Belfast Telegraph

M&S style director Belinda Earl awarded OBE for services to retail

Marks & Spencer style director Belinda Earl has been awarded an OBE for services to retail.

Ms Earl's retail career began at Harrods as a graduate trainee in the early 1980s, but she has since gone on to hold a series of high profile positions in British retail.

In 1985 she joined Debenhams, where she held a number of senior positions in buying and merchandise management.

She was appointed to the main board as trading director in 1998, before becoming chief executive in 2000.

Ms Earl also made history when, in 2001, she became the first boss of a leading public company to take maternity leave.

In 2004 she began a seven-year stint as boss of fashion chain Jaeger, which collapsed into administration earlier this year.

In 2012 she was appointed M&S style chief amid a difficult period for the high street titan, which has struggled with women's clothing sales.

Ms Earl holds a BSc (Hons) in economics and business from the University of Wales, where she is also a Fellow of the University.

She is a Fellow of the City and Guilds of the London Institute and a member of Positive Fashion Committee, a key pillar of the British Fashion Council, which she has co-chaired from 2014-2017.