellectual, cultural and, yes, spiritual nourishment. They don’t just want to buy things.”
To nourish Selfridge’s customers, Weston has commissioned Bruce Weber to shoot a Christmas film, launched Project Ocean, a conservation project, and created the largest shoe retail space in the world, with a ballerina.
Weston previously worked as a journalist at The Daily Telegraph and has written for Tatler and British Vogue. She has also worked at Burberry as head of press.
She is married to Alexander Cochrane an architect; the couple has two daughters.