Wil Beedle Leaves AllSaints to Focus on Shoreditch Ski Club Brand
LONDON — It’s the end of an era at AllSaints, which is waving goodbye to Wil Beedle, who joined the company 18 years ago and served as its chief creative director for that past 10 years.
Beedle is leaving to focus his attention on Shoreditch Ski Club, the eco-friendly winter clothing brand he launched in 2018, and continues to design.
“We wish him all the best for the future and are excited to see SSC grow,” the company said in a brief statement.
Beedle came at fashion from an unconventional direction: He studied at Cambridge University, and began his professional career as a visual artist in Paris. He eventually returned to London where he joined AllSaints as men’s wear director.
As chief creative director he oversaw the brand’s design and visual communications, and introduced accessories and a range of fragrances, in partnership with Revlon, to the London-based contemporary brand.
Beedle said the fragrances were created with unexpected combinations, such as floral notes mixed with leather and metal ones, reflecting the brand’s gritty, East London attitude.
He has long been a sustainability advocate, telling WWD last year that SSC is using fully sustainable fabrics made from recycled polyester or nylon. The plastic from 10 bottles, he said, goes into each of the brand’s down jackets.
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At the time, Beedle also said that AllSaints’ India-based tanneries had begun recycling water, while the brand is BCI, or Better Cotton Initiative, compliant. Asked about the difficulty of sourcing and working with eco-materials and factories, he said: “It’s all there. You just have to ask for it, and find it.”
Beedle was speaking just months before AllSaints, like many other British companies, ran into trouble during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As reported last summer, AllSaints struck a deal with landlords worldwide to keep its stores open by shifting to a new rent structure that puts less pressure on the retailer.
AllSaints had undertaken an insolvency procedure known here as a company voluntary arrangement, or CVA, to protect its 255 stores worldwide.
The move is common in the U.K. when a troubled company tries to save its business by renegotiating deals with landlords and other creditors.
The deal meant that AllSaints was able to shift to rental payments based partly on turnover, rather than entirely on pre-agreed leases pegged on open-market valuations. It also meant that landlords have agreed to accept less rent, at least for now.
AllSaints had originally sought the CVA because it said store closures due to COVID-19 lockdown had dented sales, and that new social-distancing measures, combined with lower footfall, would damage them further.
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