Judging panel announced for Boutique Star Awards 2022

Anne Wright, Young Ideas

Young Ideas owner Anne Wright will join Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre and Boutique magazine editor Gemma Ward to judge this year’s Boutique Star Awards. The panel will also include former Selfridges’ buyer and brand consultancy founder Wizz Selvey and fashion agency owner Sally Dawes.

With 16 awards up for grabs for both retailers and suppliers, this year’s categories include Womenswear Independent of the Year, Independent Group of the Year and British Brand of the Year

Entries opened online in February and will close on 1 July 2022. Indies and brands are asked to write a synopsis of their business and provide supporting evidence – including images – to be in with a chance of winning. There’s no charge for entering and you can enter as many categories as you are eligible for.

The winners’ party for this year’s awards will take place on Tuesday 8 November at London’s May Fair Hotel. Guests will be treated to welcome drinks and canapés inside the hotel’s vaulted Atrium before sitting down for dinner in its stunning Danziger suite for a three-course feast, ceremony and dance party.

The 2022 judging panel

Anne Wright, Young Ideas Group

Anne Wright is CEO of the Young Ideas Group, which encompasses four retail businesses including Henmores, Boobydoo and Little Trekkers. Its flagship brand Young Ideas has been established for 50 years and has experienced rapid growth since Anne took over the business with her husband in 2008. With three bricks-and-mortar stores and a thriving e-commerce business, it has won numerous awards including Drapers Womenswear Independent of the Year in 2021. At the inaugural Boutique Star Awards in 2019 it swept the board winning Womenswear Retailer of the Year, Independent Group of the Year and Multi-Channel Retailer of the Year for sister store Henmores.

Wizz Selvey, Wizz and Co

With 20 years’ experience in branding and retail, Wizz is the former head of buying for Selfridges and director at Cowshed Beauty and Soho Home. Today she runs her own bespoke brand and retail strategy consultancy, Wizz and Co, with clients including Dermalogica, Next Beauty and Ocado. She is also a trend forecaster and regularly delivers seminars on retail-related topics such as taking indie brands to cult status and keeping up with changing consumer habits.  

Sally Dawes, Sally Dawes Agency

Founder of the eponymous London-based fashion agency, Sally Dawes has been supplying independent retailers with outstanding womenswear collections for almost 30 years. She first joined the industry in 1993, cutting her teeth at the Julie Dawes Agency. In 2003, she created her own business representing a unique selection of contemporary international brands. Today her expertise is sourcing commercial designer brands and offering an exceptional service to the best indies in the UK and Ireland.

Gemma Ward, Boutique magazine

A fashion journalist with almost 20 years’ experience, Gemma Ward is the founding editor of Boutique magazine. The title launched in 2010 as a niche publication dedicated to the needs of independent fashion retailers. Today it is celebrated for its insightful business articles and inspiring content created for small business owners. Gemma has judged a wide range of fashion and beauty industry awards throughout her career and regularly interviews some of the best fashion indies and brands in the business. 

Andrew Goodacre, Bira

Appointed as Bira’s CEO in 2018, Andrew has a wealth of experience in the small business membership sector having held the roles of CEO at RLA since 2013 and a senior position at the Federation of Small Businesses. He has vast experience in many key areas that affect SMEs including lobbying government for changes in legislation. Meanwhile, he is dedicated to helping independent retailers thrive and has spearheaded numerous campaigns and new service launches at Bira, including its new online marketplace, Neartoo.

The Boutique Star Awards 2022 are open to all fashion and lifestyle independents operating bricks-and-mortar businesses as well as brands and industry insiders. Entries are now open here and will close on Friday 1 July.  Tickets for the winners’ party will go on sale this July and cost £150 (special early bird rates also available); contact E: julie@bpmedialtd.co.uk for more information.