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Elaine Smith

Elaine Smith.

Elaine runs her own quality improvement consultancy business. She is a highly experienced leader and manager, with a proven track record of achievement and success both as a Vice Principal and more recently in consultancy, training and support for the post 16 education sector. Elaine has significant experience in bringing about sustainable quality improvements and performance improvement solutions. Elaine is also contracted with Ofsted as an Ofsted Inspector.

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Elizabeth Rouse

Elizabeth Rouse, Vice Chair, FRA.

Elizabeth has a long career and extensive experience in education management. Her previous roles have included Head of College at London College of Communication, Deputy Rector Academic at the University of the Arts London and Dean of Academic Development at London College of Fashion.

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Fiona Gaughan

Fiona Gaughan, Planning and Trading Director – Retail


Fiona has been working in Fashion Retail for over 20 years. She spent 14 years at Arcadia before moving to ASOS in 2014 to be the Womenswear Merchandising Director where she headed up a department of over 200 people across ASOS Design and Branded teams. More recently Fiona has taken on the role of Planning & Trading Director for Retail where she oversees multiple functions such as Merchandising, Global Planning, Forecasting and Trading.

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James Barron

James Barron, Menswear Buying Director, ASOS plc.

James has worked for the online retailer since 2010. This role includes the development of the Asos Design Brand and all 3rd Party Brands; James is part of the Asos Leadership Team. James has worked as a Buyer for 20 years for a variety of UK Retailers from Marks & Spencers, Tie Rack, Arcadia, Moss Bros, and as Head of Buying for Envy Clothing Group.

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Kim Longman

Kim Longman, Business Consultant.

Kim has been Chair of the FRA since its inception. Previously a HR career professional and for 17 years Group HR Director at Arcadia, she now runs her own consultancy business.

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Laura Charles

Laura Charles, Director of Lingerie, M&S


Laura has a retail background spanning over 30 years specialising in buying. She is currently Director of Lingerie at M&S since March 2018 and prior to that Head of Buying from 2014.
Her career has covered both buying and design within retail and manufacturing and she has worked for companies such as Next PLC, La Senza, Etam and Courtaulds.


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Lee Lucas

Lee Lucas, Principal and CEO of FRA.

Lee has been the Principal and CEO of the FRA since October 2014. Lee started his career as an IT Manager and later retrained as a teacher. Over the past 14 years Lee has held senior leadership roles and Principal positions in private and public education providers, developing qualifications and apprenticeships (in the IT, beauty, jewellery and retail sectors), alongside a number of other commercial ventures.

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Pauline Tambling

Pauline Tambling

Pauline has had a long career in the arts and creative industries mostly recently as Chief Executive of Creative & Cultural Skills where she worked closely with Further and Higher Education partners to develop qualifications and apprenticeships. Pauline was awarded a CBE in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to education and training in the cultural sector.  


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Sally Harris

Sally Harris

Sally has spent over 20 years working in finance within fashion retail. She spent 13 years at Arcadia starting as an analyst in the Oxford Circus store and progressing to Finance Director of Dorthy Perkins and then BHS. She then moved to Marks & Spencer where she spent six years as Finance Director of the Clothing & Home half of the business. She now runs her own consultancy business and is a trustee for two other charities.

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Susanna Kempe

Susanna Kempe

Susanna is the CEO of the Laidlaw Foundation, Chair of the Laidlaw Schools Trust, Chair of B2B Marketing and a board member of both Criton and Zapnito. Prior to leading the Laidlaw Foundation, Susanna had over 15 years of CEO, CMO and Chief Strategy Officer roles in global media and B2B businesses, including as CEO of WGSN the world’s leading trend forecaster.

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Vanessa Spence

Vanessa Spence, Womenswear & Menswear Design Director, ASOS.


Joining ASOS in 2007 with a team of two, Vanessa was influential in shaping the ASOS brand and now has a team of over 100. Vanessa was promoted to Design Director of both Womenswear and Menswear in 2018 to develop a unified look and feel to the ASOS ranges, trends and collaborations. Vanessa is also a patron of the charity Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD).