Author, Activist and Founder of Portas Agency
Known to the nation as Mary Queen of Shops from her award-winning BBC series, Mary Portas has made an indelible mark on British retail. Starting her career with Harrods and then Top Shop; she made her name as the Creative Director of Harvey Nichols, transforming the department store into London’s sexiest fashion destination. She has written columns for national media on retail and consumerism, published two books, advised the government on the future of high streets, launched her own fashion label, as well as kickstarting the return of British manufacturing with her brand Kinky Knickers. Her proudest achievement to date she says is the creation of Mary’s Living and Giving shops for Save The Children. Currently one of the most profitable charity shops in the UK, she has opened 25 and counting and has raised over £13 million to date. All of this is fuelled by the talent and expertise of the people of her London-based agency, Portas. Names including Westfield, Louis Vuitton, Mercedes, Gap, Liberty, L’Oreal, Sainsburys, Estée Lauder have all had the Portas magic.