Leading fashion figure shares secrets of success

“I'd visualised being in the boardroom at LVMH 15 years before I did it. Visualisation is a technique that can transform your life.”

Simon Whitehouse, CEO of J.W.Anderson

A leading figure from the fashion world has been passing on the secrets of his success to students in his hometown Stoke-on-Trent.

Simon Whitehouse, who grew up in Talke Pits, is CEO of fashion label J.W.Anderson which is part of multi-billion-pound conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Simon graduated with a degree in Business from Staffordshire University in 1997 and returned to where it all began to meet students from Fashion, Photography, Graphics and Brand Management courses.

“It brings back so many memories,” Simon told the students and revealed that they were in same lecture theatre where he met his best friend on their first day.

He went on to share experiences from his career and the motivation behind his meteoric rise to success.

“I'd visualised being in the boardroom at LVMH 15 years before I did it. Visualisation is a technique that can transform your life.” he explained.

“You have to find a reason to do what you do. It's about the why not about the what.”

After graduating, Simon moved to London to work for shoe company Camper and built up a CV of impressive employers including Matthew Williamson and Diesel.

Simon's main advice was to “be positive” and he encouraged the students to make the most of their university experience.

“Just enjoy it. The people you meet and the relationships you build here will set you up for life.” he commented.

“Competition among yourselves is healthy – you need each other. It will spur you to go on and do more.”

Following the Q & A Simon attended a creative networking lunch with students from across the University.

Emily Hargreaves, 18 from Smallthorne, studying BA (Hons) Fashion said: “Meeting Simon has been inspiring. It's useful because it gives you an insight into the industry and how to get there.”

Course mate Alice Greatbatch, 18 from Wetley Rocks, added: “It's really motivational. The fact that Simon is from close to home shows us that it is possible – you can go out there and get the job that you want.”

Simon is one of more than 20 alumni who returned to Staffordshire University this month during annual careers festival FutureFest.

Rachel Heeley, Course Leader of the Fashion degree which launched this year, said: “Work experience is embedded within the course, as it's vital to gain experience and meet people in industry. The fashion industry is tough to break into but with hard work and networking you can achieve your goals, Simon is a prime example of this!”

Discover more about studying at Staffordshire University at an Open Day – view dates and book your place here.

Photo credit - Nom Ncube



Amy Platts
Multimedia Press Officer
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